Tools For Play

Paralympic Congress Debut

The 3rd Paralympic Congress, held in conjunction with the 1996 Paralympic Games, opened in Atlanta with a multimedia celebration of human strength, spirit, and ingenuity. The presentation, entitled Tools for Play, includes more than 300 images of people with disabilities participating in sports, recreation, and leisure activities. The montage of photos, video clips, and text set to music emphasizes the intensity of competition and the joy of the athletes as well as the technology making their recreational experiences possible.

Recreation Technologies

The presentation showcases people using personal, activity-specific, and environmental technologies to participate in all types of recreation. Competition events, leisure, and outdoor adventure sports are among the activities depicted.

In the competitive sports activities, sweating basketball players block passes with wheels locked hub to spoke, swimmers forge through the water with prosthetic limbs, and hockey players slide on ice toboggans. Golfers driving from swivel-seated golf carts, bicyclists touring the neighborhood on hand cycles, and musicians playing keyboards are just a few of the leisure images shown. The outdoor adventure sports images include hikers in mountain bike wheelchairs rambling off-road in the woods, scuba divers preparing to slip into the sea, and skiers thundering through deep powder.

These riveting images help increase public awareness of the athletic excellence achieved by people with disabilities, as well as the widespread availability of technologies enabling all people to benefit from recreation.

Thirty organizations and programs contributed images depicting the 90 different activities displayed in Tools for Play.


Gayle Curtis of the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Research and Development Center produced the Tools for Play presentation in conjunction with Peter Axelson and Patti Longmuir at Beneficial Designs. The project was funded by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Beneficial Designs.

To obtain copies of Tools for Play and additional information, contact PAX Press, a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc.