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Students with Disabilities and Out-of-School-Time Programs: A Resource Guide

ExpandED Schools

This guest post is by Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, executive director of the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN).

Providing an inclusive out-of-school-time program for students with disabilities is just as important as providing that same safe and accommodating environment during the school day. For students with disabilities, participation in after-school and summer programs provides opportunities to be in an inclusive environment where they receive extended academic support, partake in extracurricular activities such as sports and arts, develop meaningful relationships with students and adults they may not typically interact with during the school day, and gain greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and appropriate social and emotional skills. Inclusive programs provide all students an opportunity to learn from each other’s strengths and interests.
 
To help expanded learning programs plan for and practice inclusion, the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) worked with the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) and other experts on inclusive programming to develop a resource guide titled, Including All Students: Frequently Asked Questions About Including Students With Disabilities In Afterschool And Summer Programs. DDPC Program Research Specialist Kerry Wiley and NYSAN Executive Director Nora Niedzielski-Eichner recently co-authored an article on the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability’s blog Endless CapABILITIES, highlighting some of the lessons learned for afterschool programs. 

 

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