Kids Included Together

From their website:

Kids Included Together (KIT) is a non-profit organization specializing in providing best practices training for community-based youth organizations committed to including children with disabilities into their existing recreational, social and child care programs.

KIT was founded on a promise to increase opportunities for children with and without disabilities to access recreational, child development and youth development programs. Recognizing the tremendous need in the community, KIT established the National Training Center on Inclusion (NTCI).  Located at the NTC Promenade at Liberty Station in Point Loma, Calif. NTCI is a state-of-the-art training facility and learning lab that creates and disseminates best practice information to the out-of-school time field.  NTCI offers live training, eLearning and a library of books, videos/DVDs and other materials related to inclusion and disability for use by youth providers and KIT trainers.

For over ten years, KIT has supported the inclusion of children with disabilities or other special needs in programs that occur in out-of-school timehours. KIT accomplishes this by creating four-year affiliations with organizations like youth theatre, YMCA’s, Jewish Community Centers, aquatic programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, parks & recreation departments, city 6 to 6 programs, etc. During this affiliation, KIT focuses on sustainability so organizations will continue to provide inclusive environments long after KIT’s involvement has ceasedKIT provides training, technical assistance, site-specific training, and child-specific consultations to produce systemic change within the organization. The end result is an organization that has embraced the philosophy of inclusion and is ready and willing to accept all children, regardless of their abilities, into their programs. 

Through its efforts, KIT has generated tremendous interest and support from organizations that serve children with and without disabilities. KIT has been awarded several major grants from First 5 California, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled, State of California-Department of Education, City of San Diego, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and has received awards from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Institute at Cal-State San Marcos and from The Supported Life Institute in Sacramento.

KIT’s services are provided free of charge to its 54 affiliate organizations representing over 293 sites in San Diego County.  During fiscal year ’07 -’08 KIT trained a total of 3,743 youth providers in the best practices in inclusion.  Since 1997, 7,879 children with disabilities were co-enrolled with 117,560 typically developing children at KIT affiliate sites; this amounted to over 424,130 hours of inclusive youth programming.