In the excerpt below, Dr. Kreiner provides background on the project:
I have long been an advocate of folks with disabilities and continue that desire to “make life work” in a world that is often not very forgiving of differences. During my doctoral work at Kent State University I took a particular interest in what I thought was a neglected area – leisure and recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. Leisure engagement can be an effective way to provide opportunities for health and ﬁtness, as well as for learning appropriate communication and social skills (Schleien, Ray, & Green, 1997). Leisure involvement can also assist individuals with disability by supporting successes in residential and employment outcomes (Heyne, 1997; Stein & Sessons, 1983). I felt the first step was to assist individuals with disabilities to communicate their interests and desires surrounding leisure opportunities, when communication skills in general are often a challenge, a hurdle even. I had an idea for a software application that would assist with the communication process – and that is where Ben came in to my vision. I met Ben through a mutual friend, Marcus Lyons, and the rest is history. With the help of Ben’s genius code writing skills, The Preferences for Leisure Attributes (PLA) Assessment became a reality in 2005 to assist individuals with severe disabilities and communication difficulties be able to communicate their leisure preferences. The PLA Assessment tool was tested for reliability and validity, and was determined to be quite effective at assisting folks with disabilities to communicate their interests.
- Kreiner. J., and Flexer, R. (2009). Assessment of Leisure Preferences for Students with Severe Developmental Disabilities and Communication Difficulties Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 2009, 44(2), 280 –288. )