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Inclusive Summer Camp Pilot Project: Specific Adaptations and Accommodations

Author-Avatar Kim Elliott

1/17/2020 6:39 PM

Physical Accessibility
Faubion School is a newly built, very accessible space in NE Portland. It was chosen as one of the best site options because it is newly designed and open with large passage ways and activity/play areas. SUN camps were specifically chosen because the camp activities occur indoors with some outdoor time. Given the physical and medical status of the campers with CCN, a full outdoor program in potentially very hot summer conditions would not be feasible and could be dangerous for some of the children.

Picture 1 shows Faubion school
Picture 2, the playground


Privacy and Toileting

For some children with physical disabilities assisted transfers to a toilet are not possible. In these circumstances, a full sized changing table in a private restroom are needed. This is not yet a standard feature of even ADA accessible bathrooms. The AT Lab delivered a stand-alone changing table that was placed in a private ADA restroom so the campers could have privacy and appropriate accommodations.

Picture 3 is ideal set up for full sized changing table in private ADA restroom 
Picture 4 is of the stand-alone changing table provided at the facility


Adaptations to Activities


Games & Sports

Many games were included as part of the curriculum. For children with significant motor challenges, they were reliant on partners for help participating but even small changes in placement or materials allowed them to participate with peers.

Picture 5: playing ball with soft, grippable ball
Picture 6: pool noodles for ‘light sabre’ fight
Picture 7: baseball with pool noodle & beach ball
Picture 8: basketball with a little partner support


Art Activities

Art was a big part of this camp. As with the sports and games, some children relied on partner support for participation; however, there was always a way to position or alter the activities so that everyone could participate!

Picture 9: a little protective plastic and shaving cream activity can be brought to a wheelchair tray
Picture 10: a little tape and a friend to make a bracelet
Picture 11: slant board & tape for drawing
Picture 12: a friend to hang art on the wall      
Picture 13: A soft arm splint and stretchy rubber band allowed one camper, with muscle contractures to hold her own pen. Working with an OT and setting this up only for short periods is recommended.


Group Games

The campers liked to play group Hangman. Alternative Pencils and Step-by-Step (SBS) communicators allowed campers with CCN to participate in Hangman. Camp staff knew to call on a camper with CCN when their support person indicated that they were ready to guess a letter.

Picture 14: Hangman Participation

Morning Meeting

Each morning at 9:30, the campers would gather for attendance and go over the camp rules. A Step-by-Step (SBS) Communicator was programmed with ‘here’ for children who use AAC and made available for any other camper who wanted to use the SBS for attendance. The rules were not only spoken, but also signed and presented in symbol form. On the first day, the concept of different ways to communicate was introduced during morning meeting.

After the pilot project was completed, the SUN staff reported that they (and the campers) continued to use signs during Morning Meeting.

Picture 15: camp rules with symbols
Picture 16: SBS for ‘here’ and rules
Picture 17: first day intro to alternative communication during morning meeting (taught signs & explained AAC tools)
Picture 18: Some campers caught on and made their own adapted communication tools!

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