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History of ATRA
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History of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)


The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was organized to address the concerns many Recreational Therapists had regarding the direction of the original parent organization of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS), please, see “ATRA is Formed” by Dr. David Austin and “Roots of ATRA” Dr. Glen Van Andel for additional information and perspective.


ATRA was incorporated on June 12th, 1984 by David Park, William Hillman, Jr and Key Ellis with the original board of directors consisting of President Peg Connolly, Vice-President Glenn Van Andel, Secretary-Treasurer Richard Beckley, Director-at-Large (today is referred to as Member-at-Large), and Melinda Conway Callahan (Director-at-Large). The ATRA Board of Directors and Organization has evolved throughout the years to the current structure and form, and should continue to evolve as needed to best represent Recreational Therapists’ needs.

 

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is the only national organization which represents all Recreational Therapists at the local, state, and national levels. ATRA’s Guiding Principles are:

 

We believe:

  

  • Recreational Therapy is a process provided in diverse settings.
  • Assessment, Planning, Intervention, Evaluation, and Documentation (APIED) are the foundation of Recreational Therapy.
  • In Evidence Based Practice, Professional Credentialing, and Accreditation.
  • In building powerful relationships to strengthen Recreational Therapy
  • In mentoring and developing professionals

 

 

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