Parent, Advocate, and Educator Perspectives on the Inclusion of Young People with Disabilities in Positive Youth Development Programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/gx41mk75k

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  • More than six million American students have a diagnosed disability (NCES, 2015). Research suggests that 62% of them may never participate in clubs, sports, or other organized activities in their communities (Coster et al., 2012). Parents, advocates, and educators of individuals who experience disability were interviewed to gather their perspectives on facilitating inclusion in positive youth development programs. Perceptions on the benefits, barriers, and facilitators of inclusion in structured recreational settings were collected. Analysis of interview data led to the discovery of four themes related to benefits: potential for developmental gains, social connection, vocational development, and positive self-concept. Analysis of barriers and facilitators illuminated five potential areas of influence in promoting inclusion: organizational policy and practices, community partnerships, universal design, outreach, and fostering comfort with disability. Findings suggest that those who care for and work with youth who experience disability value inclusive programs and can offer beneficial guidance to youth organizations striving to welcome all youth.
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