SAN DIEGO, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to UNICEF, 1 out of every 20 children aged 14 or younger (93 million kids worldwide) are living with a moderate or severe disability, leading them to be marginalized and excluded from their schools or communities. The National Longitudinal Transition Study found that compared to their typically developing peers, only 33 percent of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participated in any extracurricular activities. These children and youth have the right to be meaningfully included, regardless of their ability.
To help reduce exclusion, Kids Included Together (KIT) and the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) have launched a new partnership, to make afterschool programs a welcoming and safe place for children and youth with disabilities, complex needs, or behavioral challenges.
"Our nonprofit's mission is to ensure that children with varying abilities have a chance to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens," said Torrie Dunlap, CEO, KIT. "This new partnership will ensure that our best-in-class inclusion and behavior support training and professional development is available to more afterschool professionals. This professional development will help them be better prepared to make accommodations and provide a welcoming environment for all kids -regardless of their abilities."
The KIT mission compliments the NAA mission to promote development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school time community, to further the afterschool profession.
"At NAA, we understand every individual is unique and we continually strive to provide opportunities that foster the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of all youth," said Heidi Ham, Vice President of Programs and Strategy, NAA. "Children achieve their full potential when supported through an empowering program space."
KIT has been the leading provider of inclusion training and behavior support for youth development and enrichment organizations for more than 20 years, using a blended learning approach that supports professional development and learning with:
- On-site training (17 topics).
- Inclusion Support Center coaching and support calls.
- Online, on-demand learning in the KIT Online Learning Center.
- More than 80 hours of online training worth 8.1 IACET-accredited CEUs, via eModules, live and archived webinars, videos, downloadable tools, and tips.
Afterschool professionals can access these resources and more by joining NAA as a member through naaweb.org/membership-information-page. Executive members will receive a 15% discount on annual subscriptions to the KIT Online Learning Center.
About Kids Included Together: Kids Included Together (KIT) is the leading provider of disability inclusion training and professional development for staff members in schools, out-of-school time programs, and communities. For over 20 years, KIT has trained some of the largest child development and enrichment programs to ensure no child is excluded.
About the National AfterSchool Association: An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year and the industry employs an estimated 850,000 professionals. The National Afterschool Association (NAA) is the membership association for professionals who work with and on behalf of children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of opportunities during out-of-school hours.
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