Some things send the message that your program is inclusive and that youth with and without disabilities belong there. Other things may send the message that your program is not designed for youth of all abilities and that only some are welcome. Your organization should strive to communicate three key messages:
Message 1: All families are welcome.
Message 2: Youth with and without disabilities belong here.
Message 3: Staff feel comfortable with all youth.
KIT will be sharing a Turnkey PD in the near future, which includes a tool to help you assess how well your afterschool program is communicating a commitment to inclusion. If you would like to learn more ways to be more welcoming and inclusive, visit KIT or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KIT is proud to be NAA's partner to build inclusive practices in afterschool programs.
Kathryn King is Partnerships Director, Inclusive Communities at Kids Included Together (KIT). She has over 25 years of experience in inclusive afterschool programs and has been a workshop presenter the past three years at NAA Convention.
Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.