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ACT for Youth

Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different Abilities (Manual)

Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different AbilitiesYoung people with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, or trauma do not always disclose these conditions in program settings. Fortunately, even when facilitators lack this personal information about participants, there are ways to make programs more inclusive. Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different Abilities aims to provide youth work professionals with information, practices, and activities that will help them promote inclusion and engagement for all young people.

The curriculum was designed in distinct sections that can be delivered as stand-alone workshops or in one day-long session. There are seven sections:

  1. Including Youth with Different Abilities: Overview of key characteristics of learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and trauma, including testimonials and additional resources.
     
  2. General Strategies to Create Inclusive Program Environments: Reviewing and introducing strategies like universal design for learning, group agreements, power cards, transparency, and predictability of programming.
     
  3. Promoting a Sense of Belonging: Exploring activities and practices that build on similarities, strengths and talents, and affirmations.
     
  4. Integrating Mindfulness and De-stressing Activities: Introducing mindfulness concepts and activities, and de-stressing tools and activities.
     
  5. Modeling and Teaching Empathy: Discussing empathy versus sympathy, practicing empathic listening, and exploring empathy-building activities and resources.
     
  6. Addressing Challenging Behavior: Introducing a values self-assessment and discussing general behavior management strategies.
     
  7. Disability Legislation, Accommodations, and Working with Community Partners: Brief overview of disability legislation, integrating accommodation questions into the registration process, and identifying community partners and resources.

Full Curriculum


Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different AbilitiesCreating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different Abilities
SlidesSlides
Handouts: full setHandouts: full set (includes resource handouts)
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) GuidelinesUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines (handout for Section 2, not included above)
Resource handouts onlyResource handouts only
 
Youth with Different AbilitiesYouth with Different Abilities (Section 1 complementary presentation)
SlidesSlides
 
Disability LegislationDisability Legislation (Section 7 complementary presentation)
SlidesSlides

Section Handouts and Presentations

Section 1 Handout and Companion Presentation


Section 1 ResourcesSection 1 Resources
 
Youth with Different AbilitiesYouth with Different Abilities (Section 1 complementary presentation)
SlidesSlides

Section 2 Handouts


Power CardsPower Cards
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) GuidelinesUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines
Comfort CornersComfort Corners

Section 3 Handouts


Activities to Foster a Sense of BelongingActivities to Foster a Sense of Belonging
Strengths BingoStrengths Bingo
Section 3 ResourcesSection 3 Resources

Section 4 Handouts


Sample Mindfulness ActivitiesSample Mindfulness Activities
Stress Management ToolStress Management Tool
Relaxation TechniquesRelaxation Techniques
Section 4 ResourcesSection 4 Resources

Section 5 Handouts


Reflection CardsReflection Cards
Kindness BingoKindness Bingo
Section 5 ResourcesSection 5 Resources

Section 6 Handouts


Values: Self-Assessment ToolValues: Self-Assessment Tool
Using Using "I Messages"
Behavior Management TechniquesBehavior Management Techniques
 
Disability LegislationDisability Legislation
SlidesSlides

Section 7 Handouts and Companion Presentation


Registration/Enrollment QuestionsRegistration/Enrollment Questions
Section 7 ResourcesSection 7 Resources
Training Feedback FormTraining Feedback Form

Acknowledgments

Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different Abilities was developed by Jutta Dotterweich of the ACT for Youth Center for Community Action in collaboration with New York State 4-H Youth Development, the NYS 4-H Educator Association, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team. Curriculum development was supported by an innovation grant provided by CCE Administration.