Looking for the right summer camp for your child with a disability is always a challenge. Making sure that the summer camp also integrates the appropriate needs for your child with a disability is difficult as well. Fortunately, here in Connecticut, when it comes to summer camps, kids with disabilities have many choices to choose from just as other kids do.
Different Summer Camps
Notably, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all summer camps make reasonable accommodations (such as the installation of wheelchair-accessible ramps) so children with disabilities can also attend. So summer camps that previously could not host kids with a disability now have to.
Mainstream based camps (inclusionary camps) “include” children with disabilities in their summer camp group of children that are neurotypical. One of the benefits of inclusionary camps is your child being engaged with neurotypical peers.
Lastly, there are also summer camps that are specifically designed for children with disabilities, including children that have learning or behavioral challenges. There are also medically supported summer camps for children with specific health challenges as well (such as camps for children with diabetes, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, as well as many other health impairments).
Benefits of Summer Camp
As any parent knows, there are many benefits for a child with a disability to attend summer camp. Benefits of summer camps include:
- Opportunities to interact with new kids, develop new friendships and build relationships
- Increase activities, exercise, and mobility
- Increase independence and confidence
- Positive relationship building with new adults and peers
Equally important summer camps also can provide a much-needed break for parents. Independence is an important benefit of summer camp as well. There are many memorable activities, themed events and outings that are also offered at summer camps to enrich your child’s summer experience to create lasting memories.
Directories of Connecticut Summer Camps for Children with Disabilities
Below is a comprehensive list of directories that provide summer camps for children with disabilities in Connecticut:
- ConneCT Kids: https://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=4072&q=478302
- BestSpecialNeedsCamps.com: https://bestspecialneedscamps.com/best-connecticut-special-needs-camps.html
- VerySpecialCamps.com: https://www.veryspecialcamps.com/Connecticut/Special-Needs-Summer-Camps.shtml
- SERC Camps Directory: https://ctserc.org/news/2018/2018-directory-of-summer-camps-and-programs-for-children-with-special-needs-in-connecticut
- KidsOutandAbout.com: https://fairfieldcounty.kidsoutandabout.com/content/special-needs-camps-fairfield-county-ct-kids
Forte Law Group is a special education and child advocacy law practice. To learn more about us, visit www.fortelawgroup.com