Innovative Disability Programming

Innovative Disability Programming at Camps (2009-2011)

This project is designed to assist camp leaders with innovative programming to include more persons with a disability and other disadvantaged groups. With this type of programming (and accessible facilities), the camp will be more welcoming and the quality-of-life of visitors will be enhanced. Renovating camps to universal design is addressed. The unique needs of guests with specific challenges are described, because some camps may wish to develop specialized programs for these groups. Outdoor equipment needs of the disabled are addressed (e.g. TrainRiders, adapted sea kayaks, canoes, and bicycles), because appropriate equipment allows participation in a wider range of camp experiences. Dozens of outdoor program ideas are described under headings of Arts & Crafts, Life Skills, Food, Nature, Bushcraft, Fitness, and Environmental Issues. The last section of the handbook explores dozens of extreme outdoor activities (race car driving to sky diving), that could stimulate disabled individuals to greater achievements. This springs from the belief that these citizens can have life-changing experiences by connecting with the outdoors. They can do almost anything – with a little help from their friends!

Current Status:
Total funding contributions has been about $13,000 from the AALS, United Church of Canada, Edmonton United Churches, and Camp Wohelo. To date the DRAFT handbook has about 200 pages (35,000 words, 70 photos, and over 200 references). Production of the handbook is being discussed with publishers.

Future Work and Funding Required:
The draft is now in the review and editing stages. We are seeking funds to cover publication costs of $10,000.
The theory behind the growing number of early-literacy campaigns is that closing the word gap before children start school will help keep them on track to graduate.

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