Creating an Inclusive Program

On-Site Training Module

During this training, participants will discuss the law regarding inclusion as well as the attitude needed to create an inclusive environment in school-age care/afterschool by making reasonable accommodations for children with disabilities. 

In this training participants will:

  • Understand what it means for an afterschool program to be inclusive.
  • Understand what it meant by the term “disability.”
  • Identify 3 strategies to move their organization to a new phase of inclusion

Content Overview:

"I'm Working On It"

This activity shows how some people with disabilities may experience difficulty with activities that require fine motor skills. This expands the perspective of participants as to the experience of having disabilities.

What Does Inclusion Look Like?

Participants will take a look at their programs, including the physical space, the sensory environment, the children and youth, and consider how a child or youth with a disability could fit into this environment. 

What Is "Disability"?

Participants have opportunity to define disability and to experience an alternative definition that will expand their understanding of disability.

The Law and Reasonable Accommodations

Participants review the law surrounding inclusion and discuss the term "reasonable," considering possible accommodations that they would make for a child or youth in their programs. 

Journey to Inclusion

Participants compare their programs to a list of qualities of inclusive programs, and determine three strategies to move towards inclusion.

Training Length: 2 hours

eLearning Module

When inclusion is done well, it is invisible. Inclusive environments foster safety and enable children and youth to develop friendships, enjoy activities together, and learn from their similarities and differences. Inclusion means belonging, contributing, being valued, being respected, being accepted, friendships, participating, freedom, taking risks, sharing happiness, success, security, having choice, and having equal opportunities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability this way:  “an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment."

Federal laws require that programs make reasonable accommodations to include children and youth in programs. Reasonable means that children and youth get what they need, not necessarily that everyone gets the same thing.  Accommodations can include:

  • Removing Physical Barriers

  • Removing Communication Barriers

  • Adapting Activities

  • Adapting Equipment

Being inclusive means children and youth of all abilities can thrive within your program. Becoming an inclusive program does not happen overnight; it happens by intentionally taking one step at a time toward being fully inclusive.

By the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand what it means for a program to be inclusive.
  • Understand what is meant by the term “disability”.
  • Identify strategies to move their organization to a new phase of inclusion.