In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognized the right of ALL to enjoy leisure time and to freely participate in the cultural life of the community. Despite this declaration some populations are denied access and inclusion in leisure program, facilities and services. For example, persons with disabilities often face societal barriers, and disability evokes negative perceptions and discrimination in many societies. Because of the stigma associated with disability, persons with disabilities are often excluded from community life, including leisure pursuits, which deprives them of opportunities essential to their social development, health and well-being. In some societies persons with disabilities are considered dependent and seen as incapable, thus perpetuating a cycle of exclusion from community leisure. Individuals who are homeless, living in poverty, or from ethnic minorities also experience discrimination and exclusion from leisure programs, facilities and services. The World Leisure Organization is committed to ensuring that all members of the community, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability, have access to beneficial leisure facilities and services. The Diversity, Access and Inclusion Special Interest Group provides a forum for professionals to gain knowledge and support to advocate inclusion of underserved populations in leisure pursuits.
Dr. Lisa Mische-Lawson
- to serve as a forum to discuss issues, provide support, and share information related to diversity, access and inclusion in leisure
- to establish a database of leisure professionals and their areas of expertise related to diversity, access & inclusion in leisure
- to advance knowledge related to the best professional practices promoting access to and inclusion in leisure for diverse populations
- to advocate for inclusion of underserved populations in leisure programs, facilities and services, and accessible tourism