Let’s ALL Play provides the foundation and the framework for recreational programs to bring an inclusive experience to children in their communities. Through training, staffing, and scholarships, Let’s ALL Play gives children with disabilities the same experience as those without. Children with and without disabilities come together to participate in recreational activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical fitness and more.
The goal of Let’s ALL Play is to assist organizations that serve children nationwide in moving toward full inclusion. Since 2004, the National Inclusion Project has worked with summer camp programs in several locations to develop the inclusive recreational experience for children with and without disabilities. Recreational sites now have as a resource a tested, successful, comprehensive program model supported through our training module.
One of the greatest advantages of Let’s ALL Play is that it is flexible enough to adapt to a variety of situations. Let’s ALL Play has been successfully implemented in YMCA programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Parks and Recreation Departments, Community Centers, and privately-run camps in a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. Most programs offer typical recreational program activities like sports, team-building games, arts and crafts, drama, and field trips. Directors have reported serving campers with a wide range of disabilities of varying severities including: intellectual and developmental disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and physical disabilities.
You can see all of our Let’s ALL Play partners by clicking here.
Why Let’s ALL Play?
Let’s ALL Play provides support, funding, and training for recreational programs that are currently serving children with special needs and wish to do it better or programs seeking to open doors currently shut to children with special needs in their community. We strive to meet programs where they are. Interested programs can be assured that we will work to provide you as much help as we can.
Let’s ALL Play includes inclusive modifications that work for programs overall or individuals in your program as well as inclusive games and activities that benefit ALL children. Counselors have reported that Let’s ALL Play modifications and games have made an overwhelmingly positive difference in the recreational experience for all children. Children with and without disabilities have seen dramatic growth in motor skills as well as improvement in social skills, self-esteem, compassion, and understanding.
What do I do now?
Great! We’re glad to help you! There are essentially three ways we can help you.
- Order a Let’s ALL Play manual. The Let’s ALL Play manual will prove to be a valuable resource as you are implementing your inclusive program. The manual includes information on Laying the Groundwork, Hiring and Training Staff, Serving Families Effectively, Building Lifelong Friendships, Achieving Positive Behaviors, and Creating Accessible Activities. It also includes sample training activities and forms. Click here to order your copy.
- Arrange for a National Inclusion Project representative to do inclusive training. We are excited to train frontline staff, leadership staff, executive boards, cross-program staff and/or represtentatives from multiple communities programs. The full training module is 4-5 hours. Your staff will be equipped to understand why inclusion is important, how to serve families effectively, how to assist children in creating friendships, how to achieve positive behaviors, and how to create accessible activities. Contact Aron Hall through email or a 919-314-5540 to discuss dates and costs and to make arrangements.
- Partner with us. For programs looking to intentionally reach out into their communities to make full inclusion a reality, we have a partnership with funding available. Funding can apply to additional staffing, training, and scholarships. Click here to see more about our partnership process.
What People are Saying about Let’s ALL Play:
“My son with autism attended camp for the first time this summer. He could speak only two words upon arriving to camp. With the help of his inclusion facilitator and the interaction with his peers, he left camp with a twelve-word vocabulary! Most importantly, I heard my 8-year-old call me ‘Mommy’ for the first time in his life.”
“Megan’s mom had never been able to find anywhere for the summer that was affordable and inclusive. Her mom brought her in for one hour the first day. When she arrived to pick her up, Megan did not want to leave.”
“One of our moms asked us to write down our techniques for her son’s teachers since he had had so much success during the summer.”
“My son showed an increased respect for his leaders, showed less defiance in behavior, and, most importantly, made some true friends for the first time.”
“My daughter would speak at home, but not at school. We assumed the same would be true for camp. On the fourth day of her week, she said her first words outside of our home in years. She has not stopped talking about camp.”
“Our son has very poor balance and motor planning issues. We were delighted at his excitement that not only could he balance on rollerblades, but he actually learned to skate!”
“For two weeks a year, my son does not have Down syndrome, wear hearing aids, or have difficulty with his speech. He is simply a camper.”