The Global Abilities Foundation (GAF) hosts the Rec Fest, a recreation festival for all ages and abilities. The event showcases wheelchair sports demonstrations, recreation activities such as art, scuba diving, and gardening, and organizations providing resources for education, employment, housing, and other services. Over five dozen organizations partner with GAF to make the Rec Fest a success each year, and more than three thousand individuals have attended the event since inception.
On Saturday, September 24th, 2016, Global Abilities will host the 6th Annual Philadelphia Rec Fest at Carousel House Recreation Center. Activities at the event will include fencing, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, wheelchair sports, arts and crafts, and miniature golf.
One in five Americans is living with a disability! In addition to physical challenges, many persons with disabilities also have secondary complications such as social isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. Recreation is an important element of the physical and mental well-being of all of us, but persons with disabilities do not have the same access to recreation as do their able-bodied counterparts.
The Rec Fest is a one-stop shop for persons with disabilities to get exposed to a multitude of different activities. We demonstrate numerous adapted sports for adults and children with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Examples include SCUBA diving, rock climbing, wheelchair basketball, martial arts, and dancing. Global Abilities also features fun carnival games for children and their families. All guests are encouraged to try out the different activities and receive information about how to get involved with various programs. In addition to the demonstrations, organizations provide information for recreation, legal help, travel, employment, and other services. The Rec Fest features activities for all ages and abilities!
The Rec Fest mission is to 1) increase participation in recreation by persons of all abilities, 2) educate the public about disability awareness, and 3) increase collaborations between separate organizations that provide disability resources. The event is free to all participants.
The Rec Fest changes people's lives. Below is a quote from the mother whose six-year-old son has quadriplegia and cerebral palsy: "(He) said the 'he had a ball' and that he is 'so excited to now have his own sport' after having tried out power soccer. Thank you for putting the event together. The experience definitely changed the course of my son's life!"