With help from students in California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, O&P patients learned to better manage their functional limitations in a fun and active way during First Dance and First Swim adaptive clinics on March 16–17.
The O&P Society, the O&P Department’s student organization, held the clinics in partnership with the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) to offer those with amputations, limb differences, and other physical disabilities the opportunity to learn or relearn to dance and swim with the help of skilled instructors and adaptive equipment. For many, it was the first time they entered a pool and/or dance floor since becoming disabled.
During the First Dance clinic, participants did the tango, the waltz, and let loose a little more with the electric slide. The goal of the clinic was to build their confidence on the dance floor when they’re attending a wedding, high school reunion, or other events where those with physical limitations often feel isolated.
Getting into a pool can be a daunting experience for those with physical disabilities, but with the help of OPAF instructors, the First Swim participants quickly picked up the adult doggie paddle, learned a free-style swimming technique, and worked their way up to diving into the deep end.
The O&P Society offers resources, professional networking opportunities, and fellowship for CSUDH students pursuing careers in the O&P field, while raising the public awareness of physical disabilities. To fund the First Dance and First Swim clinics, the society raised $5,288 through a gofundme.com campaign.