Recreational Inclusion

Just like you, your buddy wants to be included in activities after school that interests him or her. As we know, people with disabilities are not always made to feel welcome when they seek to join a new group, and this unfortunately can include recreational teams and groups at community centers and elsewhere. For this reason, your buddy may not participate in many groups outside of school, but as you know this does not mean that they do not have anything to offer these groups! Your buddy, and all people with disabilities have talents, strengths, and interests, and joining a group or taking lessons outside of school can be a great way to help other people in the community to see that while providing your buddy a way to express and enjoy themselves if they are made to feel welcome!

As a peer buddy, you can be a great help to make your buddy and other people with disabilities in your community feel more welcome everywhere you go. Just like at school, your buddy may have difficulty communicating or getting to know new people who do not understand their disability. By choosing an activity to do with your buddy, or even just learning what they might like to do and advocating to the directors of that activity for their inclusion, you can help make the outside community a more welcoming place for your buddy!

Your community may have resources to promote inclusive recreation activities, so if you aren’t sure talk to your special education teacher and they may be able to direct to local resources that help set up all sorts of activities.

Watch this video to see how great inclusive recreation can be:

    1. Ask your buddy about what activities they already participate in! You might be surprised to learn about a new facet of your buddy’s life.

    2. Brainstorm with your buddy about an activity outside of school that the two of you can try attending together. Think about you have in common. Make sure to come up with at least five ideas. If you get stuck your teacher may be able to help you.

    3. Think about whether your buddy will face any challenges participating in that activity, and talk with your buddy and your teacher about how you and your buddy can work together to overcome them. Write a plan for doing the activity and making it inclusive for your buddy.

    4. Go out and enjoy time with your buddy! Work together, and help each other to enjoy the activity and make new friends.