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NURS 417 – Accessible Activity Catalog: YMCA THRIVE Center

Deb Black, Annie Densley, Morgan Dooley, Talitha Fagen, Naomi Gonzalez, Alexis Hiler, Brena Schroeder, Karlee Shirley, Marie Voth, Amber Whitmire
Chelsea Painter (MSN, APRN, FNP-C) – NURS 417

Accessible Activity Poster - full description on page
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Learning Goals:

Assess the current needs of the Tomlinson South Meridian YMCA THRIVE Center and implement a focused intervention.

“Students will apply basic concepts of population-focused practice to assist a community organization with an identified need or question focused on a population or community. Students may assess community needs, develop recommendations… or develop short and long-range goals and interventions….”

Professor Jeannine Suter – NURS 417 Community and Population Health Nursing Lab Spring 2023 Syllabus

Course Concepts

Use understanding of social influencers of health to work effectively with a wide range of individuals, families and groups (AACN Essential I for Public Health Nursing). The neurodiverse community has been exposed to a lack of respect and historically excluded due to a focus on what they cannot do compared to neurotypical individuals. We assessed the needs of the youth participants in the neurodiverse community.

Collaborate with community partners to promote the health of individuals and families within the population (AACN Essential VII for Public Health Nursing). THRIVE activities help neurodiverse individuals achieve good health through physical activity, social development, and life skills teaching. Our activity catalog is adaptable to all levels and designed with purposeful activities to help achieve these health goals.

People working on an activity with nurses helping them


Our SL experience allowed us to be a part of a population that needs the support of peers and people in the community. The experience facilitated a healthy and happy social experience, supported skill building and offers so much to families that they might not have access to without THRIVE. The SL experience gave us all hands-on experience in assessing the community, planning interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of those interventions.

Marie – We initially had multiple ideas for our project related to community outreach. However, the THRIVE Center director shared the real need was in developing activities to plan day camps and events. From this we learned that what appears to be a primary need from a community member may not be where the need actually is. This taught us to be flexible in our approach and focus on listening to our community partner before anything else.

Alexis – This community taught me that sometimes the best thing we can do for individuals is be a support system for them. Sometimes they just need a friend or someone to support them as they try new things. I learned this through working with individuals who had a smile on their face whenever you took time out of your day to spend time with them. This can be applied to all areas of nursing, whether we are working in the community or in an inpatient setting.

Amber – This experience reminded me I can make a difference using the skills I have to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I was able to do this through observational learning and hands-on experience with a population that needs the support of others.

Community Partner: YMCA: THRIVE Center 

Mission Statement:

“We strengthen the foundations of community by developing successful youth, engaging people in healthy living, and instilling a commitment to social responsibility.”

Project Purpose/Community Identified Need:

Assembled and created an accessible activity catalog for the YMCA THRIVE Center’s future use in their programming for the neurodivergent population. Catalog includes sensory, social, and hands-on activities for all mobility levels.

MethodsA child running through an obstacle course

  • Volunteered directly with THRIVE Center participants in a variety of settings and types of activities.
  • Collaborated with THRIVE Center director, Andrea, to determine greatest need.
  • Focused research on activities that could be modified for multiple neurodivergent populations and mobility levels.
  • Created and compiled activities into an Accessible Activity Catalog for the THRIVE Center’s future use.


The result of our project is a 16 page Accessible Activity Catalog with five sections.

Section 1: Sensory & social activities for all activity levels
Section 2: Hands on activities for various neurodiverse populations
Section 3: Active stretching routine with modifications for all mobility levels
Section 4: Obstacle / ninja course planning for all mobility levels
Section 5: OASUS Harness System

This catalog will be added to the Tomlinson South Meridian YMCA’s THRIVE Center resources in order to assist in planning for events,
day camps, and more.