The Hockomock Area YMCA’s Integration Initiative was established in 2004 with a goal to provide children with disabilities an opportunity to participate with their typically developing peers in programs, services and activities offered at the Y. The goals of the Integration Initiative are to improve social skills and self-esteem, increase physical activity and independence and to enhance mutual respect among people of all abilities.
Since 2004, the Initiative has positively impacted over 800 families, encouraging, promoting, and fostering an environment where the attitude and approach seeks to ensure that every person, regardless of ability or background can meaningfully participate in all aspects of life at their YMCA and in their community. These children and families have shown us the benefits of welcoming all individuals, no matter their ability, in all of our programming and activities. Whether the benefit is for child with a disability who is provided the opportunity to build their social skills or make a new friend or for the child without a disability to learn more about tolerance and acceptance. The realized benefits and success of the Integration Initiative to date has reaffirmed our commitment to continue to provide meaningful social and recreational opportunities for children with disabilities and their families.
At the Hockomock Area YMCA we pledge to be here when families need us most. For individuals with disabilities and their families that means we will help identify the proper accommodations and/or supports necessary so that every individual has the opportunity to participate in Y programs and activities.
To facilitate inclusion, Integration Coordinators are located at each branch conducting personalized assessments and offering suggestions for individualized accommodations, as well as providing training to our programming staff about disabilities and inclusion techniques.