2017 Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Rec Fest
Penn State Harrisburg
Capital Union Building
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057
(view campus map here)
Penn State Health and Global Abilities had a great time hosting the inaugural Penn State Rec Fest. The day was an opportunity to showcase the ability inside each of us. Hundreds of guests engaged in activities such as wheelchair rugby, scuba diving, kayaking, tai chi, and sled hockey. Persons with disabilities and their friends also learned about horseback riding, hunting, and resources for returning to school, gaining employment, transportation, and other vital components of life. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State coordinated over a hundred volunteers to help. The Rec Fest is a gateway to independence, and we thank the dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals who made the Penn State Rec Fest a success.
One in five Americans is living with a disability! In addition to the physical complications that are caused by their injuries or illnesses, many persons with disabilities also suffer secondary complications such as social isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. Recreation is an important element of the physical and mental well-being of all of us. Research shows that recreation is a valuable tool in helping persons with disabilities rehab physically and psychologically. Recreation helps persons with disabilities develop self-confidence, a sense of self-identity, learn valuable life skills from more experienced mentors, and become active in their communities.
However, it is difficult for persons with disabilities to engage in physical activity. Challenges like the social stigma that individuals with disabilities face in the community, limited options for adapted recreation, and the high costs of adaptive sports equipment limit recreational opportunities.
The Rec Fest is a one-stop shop for persons with disabilities to get exposed to a multitude of different activities. We will demonstrate numerous adapted sports for adults and children with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Examples include SCUBA diving, tai chi, wheelchair rugby, sled hockey, and baseball. Global Abilities will also feature fun carnival games for children and their families. All guests are encouraged to try out the different activities and receive information about how to get involved with various programs. In addition to the demonstrations, we will have tables with resources for recreation, legal services, travel, employment, and other services.