Adaptive Recreation is a concept whereby people with disabilities are given the opportunity to participate in recreational activities. Through the use of activity modifications and assistive technology, athletes or participants in sports or other recreational pursuits are able to play alongside their non-disabled peers. The Boy Scouts of America, for example, has about 100,000 physically or mentally disabled members throughout the United States.
Activity Modifications are changes made to a game or activity that allow all players to have an equal or more equal chance of doing well. One example of an activity modification is a wheelchair basketball game, where both disabled and non-disabled players use wheelchairs. The players' ability to walk is no longer a factor in how well they play.
Assistive Devices are any machines or equipment used to level the playing field in a mixed-ability competition, or to allow someone the opportunity to participate that could not do so without its benefit. Good examples of assistive devices are pool lifts that lower non-ambulatory swimmers into a pool, and standing frames that allow wheelchair users to stand up while playing ball. Many municipal governments in the U.S. use adaptive recreation as a way to meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act, specifically its section dealing with public services. Governments are required by ADA law to provide reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities in order to allow them participation in sports and recreation programs.
- "Boy Scouts". The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Online. Retrieved 2008-02-24.