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KIT and NAA Partner to Support Disability Inclusion in Afterschool Programs

According to UNICEF, 1 out of every 20 children aged 14 or younger (93 million kids worldwide) is living with a moderate or severe disability, leading them to be marginalized and excluded from their schools or communities.

The National Longitudinal Transition Study found that compared to their typically developing peers, only 33 percent of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participated in any extracurricular activities. These children and youth have the right to be meaningfully included, regardless of their ability.

To help reduce exclusion, Kids Included Together (KIT) and the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) have launched a new partnership, to make afterschool programs a welcoming and safe place for children and youth with disabilities, complex needs, or behavior challenges.

"Our nonprofit's mission is to ensure that children with varying abilities have a chance to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens," said Torrie Dunlap, CEO, KIT. "This new partnership will ensure that our best-in-class inclusion and behavior support training and professional development is available to more afterschool professionals. This professional development will help them be better prepared to make accommodations and provide a welcoming environment for all kids—regardless of their abilities."

The KIT mission compliments the NAA mission to promote development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school time community, to further the afterschool profession.

"At NAA, we understand every individual is unique and we continually strive to provide opportunities that foster the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of all youth," said Heidi Ham, Vice President of Programs and Strategy, NAA. "Children achieve their full potential when supported through an empowering program space."

KIT has been the leading provider of inclusion training and support for youth development and enrichment organizations for more than 20 years, using a blended learning approach that supports professional development and learning with:

  • On-site training (17 topics).
  • Inclusion Support Center coaching and support calls.
  • Online, on-demand learning in the KIT Online Learning Center.
  • More than 80 hours of online training worth 8.1 IACET-accredited CEUs, via eModules, live and archived webinars, videos, downloadable tools, and tips.

Afterschool professionals can access these resources and more by joining NAA as a member. Executive members will receive a 15 percent discount on annual subscriptions to the KIT Online Learning Center.

Visit KIT and NAA to learn more about the organizations' work to support disability inclusion.

Courtesy of NAA.

Photo courtesy of KIT.

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