Project Include: Early Childhood Access through Adaptive Technology

 Project Include provides training, support, and equipment to assist licensed Colorado family child care homes, child care centers, and preschools in developing learning environments and curriculums that are more inclusive for all children, including those with delays and disabilities.

Need quick support? Contact us anytime at ProjectInclude@ucdenver.edu.

Licensed child care programs in Colorado can fully participate in all aspects of Project Include, but we have information and resources available for everyone! Visit the section below that applies to you to learn more about what's available.

Licensed Child Care Programs in Colorado

Licensed child care programs in Colorado, including family child care homes, child care centers, and preschools that serve children birth to age 5 can fully participate in Project Include at no cost to the program. Whether you have a child with a delay or disability in your program now, or simply want to make your program more inclusive, Project Include is a great resource to help you be better prepared to support any child.

Programs that wish to participate in Project Include do not need prior experience with adaptive equipment. Project Include aims to give your program new ideas and expert guidance to start using adaptive equipment in your program. Adaptive equipment is any device or product that supports young children with delays or disabilities to do something they could not otherwise do.

Learn more about how participating programs benefit from Project Include resources by visiting the Available Resources for Participants tab.

License-Exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Caregivers in Colorado

If you are a license-exempt FFN caregiver in Colorado, we encourage you to:

  • watch the Introduction to Universal Design and Inclusion course available in English and Spanish (coming soon) at no cost on the Office of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS)
  • visit the Additional Resources tab of this website to learn more about universal design and inclusion in early childhood settings
Colorado Families and Out-of-State Care Providers

Although you are not eligible to participate directly in Project Include, please visit the Additional Resources tab of this website to learn more about universal design and inclusion in early childhood settings.

Project Include offers training, quick program support, Universal Design and Inclusion Kits, and customized coaching and materials support to licensed CO child care programs. Learn more about each of these project resources below!

Training

The Introduction to Universal Design and Inclusion online course is available at no cost on the Office of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS). This course will introduce you to concepts of universal design and provide ideas that you can implement right away to make your program more inclusive! 

Quick Program Support

Participants who have quick questions, would like more information, or need brief consultation, may contact us at ProjectInclude@ucdenver.edu at any time. 

Universal Design and Inclusion Kits

The Universal Design and Inclusion Kits are available for check out by licensed child care programs in the state of Colorado who have completed the Project Include interest form. The kits are designed to address one of the following topics:

  • Communication & Literacy
  • Behavior & Cognition (coming soon!)
  • Fine & Gross Motor (coming soon!)
  • Vision & Hearing (coming soon!)

Each kit contains a variety of simple technology, adaptations, information guides, and a flash drive of digital and printable materials to help create a more universally designed and inclusive program to better support children with delays and disabilities. The kits can be checked out for up to 6 weeks. The materials in each kit contain QR codes that link to instructional videos detailing how to use each item. Our team is also available to respond to questions that programs may have about how to use the kits most effectively. 

Customized Coaching and Materials Support

After completing online training and kit exploration, participants are eligible to apply for customized coaching and support to purchase materials recommended by Project Include staff. Tiered support is based on the needs of each program:

  •  Tier I - includes up to 5 hours of customized coaching and materials support
  •  Tier II - includes up to 10 hours of customized coaching and materials support 
  •  Tier III - includes up to 15 hours of customized coaching and materials support

If you are interested in getting started with requesting Universal Design and Inclusion Kits or accessing instructional videos and quick program support provided by Project Include, please click the following button to complete the interest form. 

Get Started with Project Include

After submitting the form, we will contact you by email and work with you to determine which resources will best meet the needs of your program and the children you serve. We encourage you to complete the Introduction to Universal Design and Inclusion training through the Office of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS) prior to utilizing the other project resources.

 

If you have questions, would like more information, or need quick program support, please contact us at ProjectInclude@ucdenver.edu

Project Include is a collaboration between the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE) in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus and the Office of Early Childhood of the Colorado Department of Human Services. 

 

All Project Include team members have specialized knowledge in assistive technology and universal design and inclusion strategies for children birth to age 5. Our team includes professionals who have worked as teachers, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists in preschool and early childhood settings. We’re here to help your program succeed! 


HeadshotCEDC_LeGray-5 (2)A60279BA-9C8A-4B44-93CB-C538F25F4A18

Maureen Melonis, MNS, CCC-SLP/L

Christa LeGray, MS, CCC-SLP

Catherine Merritt, MS, CCC-SLP

Associate Director
Research Senior Instructor
Speech-Language Pathologist

Tech for Tykes Coordinator Research Instructor
Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Research Instructor
Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Phone Icon 303.315.1283

maureen.melonis@ucdenver.edu

Phone Icon 303.315.1287
christa.legray@ucdenver.edu

 Phone Icon 303.315.1278
catherine.merritt@ucdenver.edu

Professional Headshotmealison

Claire Simpson, MS, OTR/L

Paige Garman, BA

Alison Griffin Hunter, BA

Research Instructor
Occupational Therapist

 

 

Administrative Assistant IIIAdministrative Assistant III

Phone Icon 303.315.1291
claire.simpson@ucdenver.edu

Phone Icon 303.315.1276
paige.garman@ucdenver.edu
Phone Icon 303.315.1276
alison.griffinhunter@ucdenver.edu

If you have questions or would like more information, please send an email to ProjectInclude@ucdenver.edu.

FAQ

Visit the following external sites for more information on universal design, adaptive equipment, and supporting children with disabilities in early childhood environments.

The UDL Guidelines by CAST CAST is a nationally recognized organization which offers numerous resources related to UDL. This link to their guidelines offers a set of concrete suggestions to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful challenging learning opportunities.

UDL Checklist for Early Childhood Environments From the Center on Technology and Disability, this checklist helps providers in early childhood environments evaluate how they can be responsive to all children’s needs.

UD and UDL resources from the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports this website that was funded through a Department of Education grant. It offers numerous valuable resources on UDL. 

Learning Module on Assistive Technology A comprehensive learning module on what Assistive Technology is and how it can promote access and participation for children.

The Right Mix to Support Social-Emotional Health in Early Childhood A document from the Colorado Health Institute and the Colorado Office of Early Childhood that gives guidance to Colorado Community-based organizations supporting social emotional health in early childhood.

Anchor Center for Blind Children – Educational Lessons and Learning Includes numerous free resources on communication & language, literacy, braille, cortical visual impairment (CVI), deafblind, assistive technology, orientation & mobility, sensory, fine motor, gross motor, horticultural therapy, and music therapy. 

Parent Resources from A Shared Vision Includes free recipes, crafts, and toy ideas designed to help support young children who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired. 

Perkins eLearning for Professional Development Offers professional development opportunities for educators of students with vision loss. They offer both free and paid opportunities for learning. 

Preschool Development Grant: Inclusion & Universal Design Project The website of the Inclusion & Universal Design Project run by the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering and supported by the Colorado Department of Human Services – Office of Early Childhood through the state’s Preschool Development Grant.

Colorado office of early childhood logo

Project Include is funded by the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) stimulus increase.

Did you know...

- 1 in 7 Colorado parents identified their child as having a delay, disability, or special need.

- Colorado has 3,597 child care programs serving children birth-5.

- One-third of Colorado parents of children with a delay or disability say their child care provider can’t meet their child’s needs. Project Include helps child care providers close that gap.

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