Inclusivity of collegiate campus recreation programs in region VI of NIRSA: a content analysis of websites
Keywords:americans with disability act, higher education, intramural sports, recreation center, student services, university
To improve the living conditions of and provide more rights and protections for individuals with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. Collegiate campus recreation programs are supported by student fees and/or tuition, they are a component of the educational enterprise, and they provide students a variety of benefits. As such, they should be available to all students, including those with disabilities. This study’s purpose was to determine the inclusivity and accessibility of collegiate campus recreation programs for students with disabilities, specifically in terms of representativeness on program websites within Region VI of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. Twenty-four universities from Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, Southern California, Utah, and Washington were included. Each university’s campus recreation website was reviewed for inclusive terminology, inclusive images, and inclusivity statements. Two universities accounted for 39.48% of the total number of terms used. The largest majority used only one disability-related term on their website, half used a total of eight or fewer terms, and one university used outdated terminology. Fourteen (58.33%) of the universities included no pictures of people with disabilities or adaptive equipment on their website. Only six (25%) had a collegiate campus recreation program-specific statement at their website. On the 30th anniversary of the ADA, the majority of collegiate campus recreation programs assessed in this study had only minimal information for and representation and visibility of students with disabilities at their websites. Several recommendations are advanced to improve upon this.