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Showing posts from June, 2020

Keeping youth programs accessible to all in a virtual learning world

What makes a virtual youth program accessible to people with disabilities? Many of us are good at making physical spaces accessible, but many forget, or don't know, that virtual programs also take special considerations to ensure they are accessible to all. When planning virtual programs, we must keep those with disabilities at the front of our minds. Having a truly accessible virtual program takes some thought at every stage of planning. What is accessible? According to the ADA Compliance for Online Course Design , accessible means that a learning opportunity is equally available, enjoyable and of the same quality for those with a disability as for those without a disability, without special accomodation.  3 time frames Accessibility isn't "one and done." For youth program planning, there are three important time frames : ·        Planning . Share with participants beforehand how you will make the program accessible to them. It makes youth and their

An open letter to my fellow white folks

By Kathryn Sharpe Dear fellow white folks, There are some things that we need to talk about amongst ourselves right now, without leaning on our black, indigenous, or people or color (BIPOC) friends or colleagues. (To my BIPOC colleagues, I honor you and recognize that for too long we have asked you to carry the load not only of racism and oppression, but also of educating us and challenging our organizations to evolve.) As a white person, I'm wrestling with how to address the deep wounds of racism and structural injustice. They have always existed, but recently have been exposed by George Floyd's killing by police and the resulting protests and uprisings worldwide. I know I'm not alone in asking, “What can I do to be anti-racist ? How do I grapple with this as a youth worker? What do I do when I have no idea what to do?” I believe that one critical thing those of us born into the dominant culture can do now is learn to be uncomfortable . We are accustomed to the wor

We can promote healing and resilience for traumatized youth

By Melissa Persing Childhood traumas can have serious repercussions. The ground-breaking CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study revealed that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in young children harm the structure and function of the brain, change how a person responds to stress and raise the risk for chronic disease as an adult. This study identified 10 such early traumas: Physical, sexual and verbal abuse Physical and emotional neglect A family members who is: Depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness Addicted to alcohol or another substance In prison Witnessing a mother being abused Losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reasons ACEs are common. Of the 17,000 people in the original study, nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults had had at least one. Subsequent studies measured additional ACEs and took into account protective factors, historical trauma and epigenetics. Comparable results were found in studies conducted at least once in 47 state