The BC SRC welcomes the participation of all children and their families and we continue to seek ways to provide an accessible and fully inclusive program:
- Core Print Materials are produced with a minimum of text in order to support the participation of children of any language and any reading ability.
- A video in ASL (American Sign Language) with English subtitles, on both staff and kids’ websites, welcomes children with hearing impairment to the BC SRC.
- Annotated book lists are produced each year, indicating titles available in audio formats (commercially, and through NNELS and CELA), making it convenient for anyone with a perceptual or print impairment to find theme-related titles to listen to.
- Each year the Program Manual is reviewed by Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) to ensure programs and activities include adaptations for different needs. With the assistance of Dr. Prendergast, general guidelines for Summer Programming Staff, on how to increase inclusion, are provided as part of the Program Manual (Please see below for more details)
- in 2019, in consultation with Dr. Carole Ford (Co-Director for Davis Learning Strategies, The Whole Dyslexic Society), dyslexia-friendly adaptions were made to print materials and supplemental Resources. (Please see below for more details)
- A “Caregiver Page” provides general information on the program, as well as explanations on how to join the program. Currently, it is available in French and English, with plans to translate into multiple languages in 2019. NOTE: This page also provides a dropdown menu with links to BC libraries, making it easy for families to find a library in their community!
- Customizable “Parent Letters” are available on the staff site for libraries to download and send to their local schools. These letters include language that explicitly supports children reading in whatever language they feel most comfortable. As well, the letters specifically express support for cultures that emphasize oral storytelling.
- Support materials are available for parents and librarians, including The Value of Summer Reading, (available in nearly 40 languages). The staff site also includes a Google translate plug-in so visitors can readily translate any page.
A special thanks to our Consultant, Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) who reviewed the 2019 Manual and offered ideas and suggestions to increase the accessibility and inclusion of the programs and activities. In addition, Dr. Prendergast, provided us with some excellent general guidelines:
- Be aware that your audience will always include children of varying abilities.
- Recognize that it is the responsibility of each facilitator to make adjustments and accommodations to best suit the needs of their participants.
- Ensure all program promotions make it clear that these programs are welcoming and inclusive, and that program content should be adaptable.
- Feel comfortable to mix ’n match activities based on the needs and abilities of the children participating.
- Let Summer Students and/or Volunteers know it’s OK to adapt a program/activity.
- Make sure your room set-up allows space for kids using wheelchairs and walkers
- When possible, include (good!) books that feature children of different abilities and backgrounds.
- Normalize accommodations and/or participation of a child’s caregiver with phrases such as “You can do this activity by yourself or with a partner”.
- If an activity includes the use of plants (or a substance that may cause an allergic reaction), you may wish to include this info ahead of time to give people advance notice
Many thanks to Dr. Carole Ford (retired Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator, current Co-Director for Davis Learning Strategies, The Whole Dyslexic Society who offered suggestions on how to make SRC materials more dyslexia-friendly, including:
- placing the icons on the Reading Record on the left-hand side to reinforce left > right progression
- increasing the size of font on the “I’ve joined the SRC, now what” letter to 12-14 ppt
- producing “I’ve joined the SRC, now what” letter in dyslexia-friendly weighted font (intended to address: contrast /blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding)
- simplifying the text on the Certificate of Completion
- maintaining minimal text on the Reading Records
For more information on dyslexia, please visit Davis Dyslexia Association International; Davis Dyslexia and Autism Facilitators’ Association of Canada and The Whole Dyslexic Society.