This thesis charts developments in the UK in relation to work with people with physical
and/or learning disabilities and the manner in which recreational and leisure activities
are increasingly utilised. Consideration is given to how the therapeutic value of
recreation and leisure facilitated by social services departments with these groups can
be significantly enhanced by the development of knowledge and applied skill in staff.
The manner in which recreation and leisure could assist the achievement of service and
professional objectives and the possible working arrangements which could be adopted
in day centres are discussed. Consideration is also given to lessons which could be
learned from the USA where therapeutic recreation has been promoted through, among
other things, the formation of a new profession. The thesis highlights that while lessons
may be learned from the USA, a new profession will not be a requisite of either
sustained development or visibility of therapeutic recreation in the UK; it concludes
that this will come only if a commitment is made by central government, employers and
professional associations to policy formulations which brings therapeutic recreation into
the mainstream of service activity, supported by formalised operational strategies and
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy at Loughborough University.