Kristin Lidvall, Class of 2012
Perceptions of Families with Disabilities: Theme Park Barriers and Facilitators
The purpose of this culminating project was to learn about barriers and facilitators to theme park participation for families with children with disabilities, to understand the lived experience of families with disabilities, and to expand my advocacy skills for this population. Completion of the project required assistance from several people and organizations. My expert mentor, Ingrid Kanics, is an occupational therapist from Pennsylvania with a passion for and large skill base in inclusive recreational design. Her expertise on environmental analysis and play design were pivotal throughout this project. The organization with which I was primarily affiliated during this residency project was Dollywood. Dollywood is a theme park nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee that receives an average of 2.5 million visitors annually. The Director of Safety and Security at Dollywood, Robbie Fox, allowed me to use the park to perform my environmental analysis of sensory and physical components. The analysis consisted of accessibility checklists and direct observations within the park. At the end of my residency I presented my research findings, environmental analysis, and recommendations to Dollywood administrators for their review.
Kristin Lidvall, Resident