Tusa has worked in St. Paul’s adaptive recreation program for 30 years. The program provides wide-ranging recreational options for children and adults with mental or physical handicaps. Activities include a constantly changing set of aerobic and dance classes; walking, running, swimming and weight workouts; and team sports for just about every season, including softball, basketball, soccer, kickball, floor hockey, volleyball, and bowling.
“We use as many of the facilities as we can around the city,” Tusa says. “We’re just trying to be accepted.”
Tusa got the job after getting her degree in therapeutic recreation. “Unfortunately, many people see people’s disabilities,” she says. “I focus on their abilities. That’s my number one. They want the same things out of activities and exercise and socialization as anybody else: They want to make friends, they want to feel good about themselves, they want to get out of the house. We just have a great time.”