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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2016 08:37 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Liscensure for Recreational Therapists in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce Senate Bill 1053 from last session. This bill would amend the Medical Practice Act of 1985 (Act of Dec. 20, 1985, P.L. 457) to include Recreational Therapists and establish licensing requirements, protections and penalties within the Act.

In previous years as a member of the House of Representatives, I introduced legislation that would create a entire section of the health code to allow for recreational therapists to practice in the Commonwealth. As a result of numerous discussions with the State Licensing Board and members of the House Professional Licensure Committee, it became apparent that the more appropriate way to address this situation was to amend Act 20.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, recreational therapists "Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. Recreational therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports, games, and community reintegration field trips to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being." This legislation would license these professionals in PA the same way we license all therapists in the Commonwealth.

Recreational therapists help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively. They help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities.

Previous co-sponsors from last session were Senators Fontana and Yudichak

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to provide for the appropriate licensing of and supervision of all recreational therapists in the Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB109