Type of Submission

Pre-recorded Poster

Research Field

Pre-Occupational Therapy, Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Linda Kunce, Ph. D.

Graduation Year

2021

Start Date

10-4-2021 8:00 AM

End Date

11-4-2021 5:00 PM

Abstract

People with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many services and supports being modified or stopped altogether (Balser et al., 2020). As service providers make adjustments to cope with the pandemic, it is important to better understand the experiences of their clients (Dirette, 2020). The current research assesses potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disability community and the services they receive. A parent/guardian survey was designed to gather information about SOAR participants’ experiences during the pandemic. SOAR (Special Opportunities Available in Recreation) is a therapeutic recreation program in Bloomington-Normal that serves people with developmental, physical, and/or psychiatric disabilities. The survey asks parents/guardians whether there have been changes since the start of the pandemic in the following areas: use of SOAR services, activities of daily living (ADLs), psychosocial functioning, formal services or therapies, and informal supports. The research goal is to not only to identify changes, but also to use information to make SOAR programs more enjoyable and effective for participants. A limitation of the study is that the survey was designed for parents/guardians of those with disabilities; future research should include people with disabilities so that their voices are heard directly.

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Apr 10th, 8:00 AM Apr 11th, 5:00 PM

Experiences of the Disability Community During the Pandemic: Perspectives of Special Opportunities Available in Recreation (SOAR) Families

People with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many services and supports being modified or stopped altogether (Balser et al., 2020). As service providers make adjustments to cope with the pandemic, it is important to better understand the experiences of their clients (Dirette, 2020). The current research assesses potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disability community and the services they receive. A parent/guardian survey was designed to gather information about SOAR participants’ experiences during the pandemic. SOAR (Special Opportunities Available in Recreation) is a therapeutic recreation program in Bloomington-Normal that serves people with developmental, physical, and/or psychiatric disabilities. The survey asks parents/guardians whether there have been changes since the start of the pandemic in the following areas: use of SOAR services, activities of daily living (ADLs), psychosocial functioning, formal services or therapies, and informal supports. The research goal is to not only to identify changes, but also to use information to make SOAR programs more enjoyable and effective for participants. A limitation of the study is that the survey was designed for parents/guardians of those with disabilities; future research should include people with disabilities so that their voices are heard directly.