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RECFest gives individuals with disabilities chance to excel

More than 500 people with disabilities and their friends and family members learned about opportunities to be more physically and socially active at RECFest 2018. The Penn State Health Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation presented the second annual event on April 7 at Penn State Harrisburg in Middletown.

Attendees had the opportunity to try adaptive sports equipment, watch teams in action and learn about community programs for those with disabilities. Activities included wheelchair rugby, fencing, dance, kayaking, basketball, sled hockey, cycling, scuba diving, goal ball, volleyball and soccer.

“So often a disease or injury changes life opportunities, limits community participation and leads to relative isolation from the people and activities we love,” said Dr. David Gater, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State Health. “RECFest is the Penn State model to overturn barriers, engage the community and demonstrate the value of those with disabilities.”

RECFest 2018 - Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Approximately 180 volunteers from as far away as Berks County helped with the event set-up, assisted people with transferring into adaptive equipment and helped involve everyone who came to watch.

Nancy Lokey, a clinical case manager, led the planning of RECFest. “Just being in that energy had a huge impact on everyone who was there,” she said. “We accomplished our goal of educating the community about adaptive sports and recreation.”

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