Metro All Together Kids Grant

June 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

All Together KidsUCP is concluding the first year of our All Together Kids Grant through Metro/Davidson County. All Together Kids is UCP’s Inclusion Program, aimed at offering the same opportunities to children with disabilities that are available to typically developing children. Despite advances to our educational systems as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, children with disabilities have significantly less access to community based activities than their typically developing peers. 81% of respondents in the 2009 grant pre-assessment indicate that their child has “limited or no access to opportunities for participation in integrated programs and activities in their local neighborhood or community.” 71% of respondents reported that their child has “limited or extreme difficulty interacting with typically developing peers.”

Children with disabilities are limited in exposure to activities that allow them to compete on an equal playing field, and as they grow, they have proportionately less opportunities available to them in higher education and in the workplace. All Together Kids addresses this gap by affording access to existing community and neighborhood-based arts programs, sports, recreation, day care, summer programs, camps, and the myriad of peer-related activities that round out the social, physical and intellectual development of all children.

The purpose of the Metro grant is to provide funding supports to families of children with severe disabilities in order that they may access these programs with a service plan that is specific to the individualized needs of each child, and targeted to advance personalized educational and developmental progress goals in the most integrated and inclusive environment possible. UCP also has a training curriculum for community agencies to assist with nclusion objectives and we provide technical assistance and consultation to community-based children’s programs throughout the Metro area aimed toward development of infrastructure capacity to include children with disabilities.

The 2008-09 grant continues through June 30, 2009. According to UCP program director Laura Crain, most of the requests for this year have been for assistance in enrolling children with disabilities in summer programs. At present, all of the 72 contracted slots have been filled, and 100% of the funds have been allocated. There is currently a waiting list of 32 children for the program. UCP has applied for continued funding supports for the program in 2009-10.

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Entry filed under: General, Programs and Services.

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