2015 TASH Conference has ended
This year’s theme, “Celebrating 40 Years of Progressive Leadership,” acknowledges TASH’s 40 years of generating change within the disability community and anticipates a brighter, more inclusive future for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Each year, the TASH Conference impacts the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world.

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Thursday, December 3 • 9:20am - 10:10am
Ensuring a Well-Rounded Education: Promoting Student Participation in Extracurricular Activities LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Although extracurricular activities provide potentially rich opportunities for students to enhance their learning, socially interact with peers, and promote their self-determination, few students with severe disabilities participate in these activities. This research project examined the extent to which students participate in extracurricular activities, the kinds of activities available, and the obstacles they and their parents may face when planning. Also, semi-structured interviews of a sample of teachers, students, and parents were conducted to share their opinions about extracurricular activities. Recommendations to increase student involvement are presented. OBJECTIVES: +T2 IMPORTANCE: Inclusion and community building include students? full participation in school and community activities. Nevertheless, research suggests that few students participate in school or community-based activities. To ensure that students are fully accepted into their schools and communities, participation in extracurricular activities represents a research topic that warrants further examination. TRANSLATING TOPIC INTO IMPROVED OUTCOMES:Participation in extracurricular activities represents a potentially rich and reinforcing experience for students with severe disabilities. Such activities provide opportunities for students to interact with peers, practice IEP skills, and exercise their self-determination. Although the value of extracurricular activities is supported in research, it remains uncertain how many students with severe disabilities do indeed participate. Also, it is unknown what teachers have done to promote student participation and the extent to which parents have requested their assistance at IEP meetings. Last, and most importantly, there is no research reported on the opinions of students regarding extracurricular activities. To ensure that students have a satisfying and well-rounded education, they need to provide input (voice) on this topic Many teachers (and parents) restrict inclusive practice and access to the general curriculum to activities, largely academic, conducted in classrooms during the school day. Nevertheless, to ensure that students have a well-rounded and satisfying educational experience that allows for both academic skill development and social interaction, there has been recent discussion of Access to the General Education to include the full range of activities and instruction in the school and community; that is, both general education classes and after school activities (e.g., extracurricular activities). These activities provide opportunities for students to exercise their self-determination, make choices, interact with peers, socially network, work on IEP goals, and practice and generalize academic and functional skills. Additionally, student participation in extracurricular activities provides a useful measure of inclusiveness and community building. Although there is a growing body of literature relative to access, little has been written about student participation in extracurricular activities--in particular, for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The available data suggest relatively few students with intellectual disability participate in extracurricular activities. Also, it is unknown what particular obstacles or barriers do students or their parents face when planning for such activities. Further, it is uncertain how many students and/or their parents request assistance at IEP meetings when planning for extracurricular activities. The proposal will include specific recommendations to teachers and parents on how to involve students with severe disabilities more fully in extracurricular activities; how to support these students; the leisure/recreational options available to them, how to identify student preferences; and how to ensure that extracurricular activities are included in IEPs. The proposal build upon and extends preliminary data presented at the 2014 TASH conference.This information will hopefully produce improved educational outcomes.

Thursday December 3, 2015 9:20am - 10:10am PST
Columbia 1402 SW Naito Parkway Portland, OR 97201

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