The following report,
by Martin W. Meyer, who is chairman of the Council for the Advancement
of Hospital Recreation, presents the purposes of this new organization.
recreation for the physically and mentally handicapped individual,
particularly within hospitals and institutions, has been rapid
since the end of World War II and its direction often confused.
When three professional organizations began representing the
recreation leader functioning in this area, it became apparent
that the energies and talents of the leaders in hospital recreation
were being greatly dissipated by directives from the three and
were often working in different directions. A planning meeting
was therefore called to discuss the problem. Representatives
of the Recreational Therapy Section, Recreation Division of
AAHPER, the Hospital Section of the ARS, and the National Association
of Recreation Therapists, met informally with the hospital consultant
for the National Recreation Association in the offices of the
National Education Association in Washington, D.C., on November
At this meeting
it was decided to form The Council for the Advancement of Hospital
Recreation. The purposes of the council were stated as follows:
1. To provide
a structure enabling professional organizations having members
performing recreation functions in hospitals and institutions
to work cooperatively, to raise professional standards.
2. To provide
a structure for joint attack on problems; for example, better
public relations, a clearing house for meetings, job analyses
and classification, recognition as a profession, increased research,
and recruiting qualified candidates.
3. To provide
a structure for soliciting funds from philanthropic organizations
4. To provide
a structure for keeping the participating organizations informed
of each others, meetings publications, and projects.
5. To explore
the feasibility of amalgamating those professional organizations
having members performing recreational functions in hospitals
One of the most
pressing problems facing the council was that of uniform professional
standards, which would assure the patients in the hospitals
throughout the country of a recreation service administered
and directed by recreation leaders with the highest possible
qualifications. It was at first thought that these standards
should include only professionally trained recreation leaders.
Owing to budgetary limitations and unavailability of trained
recreation leadership, however, a sub-professional group is
carrying a large portion of the hospital program, particularly
in state hospitals, and usually under the supervision of one
qualified recreation leader. Therefore, it was decided to include
this sub-professional group.
To date, these
standards have been approved by the Recreational Therapy Section,
AAHPER, and the National Association of Recreation Therapists.
The Hospital Section of the ARS will vote on the standards during
their next annual meeting which will take place in Denver, Colorado,
September 25-26, 1955.
The last meeting,
held on June 3, 1955, in Washington, was devoted to the question
of a voluntary national registration procedure. The proposed
standards, when finally approved, will be the criteria used
for registration. Several committees have been formed to study
all aspects of this important problem. Their reports will be
read at the next meeting of the council, at the 37th National
Recreation Congress and the annual meeting of the American Recreation
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