Therapeutic Recreation Internships are available through the City of Fort Collins Recreation Department and guided by the NCTRC standards. Through an internship you will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people with different disabilities and adaptive programs as well as having involvement with the therapeutic process, assessing and including individuals into general class offerings.
Orientation to ARO and Community Based Therapeutic Recreation
An introduction and orientation will be provided to familiarize the intern with the internship checklist, assignments and responsibilities. Meeting the staff, assignment of workspace, reviewing employee handbooks and the ARO plan of operation will take place during the first week. Tour of the facilities, interviews of 2 people working in other program areas, in addition to other meetings and trainings listed on the checklist will help to complete the overall understanding of the ARO program and the function of therapeutic recreation in a community setting.
Direct Class Participation
Interns will have the opportunity to work in a variety of specialized recreation programs that are designed for the unique needs of people with disabilities. They will assist ARO instructors in planning and implementation, provide 1:1 participant support and provide group leadership under supervision of the instructor. Programs are designed for people with intellectual, physical and/or emotional disabilities and are varied for different age groups. Activities include wheelchair sports such as tennis, water skiing, rugby, handcycling, snow skiing, adapted fitness classes, integrated youth and adult sport leagues, outdoor recreation, adaptive aquatics, special events and social clubs. The Alternative Programs are designed for adults with intellectual disabilities while focusing on community activities to enhance confidence and social skills. They include monthly dances, dinner theatres, bowling, crafts, trips, hikes and more.
ARO strives to ensure that people with disabilities have the necessary accommodations or support to participate in any recreation program at their highest level of independence. ARO Inclusion services utilizes the therapeutic process to determine the most effective means of support and provide a successful and quality experience. Interns will be actively involved in the entire process. They will process requests, do assessments, develop individualized support plans, implement the plan and provide inclusion support for participation, document and evaluate individual outcomes. The inclusion process also requires customer service skills and talking with parents, providers, teachers and so on. Staff training and communication is also very important.
Interns will write a case study on an individual that they were involved with through the inclusion process. This allows for more of an in-depth understanding of the therapeutic process and the impact of therapeutic intervention.
Program Planning Interns will have the opportunity to completely plan a program, clinic, special event or staff training opportunity. They will be responsible for developing a program protocol, planning, marketing, implementing and evaluating this event.
ARO hosts several special events that the intern will be actively involved with during specific times of the year. They currently include:
(1) Adaptive Sports and Leisure Expos, which highlight sports and adaptive equipment for people with physical disabilities
(2) The Giant Friends Club special event at Inspiration Playground, a universally accessible playground and integrated programs, and
(3) The Fathers Day 5K Run/Walk, annual ARO fundraiser.
The intern will visit two different therapeutic recreation sites employing at least one CTRS. A clinical setting and one of their choice; outdoor programs, therapeutic riding programs, other community programs and so on.
The intern will be extensively involved in a special project that is determined cooperatively with the supervisor. Special projects allow the intern to focus on a specific topic of their interest and benefit the development of ARO with new programs, resources and materials. It is a project that the intern will complete and take with them to include in their portfolio. They will often do a presentation of their project to the recreation division management team.
Professional Organization Involvement
Interns will attend a variety of professional meetings, workshops and/or conferences. This will give them the chance to meet and interface with other practitioners, professionals and interns as well as learn therapeutic practices and techniques. The Colorado Therapeutic Recreation Society offers monthly professional development Grand Rounds on a variety of topics, a monthly network meeting for community based CTRS is held and Colorado Parks and Recreation Association conferences are scheduled on a regular basis.
Other Interns will also gain experience in the following areas: