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Lynn Swedberg, MS, OTR/L, Consultant, United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries; Assisted by Sally DePalma, Director of Special Connections,

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Presentation on theme: "Lynn Swedberg, MS, OTR/L, Consultant, United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries; Assisted by Sally DePalma, Director of Special Connections,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lynn Swedberg, MS, OTR/L, Consultant, United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries; Assisted by Sally DePalma, Director of Special Connections, St. James U.M.C., Tampa Contributing author: Leslie Hobson, Coordinator for Integration Specialist Program, Camp Minnesota National Camp & Retreat Leaders Gathering, 1/30/13

2 Introductions Speakers backgrounds Participants: why are you here at this session? What questions and issues are you facing? Take 2 minutes to share (with someone you dont know well) stories of successful inclusion of campers or staff with disabilities. Note: please let us know if you cant see or hear us, or need other accommodations to participate.

3 Objectives Participants will be able to: Explain the rationale for inclusion, including the benefits to all participants Identify components of the Minnesota Integration Specialist Program model that they can adapt for use in their camping program Design basic program adaptations to meet various needs

4 What is Inclusion? Being a part of the group Being valued for who you are Accepting each others differences Ministering together as parts of one body Offering multiple ways to accomplish a task so that everyone can succeed Learning from each other Finding ways for everyones gifts to be put to use Respecting every camper as a peer

5 Why Inclusion? Genesis 1:27 All of us are created in Gods image Genesis 1:27 Psalm 139: All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139: John 9:3 God is able to use disability for his glory John 9:3 Luke 14: Jesus made a point of singling out persons excluded by society in his ministry, and called his followers to do the same Luke 14: Ephesians 4: 1-6 Through the Spirit we are called to be united as the body of Christ Ephesians 4: 1-6 Each of our gifts is valuable for serving Gods kingdom 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27

6 Why inclusion? Benefits to other campers Learn tolerance and appreciation of diversity Gain understanding that Gods kingdom is inclusive Benefits to campers with disabilities Gain social skills & friendships with typical peers Master physical challenges Increase self-esteem May be able to attend the same camp as a sibling FL

7 ¶ 162: The Social Community I) Rights of Persons with Disabilities We affirm the responsibility of the Church and society to be in ministry with children, youth, and adults with mental, physical, developmental, and/or psychological conditions or disabilities whose particular needs in the areas of mobility, communication, intellectual comprehension, or personal relationships might make more challenging their participation or that of their families in the life of the Church and the community. We urge the Church and society to recognize and receive the gifts of persons with disabilities to enable them to be full participants in the community of faith. United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2008

8 ¶ 630. Conference Board of Discipleship 1. General Responsibilities c) To foster and promote camping experiences for persons with disabilities, including camps specifically designed for persons with disabilities, and the participation of persons with disabilities, when feasible, in camps sponsored by the district and conference. d) To provide training for clergy and laity in ministries with persons with disabilities, including the areas of the Sunday school, camps and retreats, and faith development. United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2008

9 Inclusion Involves Registration forms, camp brochures, and PR Program goals and objectives Design of the physical environment Recruitment and training Program planning Program implementation Program evaluation FL

10 Model of Inclusion: Camps Without Barriers - Camp Minnesota Camp Minnesota Values Abundant hospitality to everyone Respect, reverence, and wonder for the whole of Creation The United Methodist Church ideals of scriptural holiness and social justice: Do no harm, Do good, Stay in love with God

11 Non-discrimination From the Camp Minnesota brochure: All United Methodist Church camps are open to everyone. In the operation of these camps, no camper, as defined by the program regulations, will be discriminated against because of race, color, age, sex, disability, or national origin.

12 Integration Specialist Ministry Purpose: To facilitate the integration of campers with disabilities into the United Methodist summer camping program To establish an atmosphere of inclusion at the camps where all people are accepted regardless of ability Two levels of ministry: All staff have training so they can facilitate inclusion Integration Specialist Ministry assigns a specific staff person to help a camp or camper with inclusion

13 Program Philosophy Christ is offered Make God/Jesus big God loves everyone See everyone for who they may become MN

14 People First Language SayInstead of People with disabilitiesThe disabled Kate has autismShe is autistic John uses a wheelchairHe is wheelchair bound Congenital disabilityBirth defect Accessible parkingHandicapped parking Avoid Suffers from, tragedy, struggles to become normal again, hero, inspiration, special needs…. Source: Kathie Snow, Disability is Natural

15 Recruiting Staff for Inclusion Start with prayer and a positive attitude Most campers dont need 1:1 staff- try having an Integration Specialist available for the whole camp Ask family members, churches, and other counselors for referrals and ideas Recruit through college programs for special education, physical/ occupational/ recreational/ speech therapy Offer a mission vacation to deaconess/ home missioners, young adult or senior adult groups

16 Integration Specialist (I.S.) Options hired summer staff position that rotates among the camps as needed summer staff assigned for one week volunteer for one week Considerations gender specific most weeks MN

17 Integration Specialist Roles Interpreter – relay information if speech not clear Companion – stay with person who needs alone time Shadow – prevent camper from getting lost Monitor – track health concerns, activity level, safety Nighttime alarm clock – prevent bedwetting Shuttle driver – transport kid with mobility challenges Attendant – clue for grooming, social skills Model- demonstrate inclusion for all staff and campers Referee – enforce rules and boundaries

18 Integration Specialist is NOT Just another counselor – the campers counselor is still the primary person responsible for each camper Responsible to modify all the activities Available to lead large group activities Paraprofessional aide Caregiver Buddy MN

19 Program Scope Over 50 campers were assessed in 2012 – not all needed the Integration Specialist Over 125 campers received extra support from regular camp staff Repeat campers – progress seen throughout week and year to year Information in system can be added to and modified year to year Consistent staffing in Integration Specialist position

20 Needs Identification Campers (or parents) self-identify on Camp Minnesota registration form. Diagnosis list is on first page of form. Registration system generates a report of registrants who need accommodations Parents/caregivers of these campers are contacted by Integration Specialist or other needs assessor Need assessment is done and report sent to camping office Report is entered into camp registration system. is sent to camp involved. Report retrieved by: Integration specialist Camp deans Program coordinator/site directors Camp staff FL

21 Page One – Registration Form ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Allergies Allergies (seasonal) Anxiety/Depression Aspergers Asthma Autism Eating Disorder EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorder) Diabetes Genetic Syndrome (e.g. Down Syndrome) Learning Disability OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Physical Disability RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) Other (please Describe)

22 Typical Campers Who Need I.S. Boy who has dyslexia and gets easily lost or confused. Girl who is hypersensitive to touch, needs reminders about grooming, has difficulty with speech, needs extra encouragement to join in. Boy who is hypersensitive to sounds/ crowds/ lights/ smells, doesnt understand humor or social cues, is fearful, has limited athletic ability. Girl who is hyperactive and may need redirection, time out, clear expectations and boundaries. Girl who is allergic to food dye, has absence seizures

23 Other Camping Models Youth disability camp Bring a friend or caregiver Camp Listener/ Grandparent One on one volunteer buddy experiences Reverse inclusion Blended with typical kids Adult disability camp Mixed age disability camp??? FL

24 Reverse Inclusion Model 1:1 ratio Trained buddies Support from senior staff Structured, fun, relaxed environment Modified, slower schedule Activities done together Focus is the love of Christ Everyone benefits FL

25 Special Needs Camping Options in Florida Quests Camp Thunderbird (Orange County) Dream Oaks Camp (Sarasota County) YoungLife Capernaum (Marion County) Easter Seals Camp Challenge (Lake County) Camp Boggy Creek (Manatee County) – chronic, life- threatening illnesses Camp Olympus (Volusia County) - day camp Camp I-Am-Special (Duval County

26 Needs Assessment Issues that might come up, and how these are successfully managed at home and school Triggers to be aware of and avoid Typical reinforcers that work well Is the camper in a mainstreamed or self-contained classroom? How much support do they receive at school, e.g. 1:1 or intermittent?

27 Needs Assessment How does camper communicate Level of assistance or supervision needed with personal care and moving from place to place Special dietary needs and mealtime behaviors Any safety concerns Do they take medications? Health changes since last year Camper/ family goals for the week

28 Develop an Individualized Plan Based on the needs, skills, goals, and differences, how will the camp meet this campers needs and ensure a successful week? Who will be responsible for each part of the plan? FL

29 Staff Training Provide overview and handouts regarding special needs expected at camps Teach general inclusion ideas Outline camp staff responsibilities Review Integration Specialist job description Practice reading camper reports Develop possible plans based on simulated camp scenarios

30 Camp Staff Responsibilities 1. Designate a staff person to print out camper reports and check for assessment reports 2. Evaluate and adapt schedule/activities based on: Safety issues Program/activities Social interactions Daily living 3. Have a daily staff review time FL

31 Functional Activity Audit Is this activity safe for campers with mobility, sensory, or cognitive challenges? If not, how can we make it so? Is the activity designed so that campers with mobility or other impairments can participate with minimum separation from peers? If not, how can we make it so? Does the activity provide some degree of challenge to all participants ( or are campers with challenges kept safe, but passive?) Do planned modifications benefit all users, not just those with impairments? Mary and Peter Graber, ADNetwork

32 Planned Program Adaptation Cognitive and language differences Emotional, Social & Behavioral Needs Physical and Mobility Differences Sensory Processing Differences Hearing and Vision Loss MN

33 Inclusive Games Facilitate cooperation rather than competition Make sure activities are fun for everyone Select age-appropriate activities Find the just right challenge- not too hard or easy Offer opportunities for growth Develop problem-solving skills Allow opportunities for everyones strengths to shine Adapt tasks, modify rules, and change the environment only as much as needed

34 Game Adaptations Equipment- Adjust size, weight, ease of use Distance – Change the length, space, or height Time or repetitions Rules – Individualize expectations Instructions – Model, use visual instructions, simplify, teach one step at a time, have buddy assist FL

35 Intellectual Disabilities Could include campers who are slow learners or have limited short-term memory. They might have difficulty following multiple-step instructions. They may have difficulty planning, problem-solving, and organizing. Pick a camp activity and modify it for inclusion Adaptations:

36 Intellectual Disabilities Adaptations Simplify wording Break tasks into 1-2 steps at a time Emphasize main points Use pictures Individualize learning goals Use repetition Use team learning and projects

37 Emotional and Behavioral Needs Could include campers with short attention spans who are very distractible. They may have a low frustration tolerance and lose their temper. They may push to be in control and not follow directions. They may be withdrawn or homesick. Pick a camp activity and modify it for inclusion Adaptations:

38 Emotional and Behavioral Needs Adaptations Smaller groups Offer choices Set up for success Avoid triggers Use praise and reinforcement Keep task structured State clear expectations and consequences

39 Physical and Mobility Needs Campers may have poor gross motor coordination and balance. They may have difficulty walking or running. They may use a walker or a wheelchair. They may have difficulty using their hands and grasping or manipulating objects, or only have the use of one hand. Pick a camp activity and modify it for inclusion Adaptations:

40 Physical and Mobility Needs Adaptations Games on level, firm surface Hold ribbons instead of holding hands Do tasks in pairs Offer options, e.g. tag using a ball, from seated position Larger targets Use clip board or tape paper to table Use bigger handles on paintbrushes and pencils

41 Simple Assistive Devices

42 Hearing and Vision Loss Campers may have moderate to total hearing loss. They may or may not speech read, speak clearly, use sign language, wear a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Campers with vision loss may have low vision which could include impaired visual acuity or restricted visual fields. Others may be totally blind or able to see some movement and large, distinct object outlines. Pick a camp activity and modify it for inclusion Adaptations:

43 Hearing and Vision Loss Hearing Adaptations Seat camper near speaker Have light on speakers face, not behind them Enunciate, dont shout Try to limit background noise Use assistive listening equipment if appropriate Provide ASL interpreter if camper uses one Teach signs and finger spelling to other campers Incorporate signing into worship and singing

44 Hearing and Vision Loss Vision adaptations Offer large print, Braille, audio, or screen reader versions Describe the action, e.g. during a skit Orient to each new space Provide tactile map Guide person- have them hold your elbow and walk slightly behind you Set up guide ropes along trails Use textured ground surface to warn of dangers

45 Dietary Considerations Label food Know your campers diets Avoid foods that can trigger severe reaction, e.g. peanuts Be aware of typical allergens: soy, wheat, shellfish, dairy, tree nuts Provide gluten-free options Food from home may be an option

46 Medical Issues Camp nurse is a key part of Integration team Behaviors may indicate the camper isnt feeling well Make sure camper stays on regular medications- this is not the time for a drug holiday Dont overlook toileting needs, e.g. constipation Know seizure protocol Prepare for allergic reactions

47 Safety Considerations Develop policies ahead of time for: Wandering/ Elopement Water safety Swimming Boating Sports and games Challenge course Fire safety MN

48 Low or No Cost Adaptations Add a set of lower (40 or less) hooks in cabins and bathrooms If the drinking fountain isnt accessible, install a paper cup dispenser next to it Install mirror tiles below a mirror that is too high Use shelf liner and clipboards to stabilize items Make utensils easier to grasp by adding foam tubing Make a set of blocks with indents to raise a low table Switch to unscented green cleaning products

49 Funding Options Partner with your Conference Disability Concerns committee to audit the camp, promote Disability Awareness Sunday and designate an offering for camp inclusion. Work with UMM groups or Scout troops - have them provide materials as well as labor. Host a camp with a partner organization, e.g. MDA, that can attract funding and in-kind donations. Suggest that part of UMW campership funds be designated to help cover needed support staff. Explore grants, e.g. National Inclusion Project.

50 Next steps Write down: One step you will take this season regarding inclusion Support or information you need to make this happen Resources you need to make this happen Person who will help you stay accountable to implementing this step

51 Questions? FL MN

52 Resources Speakers are available for consultation and would love for you to share your ideas and experiences: Lynn Swedberg: (home) or (cell) Sally DePalma: (work) Resource person from Camp Minnesota - Leslie Hobson: (work) See handout (on-line) for useful articles, books, and websites

53 Photo Credits Photos identified with FL were submitted by Sally DePalma. They were taken at a Young Life Capernaum reverse inclusion camp held at Southwind Camp. Photos identified with MN were submitted by Leslie Hobson. They were taken at various Camp Minnesota camps as part of the Integration Specialist Program. Food sign photos taken by Lynn Swedberg.

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