Expanding Accessibility to Art at Rocky Mountain NP

Hi everyone!
Sad to say I only have three weeks left here at Rocky Mountain. But I don’t want to get stuck in the blues with that news, so let’s do a complete 180 and start again…

Hi everyone, this week’s post is going to be about my favorite part of this internship! I have been extremely fortunate to have such a supportive Supervisor, Ranger Jason. He has been allowing me to do whatever programs that come to mind and oh boy do I have a lot in my head. What I have been the happiest about, is the monetary investment the interpretative team has done in acquiring the adaptive tools I have requested.

Being an intern you don’t always know what you can ask for or say. It can be hard to say: “Hey, I don’t just want this, I need this to be successful” or “This isn’t working for me…”. Particularly, asking if there is even a budget available to you for purchasing supplies for programming. Luckily, Rocky Mountain has said a resounding YES to all the adaptive supplies I have requested. I came in with a mission to make my art programs and the future direction of the interpretative division more accessible for visitors of varying abilities.

You may not know this, but my graduate degree is in both Park Management (hence working for the National Park Service) and Recreational Therapy. This therapeutic method means finding ways to adapt and modify recreational activities to make them inclusive to all people. Although this Art in the Park position did not have “expand program accessibility at the park,” in my job description, that was a mission I told my supervisor from the very beginning that I want to achieve. I am pleased to say, I had an experience where my adaptive tools were used and absolutely needed (Check the videos below to see them in use)!!

!Recreation is for all!

A grandmother with shaky hands was very reluctant that she could paint but this silicone adaptive aid to grip the paintbrush easier. A new adaptive tool order is on its way to help individuals with hand tremors. It is a weighted glove that helps reduce shaky movement of the hand. 

This young man has a neurodevelopmental disorder, individuals with autism tend to have limited grip strength. He immediately grabbed this large grip paintbrush tool to paint his clay wildflower.

Check out my previous blog post of this summer season  —> Rocky First Female Superintendent

If you want to learn about my time as an intern at Congaree National Park last summer check out my other blogs —>  2022 Blog Posts

Until next time! Don’t forget to leave a comment or give the blog a like.

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