June 2019 - Outdoor Recreation Resources

Disability Resource Library Newsletter

Summer is for everyone! In this month’s issue, we share some resources that encourage you to get outside and enjoy the beauty our wonderful state has to offer. From your very own backyard to any number of West Virginia state parks and recreation areas, there truly is something for everyone!

Take a look at a few of the resources our Disability Resource Library has to offer and, as always, please feel free to reach out to Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at roger.may@hsc.wvu.edu or by phone at 304-205-6434.

Featured Resources

All featured resources are available to borrow from the DRL
To browse more resources, click here.

Signing the Time: The Great Outdoors

Directed by Travis Babcock

Alex, Leah, their frog Hopkins, and host Rachel Coleman teach ASL signs for animals, bugs, activities and objects you encounter in your 'great backyard.' Created for ages 1-8, yet fun for all. Available only on DVD. Close-Captioned. Approximate run time: 30 minutes, plus special features. The Great Outdoors includes the following original songs, written by Rachel Coleman: My Great Backyard Right Place, Right Time When the Bugs Come Marching In Caterpillar Dreams. Borrow Signing the Times: Outdoor Recreation from our library.

Discovering Nature with Young Children

discovering nature with young children book cover

By Ingrid Chalufour and Karen Worth

Written by authors committed to ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities in community recreation, this practical book equips readers to design, implement, and evaluate recreation programs. Professionals in therapeutic and community recreation and special education will find this long-popular resource as essential as ever. Borrow Discovering Nature with Young Children from our library.

Backyards and Butterflies: Ways to Include Children with Disabilities in Outdoor Activities

By Doreen Greenstein

This colorful, well illustrated book shows parents and others who work with children of various disabilities on how to design and build simple, inexpensive assistive technology devices that open the world of outdoor experiences for these children. Borrow Backyards and Butterflies from our library.

A Guide to Accessible Recreation in West Virginia

Accessible Recreation in West Virginia cover

West Virginia is fortunate to have many accessible locations where everyone including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities can have fun! You can find information on these attractions through various state agencies and on-line, but this guide is an attempt to put as much information as possible in one place.

In addition to site listings, the Guide includes other information on travel in West Virginia, such as public and commercial transportation providers, medical equipment and supply vendors, 24-hour emergency care centers and dialysis centers. You also can find information on Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Visitor and Welcome Centers and Fairs and Festivals across the state. The entire guide is available for download for free!


Soft plastic ball is perfect for a “hole” lot of activities! Interconnecting holes make it easy for participants of all age levels to toss and catch this safe, unthreatening toy. Also great for kicking, volleying, and more. Borrow OBall from our WVATS now.

Navigation Tips

Summer camp experiences can benefit both you and your child, but it can be an anxious decision for both. For kids, it’s fear of the unfamiliar. For parents, it's worries about how their child will be cared for by someone who doesn’t know them. Here are some suggestions to help build confidence in making your decision:

  1. Set Objectives: Talk to your child about how they’d like to spend the summer and what programs they’d like to try.
  2. Do Your Homework: Day camp or residential? Adaptive sports, inclusive settings? Find out as much as you can about the camp. Ask to visit. Ask for references.
  3. Communication: Identify a staff member as your key contact person. Educate the staff about your child’s personality and disability. Find out how they update parents during camp?
a photo of Eric sitting in his wheelchair over on a canyon rim overlooking the green Appalachian mountains

A Child's Champion

Tucker County, West Virginia based Eric Thompson is this month's Child's Champion.

Eric has inspired countless numbers of children and adults by sharing his story. "I like getting outdoors as much as possible. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. The speed and excitement of it and also being able get out into wild areas. After sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury, a life changing event, it definitely opened my eyes to my particular limitations and a whole world of accessibility issues."

Eric is truly an inspiration for everyone. "Just because it’s harder, doesn’t mean it’s impossible."

Check out the short feature on Eric from Blue Ridge Outdoors!