Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation offers programs for children, teens and adults with disabilities. During this especially challenging time, we strive to continue being a resource for our community through virtual programming and other ways to support individuals and families.

​Want to learn more about autism from autistic individuals?

In an effort to spread autism acceptance, we wanted to get some questions from the community answered by autistic individuals and their families.

 This video will cover a variety of questions, answered by three families.

Watch on Youtube


Register for TR Programs (Registration Opens August 18)

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Our Mission

We serve individuals with diagnoses that​ include Autism Spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, learning disability, mild to profound intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, hard of hearing, visual or physical disability.​ 

To provide programs and services to individuals with disabilities that will:  
  • Enrich quality of life 
  • Meet community needs 
  • Enhance skill development 
  • Leisure education and recreation participation
  • Increase independence through individualized goals and objectives


 ‭(Hidden)‬ Winter Programs

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Fall 2020 Programs

 Social Stories

Social Stories

Designed exclusively by our very own Therapeutic Recreation & Inclusion Specialist, Social Stories help to explain concepts like the Coronavirus to individuals with autism and early childhood age children and have garnered local and national attention from school systems and other organizations. Download, print, and share!


How Can I Stay Safe During the Coronavirus

I Can Exercise Safely Outside
earth day social story.png
A Social Story About Earth Day

 Our Staff

​​​​Therapeutic Recreation Programs employ full-time CTRS’s (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists) and part-time paraprofessionals to implement programs and ser​vices. CTRS’s are professionals credentialed through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Part-time staff are paraprofessionals who assist participants during program activities, provide behavioral support and redirection, and assist supervisor with implementation of activities.

Meet Our Full-Time Staff:​


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Colleen Brennan | Recreation Coordinator | Therapeutic Recreation Programs & Inclusion Services
Received a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Science with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation from Montclair State University.  Colleen has over 40 years of experience in the field of working with individuals with special needs, 28 of those years in the field of recreation. She is a speaker and trainer on topics such as Americans with Disabilities Act, Creating Naturally Inclusive Environments, Behavior Management, Leading using Strengths and specific disability awareness. Colleen received her certification as an ADA Coordinator. Colleen is also a member of the City’s Inclusion and Diversity   Council.  Colleen enjoys spending her free time with her family, and 3 dogs (Gus, Phoebe and Gunnar), listening to Jimmy Buffett, fishing and playing golf.

cbrennan@vbgov.com | 385-0444 


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Kathy Williams, CTRS | Recreation Supervisor | Therapeutic Recreation Programs & Inclusion Services

Kathy graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with over 35 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. She began working with Therapeutic Recreation Programs as a part time staff in 1985. Kathy is trained in group facilitation, serves as a speaker/trainer on various topics related to disability awareness, inclusive programming, and staff development. She is actively involved with other organizations that include Virginia Beach 4-H Summer Youth Camp Program, Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS), and serves on the Southeast Recreation Therapy Symposium Board of Directors. In her free time, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, photobooths, and exploring new places.

kdwillia@vbgov.com | 385-5964

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​Dawn Candia | Recreation Specialist II | Inclusion Services | Inclusion Specialist for Williams Farm Recreation Center and Seatack Recreation Center 

Dawn has worked with the City of Virginia Beach, Department of Parks & Recreation for 30 years. She has worked with Therapeutic Recreation, Out-of-School Time and currently Inclusion Services. She is a trainer for ADHD & Universal Programming/YPQI. In her free-time she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Baseball (Go Nats!) and learning about holistic approaches to wellness. 

dmcandia@vbgov.com | 385-6256 


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​Bill Parker, CTRS | Recreation Specialist II | Therapeutic Recreation Programs 

Bill has a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from Longwood College. He has over 20 years of experience working in community parks and recreation, with the majority in Therapeutic Recreation Programs. Bill gained invaluable experience through jobs in mental health/substance abuse and residential treatment settings prior to employment with the City of Virginia Beach. He is a certified instructor in the Mandt System and teaches staff the relational and technical skills of this curriculum.  Bill enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and watching baseball/fast pitch softball.


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​Becky Foreman | Recreation Specialist I | Inclusion Specialist for Kempsville Recreation Center

Becky earned a B.S. degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Longwood College. She has been employed in the field for 33 years in a variety of settings including residential treatment, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and community recreation. She began her career with Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation in 2003. In her spare time, she enjoys doing home improvement projects, gardening, and working on her koi pond.

bforeman@vbgov.com | 385-6442


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Brett Gordon | Recreation Specialist I | Inclusion Specialist for Bayside Recreation Center
Brett has a Bachelor of Science from Longwood University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Recreational Therapy from Indiana University. He has been with the City of Virginia Beach for 5 years, 4 years as an Inclusion Specialist and 1 year as an Inclusion Support Staff. Additionally, Brett serves as a lead for the city’s Unity Team and the unit’s Physical Disabilities, Universal Programming, and Play It Fair! trainings. Prior to his employment with the city, Brett has worked as a direct care attendant, ropes course facilitator, and Challenger Baseball assistant coach. In his free time, Brett enjoys spending time with family, playing sports, and going to the beach.

bgordon@vbgov.com | 385-5952


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Caitlyn Hall, CTRS | Recreation Specialist I | Therapeutic Recreation Programs & Inclusion Services

Caitlyn is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA in Recreation and Leisure studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. She completed her internship in the community setting with Norfolk TR. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and is also currently certified as a Water Safety Instructor. She started as a volunteer with Virginia Beach’s TR Programs and then held positions as both an activity assistant leader and leader. She co-leads the unit’s trainings on ADHD and Autism. Her favorite programs to work with are Learn-to-Swim and summer camp. When not working, she enjoys going to the beach, playing soccer, cheering for the Auburn Tigers and the Atlanta Braves, and spending time with family, friends, and her dogs Beau and Honey (or any dog really).

cbhall@vbgov.com | 385-5968


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Casey King, CTRS | Recreation Specialist I | Therapeutic Recreation Programs & Inclusion Services 

Casey has a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Virginia Wesleyan College. He is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. He has been working/volunteering with children with special needs since his freshman year of college. He got his passion for the profession from his mother who was a CTRS at VB Psych. He has a background of working in a behavioral health setting as well as community recreation. He has worked part-time for Therapeutic Recreation Programs in all of their programs and was an All Camp Leader for Camp Explore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach, watching & playing baseball, golfing with his dad, traveling, and spending time with his family & friends.

ckking@vbgov.com | 385-5966


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​Megan Montagne | Recreation Specialist I | Inclusion Specialist for Great Neck Recreation Center 

Megan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is a retired professional modern dancer with Todd Rosenlieb Dance where she was also a Mixed Abilities in Motion (MixMo) Instructor. As an instructor, she co-created an annual performance opportunity for Southeastern Virginia Training Center residents. Megan started as a Support Staff in 2018 before accepting the Inclusion Service’s Leader position the following year. She is a graduate of the Department’s Part-Time Career Enhancement Program (PTCEP) and now serves on the PTCEP and LGBTQ+ Teams. Megan enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Ollie. She also loves traveling, reading, and beach days.

mamontagne@vbgov.com | 385-5973 

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Jordan Vaughan | Recreation Specialist I | Inclusion Specialist for Princess Anne Recreation Center 

Jordan is a graduate of Old Dominion University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology/Audiology & Special Education. Before starting her career as an Inclusion Specialist in Parks & Recreation, she worked as a Registered Behavior Technician implementing behavior plans for children on the Autism Spectrum. Within her role as Inclusion Specialist, she is a Certified Inclusivity Assessor and the trainer for the Autism and Behavior Support staff trainings. She authors social stories for participants and loves the challenge of making Department special events more inclusive. Her favorite part of being an Inclusion Specialist is witnessing individuals with varied abilities successfully participate & have fun in our programs.

jvaughan@vbgov.com | 385-6197 

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Madison (Maddie) Koch | Part-Time Recreation Specialist I | Kempsville Therapeutic Recreation Programs & Inclusion Services  

Maddie is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University with a BA in Recreational Therapy. She completed her internship at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the inpatient spinal cord injury unit. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Maddie started working with Therapeutic Recreation Programs in 2018 as a volunteer with the City of VA Beach.  She looks forward to summer camp every year, however, one of her favorite seasonal programs is Around Town. In her free time, Maddie enjoys playing soccer, cycling, going to the beach, spending time with family, and painting. 

markoch@vbgov.com | 385-5963


Our staff are working together to provide inclusion services for Bow Creek Recreation Center, please call 757-385-2965 for assistance for services at this center. 



Therapeutic Recreation programs promote community recreation and are not intended to provide behavior therapy interventions, tools, or techniques. Participants will be expected to manage their own behavior with minimal staff intervention and must have a desire to participate in programming. Participants requiring 1:1 assistance are welcome with their own assistant/attendant who serves as a volunteer and must adhere to department volunteer policies/procedures, including a criminal background check.