The blog this week was written by Michele Momotiuk, the administrative assistant at The Arcadia Institute. Kids Included Together is a non-profit organization founded in San Diego, California with the mission “to provide learning opportunities that support recreation, child development and youth enrichment programs to include children with and without disabilities.” (www.kitonline.org/html/about.html)
Kids Included Together has a National Training Center for Inclusion that offers both on-site or online training, a support center to answer questions and provides free community training; similar to the approach The Arcadia Institute uses in our Community Participation Initiative.
A Kids Included Together staff member wrote an article for the PAVE (Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment) newsletter that stated their Keys to Inclusion. Those keys are:
1. Provide a welcoming attitude: A heartfelt welcome will put both children and parents at ease. 2. Promote communication: Talking openly with the children, parents, and other professions will help provide the best experience for everyone. Giving children opportunities to practice communication also can help. 3. Practice flexibility: To have a great program for all children, you must be flexible and allow necessary accommodations to keep them engaged. (Stoltz, Suzanne. “Keys to Inclusion.” Published in the PAVE PIPELINE, Spring 2011).
Kids Included Together has some great free videos on YouTube. Check out “Inclusion is Belonging.”