Assistive Technology (AT) describes any device or adaptation that helps increase the independence and functioning of a child with delays and disabilities so they can participate with their peers. AT includes items that help with communication, movement, positioning, play and learning. Although it has the word “technology” in it, AT can include using simple, everyday materials, like popsicle sticks attached to the pages of a book, to create an adaptation for a child with a delay or disability. The terms AT and adaptive equipment are often used interchangeably.
The time commitment varies based on what child care program staff are seeking. The initial training is 90 minutes. After that, it is up to each program to determine what they need in terms of support.
There is no cost to the child care program or its employees. All resources are provided by the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE), Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. Funding for this support is provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services – Office of Early Childhood through stimulus funding. You can read more about other stimulus-supported initiatives here.
All resources offered through the project (see question above) are available to licensed child care centers and preschools. The program should select one representative to be the liaison with the Project Include staff. This designated representative should fill out an Interest Form to get started!
If you are a license-exempt family, friend, or neighbor (FFN) caregiver in Colorado, we encourage you to watch the Introduction to Universal Design and Inclusion course available at no cost on the Office of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS), and explore other resources on our website, which include:
Links to local and national resources on Universal Design and Inclusion
Community forum to house frequently asked questions about creating inclusive and universally designed early education environments
Families will have access to all the information available on our website. Resources will continue to be added over the course of the project and will include the following and so much more:
The Universal Design and Inclusion for Learning training module, available through the PDIS system
Links to local and national resources on Universal Design and Inclusion on the website
Community forum to house frequently asked questions about creating inclusive and universally designed early education environment
Yes, only licensed Colorado child care programs are eligible to participate.
If you are a licensed Colorado child care program, you can participate in Project Include by first submitting an Interest Form. After you complete the form, we will contact you to discuss next steps. You will have access to the Introduction to Universal Design & Inclusiontraining online. We recommend you complete this training early on, prior to using further project resources. You will also be eligible to receive quick program support and check out a Universal Design and Inclusion Kit to try adapted equipment in your program. These kits are organized by domain: Communication & Literacy, Fine & Gross Motor, Vision & Hearing, and Behavior & Cognition. If you need more customized coaching and materials support beyond this, you can complete the Customized Coaching and Materials Support Application.
Yes, if more than one kit is available you may request more than one. However, we would strongly recommend you start with just one. The kits are available for 4-6 week periods and there are numerous materials (more than 20 items) to explore and interact with in each kit.
Yes, you will complete the online training through PDIS and get credit for its completion.
Explore our website and view the numerous resources on UDL.
There are 2 levels of support that are available through the project: quick program support and customized coaching and materials support.
Quick Program Support– Will occur through a centralized email, followed up with phone or web-based support. Providers can make requests for support on any of the materials offered through Project Include or other inclusion topics, and staff will respond within 48 business hours. Broad support will also be offered by creation of a community forum to house frequently asked questions and share ideas about creating inclusive and universally designed early education environments. This will include content with practical tips on how to adapt learning materials and opportunities to accommodate children with disabilities, delays, or differences. These resources will be available on-demand through the Project Include website.
Customized Coaching and Materials Support Packages – Once programs complete the training and check out at least one Universal Design and Inclusion kit, they can apply for customized coaching and materials support packages for their program. The application will occur through completion of an online form. Project Include staff will tier the support offered based on the needs of the providers. These packages will help providers create universally designed, inclusive classrooms and learning materials by pairing customized coaching with the opportunity for Project Include to purchase necessary materials and/or equipment for your program.
No, Project Include does not cover information about screenings nor evaluations. However, we do provide supports for child care programs that have children who have been identified or are suspected of having a delay or disability and programs that want to be better prepared to support children with a disability.
Click to watch this informative video where some of our team members describe the steps involved in Project Include.