Inclusion Connection – From the Inclusion Connection website:
An ordinary life (for everyone).
Every person, regardless of their degree of ability; has the same need to be affirmed, valued, appreciated and included. Everyone can contribute. Everyone belongs. Everyone deserves to be respected.
It is important for all of us to interact and support each other if we are to have an accepting and inclusive world. We all benefit when, regardless of our ability or disability, we socialize, work and participate in community life together.
The Inclusion Connection wants to see everyone have a voice in matters that affect them and a choice regarding what they do with their life.
Promoting inclusive communities that live, learn, work and play together.
The Inclusion Connection is all about, of course, Inclusion. Inclusion specifically for people with disabilities in all pieces of their lives. The Inclusion Connection breaks this down into four areas: Live, Learn, Work, and Play. Tyler’s involvement was coordinating the efforts of the Play area.
Tyler used the program Together We Play (TWP) to facilitate most of the efforts in Play. TWP was created in the Cedar Valley first by the Family YMCA of Black Hawk County and was eventually taken over by the Inclusion Connection. It is based on programming from Kids Included Together (KIT), a national organization based in San Diego, California.
Through the TWP program, Tyler partnered with organizations, mostly in the Cedar Valley, that provide programs, activities, or other services to youth. Most of these partners serve people of all ages. By being a partner with TWP, the organization had access to Inclusion and Ability Awareness training for their staff, boards, and volunteers. They also had access to consulting services for reviewing organization policies and marketing efforts, for example.
Tyler loved to do the training. He loved to work with the organizations, especially working with people, to help them understand what real Inclusion looks like. And they, in turn, loved to work with him. Some of the partnering organizations were: Family YMCA of Black Hawk County, Waterloo Public Library, Cedar Falls Recreation Division, Waverly Public Library, Living History Farms in Des Moines, The Des Moines Arts Center, Waverly Leisure Services, Hearst Center for the Arts, and many more.