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Education and Training

Recreational Respite is passionate about building capacity through education, advocacy for accessibility, collaboration and partnership. Our team and our Founder strongly believe that all communities and their programs and services should be accessible. This includes: emotional, mental, physical, social and financial accessibility.

We have been serving individuals and their families in various regions across Ontario, Canada since 2008 and are currently expanding across Canada to service all Canadian families! From our work, we have identified a great deal of need to equip those working with our families in the community with some of those same tools.

If you are interested in more information, please connect with Amy MacFarlane: amy.macfarlane@recrespite.com


Evolving Customer: Accessible Business
As small businesses go there is one thing to be sure of.. the changing needs and demands of our customers! What if we look at this in a lens that helps us identify those ‘invisible’ disabilities: mental health, grief and loss, failing health challenges with the customer or someone they love, a life changing event that creates isolation. These are all things we don’t know about our customers. What if we could identify these customers before we lost them to the isolation that often occurs because of their invisible needs? What if our teams could better identify, related and engage with our customers to better serve them? This workshop covers the evolving needs of our customers and being an accessible business. We talk about accessibility from a customer engagement perspective: direct hands-on tools for staff, techniques, redirection tools (for more challenging behaviours). In addition to this we address the current AODA (Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act) and it’s purpose to developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.

Accessible Leadership
Accessibility is critical for many environments. When we talk about accessibility, we often think of a physical building or a general environment. Even more critical is ensuring that services, community and its people have accessibility through mental, social, emotional and physical opportunities and support. Recreational Respite is an organization built on the premise that all environments should be successful for participation and engagement for children, youth, adults and older adults with various needs. We do this by identifying their needs, abilities and strengths and help build their environments (home or community) to be inclusive. With this knowledge, we do the same for the people that are working or interacting with those same individuals: professionals, volunteers and students. In 2025, Ontario has an accessibility action plan in place. The plan is designed to ensure we develop and implement the critical next steps towards building an accessible Ontario: The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan. We can be a key contributor to this action plan.

Children and Youth Programs: March and Summer Break Camps, PD Day and other Child Care Programs

When building a team to run great children and youth programs, tools are essential. There are so many changing and evolving needs of participants, it’s often hard to keep up to date with the tools necessary.  This sometimes includes ensuring that your programs are accessible: mentally, socially, emotionally, physically and financially. We can assist with education and training to ensure that your team has expanded knowledge and skills in the areas of: behaviour challenges, visual and communication tools, engagement and redirection techniques and strategies to combat other barriers that may arise to ensure successful participation.

Community Recreation Teams
How can we work together to optimize support for the individuals we both serve? Minimize the dollars needed to do so, so that quality programs are accessible to all?
Can we create tools that can help your team better qualify your current programs and services?
How can we create optimal recreational programs for your facility or organizational group?
Here are some of our partnerships and projects.

What is Recreation Therapy? Why is it important? How to use it?
This is particularly helpful for other professionals or caregivers themselves who are looking for engagement techniques when working with individuals with disabilities.

Importance of Mental Health, Physical Wellness and Social Connectivity: Youth Mental Health, Adults Mental Health
A community initiative developed specifically for school age children (ages 4-21) that commits to the importance of staying socially connected and engaged in the community through identified recreational opportunities. By creating a FUN model, we can help reduce or eliminate challenging behaviours we are observing in our schools today.  These include anxiety, isolation, suicide prevention, self-regulation, depression and anti-bully focuses.

First Responders and PTSD support 
Workshops or small speaking engagements for first responders: Military, Police, Fire and Paramedics and their families are offered to address the importance of re-integration into family and community after traumatic occurrences through recreation and leisure. A look at self-directed approaches and offering hands on tools and tips to address spouses, children and other family members’ concerns.

For more information or to book our education and leadership services, please contact us at info@recrespite.com or 1-877-855-7070

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