Kids Included Together, or KIT, as it is usually referenced, started as a local endeavor in San Diego. It’s mission was to provide an inclusive opportunity for kids with and without disabilities to experience life together. KIT’s success resulted in more and more demand for its methods across the country and around the world. Tens of thousands of people are trained every year in the practices and methodologies of KIT’s programming. In the words from KIT’s website:
KITs primary focus is on programs for children and the people working in them, KIT also cares deeply for the children, with and without disabilities, in those programs and their successful transition into adulthood.
Embedded across all policies is the core principle that Kids Included Together supports diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of children’s education and programs. KIT also supports the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and its ratification by the United States, as an instrument to support the human rights of individuals with disabilities and as a method to help society view disability as a natural part of life.
The Family YMCA of Black Hawk County adopted the principles of KIT by sending YMCA representatives to San Diego for training years ago. The YMCA started the Together We Play program which promoted kids with disabilities participating in youth activities of all kinds. The Together We Play program was then picked up by the Inclusion Connection where Tyler was its coordinator. (see Inclusion Connection in the Community section)
Tyler was ecstatic about doing the keynote presentation at the annual KIT Conference. He was to become an avid supporter of KIT and its principles. Torrie, KIT’s CEO, is a nationally recognized leader in the promotion of inclusion and Tyler was her #1 fan. She has grown in her inclusion stature in the United States including a TedX talk “Isn’t it a Pity, the Real Problem with Special Needs”.
Immediately after the KIT presentation, Commander Larrie of the US Navy who attended the conference asked him if he would provide the keynote at the next Navy/Air Force Joint Command conference in Dallas. And someone who attended that conference in Dallas asked if he would provide the keynote for the
US Dept of Defense conference in Chicago … and so on, and so on …