National Inclusion Project Conference Keynote


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Dr. Gary Siperstein's Keynote Presentation from the 2012 National Inclusion Project Conference

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  • Defining InclusionInclusion is based on the idea that people with disabilities should be allowed to participate equally alongside their peers without disabilities When we talk about inclusion, we need to think about three levels of inclusion. At the most basic level, there is physical inclusion – where people with disabilities are physically placed in the classroom or in the community. Physical inclusion often involves making adaptations to the physical environment that would make it possible for a person with a disability to be in that environment. Functional inclusion is the next level. It recognizes that in addition to adaptations to the physical environment, people with a disability may need other supports that will enable them to participate in activities. In the classroom, this is often referred to as instructional inclusion. Social Inclusion is the final level of inclusion. People often assume that if people with disabilities are in the classroom, or on the sports team, they will automatically become a part of the social environment. However, as will show later – this is not the case. Social Inclusion occurs when people are social accepted by their peers and are enabled by others to participate fully in community activities.
  • Now that we know what inclusion is – why is it important to promote inclusion in recreational settings?There are certain barriers in academic / classroom settings that are not present in recreational settings.Non-academic settings are more conducive to promoting positive outcomes like improved social skills, self-esteem, social acceptance
  • Student attitudes concur with previous slide: that academically, students with ID can contribute class.Additionally, students believe: including students with ID will help other students become more accepting, that students with ID socially benefit from classroom inclusion, and that they themselves socially benefit from classroom inclusion.
  • Even though students are sure that there is a social benefit in including students with ID inside the classroom (as the previous slides show), there is no friendship development there.Note: 93% of adults in a Multinational Survey of Attitudes toward individuals with Intellectual Disabilities believe that adults with ID are capable of sustaining friendships2004 is the date of the of the MACRO contract
  • However…The average camper named 2-3 friends at camp they liked to hang out with.
  • Friendships are characterized by high levels of reciprocity and perceived equality, as well as mutual liking and positive interactions in which there exist expectations from both members of a dyad of companionship, security, instrumental help, and emotional support (Bukowski et al., 2008).Note from Joanne/Laura:“Shared” implies reciprocity.“Friendship is a two-way street" i.e., If it's not reciprocated, it can't really be considered a friendshipDeep vs. surface structure of friendship:Deep structure refers to the ‘essence’ of friendship, reciprocity, which exists in friendships throughout development. Surface structure refers to the specific interactions of friendship, which change throughout the lifespan, depending on the needs of the friends.(Hartup & Stevens, 1997)NOTES: From Let’s ALL Play Conference, 2011For Young Children Friendship is also whomever they are playing with at the timeFor School-Aged Someone who is “fun to play with” Easily Started and Terminated
  • For Adults (From Joanne)“Doing Favors” applies to adults, such as: watching your kids, driving your kids to school or after-school activities, picking up your mail and feeding your dog when you are on vacation, etc
  • Why is it important to continue advocating for inclusion in camp? There is a clear lack in the amount of camps who are welcoming to children with and without disabilities.There is clearly a need and the “demand outweighs the supply” (if you will).Traditionally, three types of camp settingsCamps that are segregated in nature and designed to provide medical and social support for campers with specific disabilities, most particularly health problemsCamps that are segregated in nature - designed for campers with disabilities within barrier free environmentCamps that are inclusive in nature Examples:YMCA, YWCA, Boy and Girls Scouts of America, Woodman of the World, and religious organizationsFor-profits versus not-for-profits  
  • Who you select is dependent on what services/accessibility you can provide.Campers Also:DemographicsAgeGenderGeographic LocationEconomic StatusIndividual camper strengths and challengesFamilies- how to answer their questions, make them feel secure about sending their child with special needs to your camp. How to assure them that their children will not be isolated at camp but will be able to form friendships.
  • Campus safety, playground, sleeping, quarters bathroom, cafeteria – ACA Accreditation Standards (2012)Parking, entrance, restrooms, lockeroom, pool, gym, activity areas – Institute for Community Inclusion Packet, compiled by Maria Paiewonsky and Susan Tufts (1999) Inclusion Assessment Tools, compiled NY State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center (2011) ACA Accreditation Standards (2012)
  • Camp Shriver operates with a 4:1 ratioCertifications such as First Aid, CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator), Lifeguarding, etc.
  • From:Institute for Community Inclusion Packet, compiled by Maria Paiewonsky and Susan Tufts (1999)Inclusion Assessment Tools, compiled NY State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center (2011)ACA Accreditation Standards (2012)
  • From Let’s ALL Play
  • Also from the friendship chapter:Peer buddy programs“Interventions are often successful in increasing social interactions and fostering positive attitude change among children without disabilities, but most do not result in the formation of true friendships (as defined above).”Also:Make sure you plan ahead and have alternate activitiesDisability awareness trainingCommunication: people-first language Institute for Community Inclusion Packet, compiled by Maria Paiewonsky and Susan Tufts (1999) Inclusion Assessment Tools, compiled NY State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center (2011) ACA Accreditation Standards (2012)Also:Well-planned structured contact in crucialCooperative learningPositive role models Social Acceptance and Attitude Change: 50 Years of Research, by Gary et al, (2006)
  • Show that what you do worksTell everyone you knowParents, teachers, funders, etc.
  • NIP is building from the grassroots up – a movement to focus society's attention, not just to the fact that inclusion is mandated in our schools….
  • Thanks to organizations such as the National Inclusion Project, we can build this community of support and knowledge((alternative title: Inclusive Recreational Programming: Together, We are making a difference))  Together, we are on the right trackWe’ve come a long wayThe work can be hard, but we are sticking with it.  There is a lot be shared and learned, today and tomorrow, from the presenters and from each other.We are in this together. Thank you for the work you do, and enjoy the rest of the conference.  
  • National Inclusion Project Conference Keynote

    1. 1. Gary N. Siperstein, Ph.D.Center for Social Development and Education University of Massachusetts Boston
    2. 2. What is Inclusion? Social Inclusion • Persons with a disability are socially accepted Functional Inclusion and enabled to • Persons with a participate in disability have school and necessary supports community to participate in activitiesPhysical Inclusion normative experiences• Persons with a disability are present in the classroom, a sports team, in a recreational setting etc. Schleien et al. 1999
    3. 3. Inclusion in Classroom vs. Recreational Settings Classroom Recreational Settings Structure inhibits social  Structure promotes equal interaction participation Emphasis on academic  Emphasis on FUN achievement Differences more salient  Differences less salient
    4. 4. Students Attitudes towardInclusion in the Classroom areFavorable… Students Believe: Students with ID contribute to the class 74% Having students with ID in class helps other students be 75% more accepting of diversity Students with ID benefit socially from being in the class 73% Students benefit socially from having students with ID in 62% the class
    5. 5. And Continue to PositivelyIncrease. What would you do with a What would you do with a student with ID in school? student with ID out of school? 2012 2012 Lend the student a Invite the student out 91% 94% 38% 52% pencil with my friends Talk with the student Invite the student over 59% 71% 35% 43% at lunch to my house Choose for Go to the movies with 54% 69% 33% 47% teammate in gym the student Work with on a Talk about personal 52% 67% 29% 29% school task things with the student
    6. 6. But Friendships between childrenwith and without disabilitiesDo Not Occur at School: In 2004, 10% of middle school students indicated that they had a friend with ID. In 2012, 34% of middle school students indicated that they had a friend with ID.
    7. 7. Friendships between children withand without disabilitiesDo Occur at Camp Settings: 92% of campers named at least one person they “liked to hang out with.” 80% of campers named at least one new friend they had met at camp. 70% of campers without a disability nominated a camper with a disability as someone they like to “hang out with.” Camp Shriver Outcomes, 2011
    8. 8. In fact, Camp Directors IdentifiedFriendship as a Primary Goal in the Let’s All Play Evaluation Most common goals for all campers  Make friends  Have fun  Learn new skills  Improve self-esteem and self-confidence Most common goal for campers with disabilities  Experience social inclusion Most common goal for campers without disabilities  Gain an understanding of disabilities
    9. 9. By Friendship, We Mean… For young children:  Shared play/common activities For school-aged children:  Shared play/common activities  Understanding and trust  Self-disclosure
    10. 10. By Friendship, We Mean… For adolescents:  Engaging in shared activities  Intimacy ○ Trust ○ Communication of ideas and feelings ○ Emotional support For adults:  Instrumental support (e.g., helping, doing favors)  Shared affection  Mutual respect
    11. 11. …but few Camp Settings areInclusive.  More than 12,000 day and overnight camps in US  7,000 overnight camps  5,000 day camps  Of 2,400 camps registered with the American Camp Association:  Only 7% are dedicated to the inclusion of campers with disabilities (listed as “inclusion/mainstreaming” camps). American Camp Association, February 2012
    12. 12. Maximizing Success at YourCamp Know Your Campers  Functional Ability  Personal Interests  Nature of the Impairment  Life Stage Know Your Families  Parent expectations and goals for their child  Parent experiences in schools and the community
    13. 13. Maximizing Success at YourCamp Know Your Camp’s Readiness for:  Physical Inclusion  Functional Inclusion  Social Inclusion
    14. 14. Physical Inclusion Know Your Space  Facilities ○ Pool, gym, bathroom, cafeteria…  Transportation ○ Parking, field trips…  Equipment ○ Playground, bats, balls…
    15. 15. Functional Inclusion Know Your Staff  Understand program staffing needs  Determine appropriate camper to staff ratio  Incorporate disability and inclusion training  Pursue suitable certifications
    16. 16. Functional Inclusion Know What Adaptations Are Needed  Programming  Materials and Equipment  Coaching / Instructional Techniques  Scheduling  Disciplinary Action Plan  Behavioral Supports
    17. 17. Functional Inclusion Know Specific Activity Adaptations  Slowing down games  Shorter duration of games  Extending time limit  Increasing counselor-camper ratio for support  Playing games sitting  Reducing the playing field  Modifying the equipment e.g. balloon for balls
    18. 18. Social Inclusion Know how to create opportunities for  Structured contact between children with and without disabilities  Cooperative learning  Equal status interactions  Perceived similarity  Positive role models
    19. 19.  Know Your Evaluation Plan  Set objectives  Identify / implement specific measures  Involve counselors, coaches and parents
    20. 20. Inclusive Recreational Programming Benefits Everyone Involved Allows children and adults to gain a realistic understanding of people with disabilities Creates opportunities for positive social interactions and friendship Builds social skills and self-esteem Teaches kindness, patience and respect Develops tolerance and appreciation for those different from ourselves
    21. 21. Inclusive Recreational Programming: Why We Do It What we are doing matters.  We make a difference in kids’ lives.  Recreational programming is beginning to lead the way in inclusion  Yet still, there are too few inclusive camps Successful social inclusion is not easy.  It is not something that just happens when you bring two kids together  It is a structured process that takes time and effort
    22. 22. Inclusive RecreationalProgramming:Let’s ALL Make a Difference We are in this together. Contact me anytime: (617) 287-7250