Barriers to Recreation Programs & Activities
In 2013 the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario conducted a survey from a focus group determining a large list of barriers to recreation. Noted categories included; economic barriers, discrimination barriers, privacy barriers, communication barriers, health and mental health barriers.
NEW in 2019 the Municipality of Meaford is aiming to eliminate economic barriers to participation in their own programs and activities as well as programs and activities in surrounding communities and counties by launching the Recreation Fund for children, youth, adults and seniors. In the survey individuals expressed inability to access programming; due to lack of personal vehicle, program fees are pricey, and that the process to apply for subsidies is humiliating to name a few.
The Recreation Fund provides registration, transportation and equipment fees to youth and children for any recreation activity no matter the location of the activity, nearly eliminating transportation barriers. Although the Municipality of Meaford is a rural community most residents and activities are located in the core of downtown Meaford and can access public transit or walk to various facilities. Adults are able to able access programming in their own backyards.
With this new process, the municipality partnered with an agency better equipped to handle the complex needs of individuals accessing funding. If clients have access a computer and internet they can apply via email, and no face to face conversation is needed. Individuals may also visit the centre to access this services as well.
Funding for children and youth includes funds for; registration fees, school trip fees, equipment fees, transportation fees, and non-resident fees for ANY form of recreation. Adult funding is available to cover registration fees. If the Municipality does not offer the activity of choice, families are encouraged to participate where they can!
Check out the link this link to see the full list of barriers to participation.
This is an example of what the Municipality of Meaford is doing to eliminate barriers. Find out what your community is doing to eliminate barriers to participation in recreation!