Adventure Education &
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Participation in adventure education
programs can increase:
Sense of responsibility
Engage participants cognitively and affectively
Help achieve personal goals (Holman & McAvoy,
Develop relationships with others (Holman &
Increase outdoor skills (Rynders & Schleien, 1992)
Develop social skills (Rynders & Schleien, 1992)
Increase self-concept (Rynders & Schleien, 1992)
DEFINITION OF TERMS
a subjective challenging
experience that occurs in
the outdoors which
contains actual or
perceived danger (Dalttilo &
SENSE OF CHALLENGE
IN THE PRESENCE OF
with and without
Goldenberg, McAvoy &
a treatment intervention for rehabilitation
clients which is used in addition to other
rehabilitation efforts for the purpose of
creating individual change (Herbert, 1996)
McAvoy did a study on benefits of integrated outdoor
education and adventure programs and found:
Increase in social interaction between children with
and without disabilities
Increase in understanding capabilities and needs of
persons with disabilities
Positive change in attitudes of the children without
disabilities toward the children with disabilities
Persons with disabilities can successfully acquire
leisure outdoor skills
Herbert did a study on attitudes and perceptions
concerning persons with disabilities and found:
Staff attitudes are generally positive toward people
Programs that include both persons with and without
disabilities are therapeutically better than programs
that include persons of similar disabilities only
Programs are perceived to be accessible
Staff training and consultation on disability issues
could be improved
Farnham & Mutrie did a study on
the potential benefits of
outdoor development for
children with special needs
Decrease in tension and
anxiety levels over the four
Increase in group cohesion
over the four days
Increase in participant self-
Increase in self-motivated
Holman & McAvoy did a study on transferring benefits of participation in an
integrated wilderness adventure program to daily life and found that
Value developing relationships with others
Increase understanding of themselves
Gain awareness and appreciation for nature
Value having a new opportunity
Value learning new skills
Participants transferred the benefits of the experience to their lives in the
Self-awareness & self-confidence
Succeeding at a personal challenge
Establishing warm relationships with others
Increasing coping/transition skills
Higher levels of motivation
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Common benefits of participation in
adventure-based outdoor programs:
Increased self-motivated behavior
Increased success in completing
Benefits of integrated
Increase in social
interaction and group
disabilities by non-
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Farnham, M. & Mutrie, N. (1997). The potential benefits of outdoor development for children with
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growth. AEE International Conference Proceedings, (pp. 147-153).
Herbert, J. T. (1996). Use of adventure-based counseling programs for persons with disabilities.
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