Sponsored: Supporting children with special needs at Dovercourt

Dovercourt Recreation Association recognizes the struggles parents of children with special needs can face when looking for programs and services. All parents want their child to feel included and valued, and it can be challenging to find access to an affordable program that sets the child up for success.

Over the past decade, Dovercourt has developed a robust system of supports and resources. The belief that each and every child has an equal right to a high-quality experience is at the heart of what we do, and while it starts with having the right attitude to support the integration of children with special needs, it also requires having the right aptitude – the knowledge and resources to be effective. For this reason, we rely strongly on the partnership of parents, the expertise of consultants, external funding sources, and the dedication of our staff. 

A few of the friendly members of Dovercourt’s inclusion team.

As the success and awareness of the program has grown, Dovercourt continues to support as many children as possible – more than 100 children each year. This takes creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong team of caring professionals.   

The Dovercourt Inclusion Team makes every effort to get to know the children in our programs. Depending on the child and the program, Inclusion Coordinators work with each family to ensure the right supports are in place. This might include a Camp Buddy to help with first-day jitters, a support worker to assist with personal care, or access to our Inclusion Space for a break when the day is simply too overwhelming. 

The Summer Camp Inclusion Team includes two Coordinators, four Leads, and a full group of Inclusion Counselors, Camp Buddies, and 1:1 Support Workers. Supports for campers might include low-ratio staffing models, one-on-one workers or buddies, extra resources like visual aids or other communication tools, scheduled breaks, and individual accommodation plans. 

Dovercourt is grateful for the funding from the City of Ottawa, the Canada Summer Jobs grant program, and Youth Job Connection, to name a few. Parents of all children in Dovercourt programs can feel good about contributing to a program that sees continued success, makes a substantial difference in the lives of many children, and provides meaningful employment experience to local youth. 

Approximately 4% from each camp fee directly contributes to the resources required for Inclusion and about 7% of our summer campers benefit from the supports made available. The successful integration of all children in programs as a result of the continued support of participants and partners is likely the best example of Dovercourt’s motto” “A Community Working for the Community.”

Dovercourt Recreation Association
411 Dovercourt Ave.

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