Activities for AdultsYouth CenterPerforming ArtsFitness CenterAquaticsCommunity Center & rentals

ADA, Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

NCRD is committed to serving all members of our community, and we take special pride in our long history of welcoming persons with a great diversity of backgrounds; people with disabilities or special needs; adults; children; and seniors.

Although our main building was constructed almost 100 years ago, we have invested in a wheelchair ramp to our main entrance; constructed an ADA accessible restroom on the main floor; converted a freight elevator so that it can assist people in accessing our 90 year old pool; built ADA accessible pickleball courts; added smoke/fire alarm systems which include strobe lights for the hearing impaired; invested in adding ADA restrooms to our Performing Arts Center (now in progress) ; and are now beginning the transition to a new 100% accessible swimming pool.

We also have a scholarship program that can help families with limited financial resources to access our programs. Our staff in Aquatics, Youth Center, Fitness Center, and Administration have all participated in a variety of specialized trainings over the years which include serving people with a very broad array of special needs. More recent training has included the specific subjects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Most importantly, our staff genuinely value their unique contributions to the quality of life for everyone in our community.

If there are questions regarding accessibility, accommodations, or with any of the subjects discussed above, please call the Welcome Center at 971-308-0300. Following are some samples of related program services and trainings.

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FITNESS CENTER

The Fitness Center respects the dignities of all people.  As a team we concentrate on making our members experience a sense of inclusion from the onset. We work closely with the members of our healthcare community to safely and effectively assist those members who have been cleared by their physician following treatment or rehabilitation to take part in independent physical activity. 

As a collective, the staff has numerous professional  certifications to include American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor, Aerobics Fitness Association Of America, Pilates, National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association and Yoga,  These certifications allow for us to work with a diverse population. Therefore, exemplifying NCRD's mission statement of enhancing the quality of lives within our community and beyond.

AQUATICS

NCRD Aquatics Service, Training and Experience with Special Populations
Submitted by Aquatics Director -
Barbara McCann

NCRD Aquatics has had a long history of serving people with disabilities and special needs since its inception in 1997. We welcome all persons without exception regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, physical limitations, economic hardship or disabilities of any kind. Our trained staff is professional and compassionate in their treatment of everyone.
 
We are currently serving many adults and children with a wide range of disabilities, including blindness, amputees, MS, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, post operatives recovering from knee and hip replacements, and back, neck and heart surgeries. We have numerous students on the Spectrum and many others on IEPs. Over 25% of our patrons have some type of disability or mobility issue. They all receive individual attention. Our staff personally escorts patrons through the building in our wheelchair to access the elevator on a daily basis. They ride with them down to the pool deck. After the patron is finished with their swim they are escorted back up to the main floor and in many cases our staff assists them out to their vehicle in the parking lot. We have recently purchased a new wheelchair in order to serve a wider range of people. The new one has a greater weight capacity which enables us to be more inclusive of those patrons who are obese and in dire need of exercise.

I have been leading aquatic fitness classes at NCRD since 1997. When I began I had a YMCA Fitness Leader Certification and ARC Lifeguard Certification. Both of these included instruction in serving special populations. I began attending specialty courses from the AEA (Aquatic Exercise Association) on an annual basis with my staff. Most of that training was for older adults and people with mobility issues and other disabilities. As a result of that training, I started the Water Therapy Program at NCRD. I became a certified Arthritis Foundation Instructor in 2005 for both water and land based applications. This training is specific to serving people with a wide range of mobility issues and disabilities. It has afforded me the opportunity to work one on one with hundreds of individuals with some type of disability. Everyone is welcomed and given individual attention in accordance with their specific needs and goals. I have spent time literally holding the hands of insecure patrons while water walking in the Pool and assisting with showering and dressing when people need help. I also recognize the need for people to be independent and so I am careful to only offer appropriate assistance when needed.

In 2012 I became an AEA certified Aquatics Fitness Professional (AFP). This is an international certification recognized worldwide.  It is the gold standard in the aquatics field. It includes extensive training in dealing with persons with all kinds of disabilities as well as in depth DEI training. I am required to do annual training to keep my certification current and a major portion of that training has also included special populations. I am currently certified with the Arthritis Foundation for both water and land programs which also requires annual continuing education credits to maintain. In addition to all my aquatics related training I have taken many SDAO and ORPA seminars both in person and on-line covering HR and leadership topics. I have attended USA Swimming, National Swimming Pool Association, World Aquatics Health Organization, ORPA and SDAO annual conferences. All have had components that address and stress inclusion and working with people with special needs.

The Adaptive Swim Program was established at NCRD over 20 years ago in partnership with the NKN School District and the existing School Swim Program. Since that time Sue Dindia-Gray, has directed the program as well as being the head teacher on deck, hands on with all the students for their weekly lessons. I had the honor of working in the water alongside Sue with the Adaptive Swim Program when it began. In those early years NKN faculty joined our swim instructors in the water every week for the classes. The director of the NKN special education program as well as the teachers and teacher’s aids involved in the program all got in the pool with us and the students each week. These classes included students with all kinds of physical and developmental disabilities including many on the Spectrum. There were nonverbal students as well as screamers and those who wore protective gear so they could not inflict harm on themselves. The students relaxed in the water and really enjoyed the experience. We were made aware of each student’s specific situation and we met everyone’s needs. We received this incredible comprehensive and unique training working as a team with the special education professionals each week for the first 5 years of the program. During that time we had the opportunity to obtain practical experience alongside and learn firsthand from the experts.

Over the years Sue has continued to build on that foundation. Under her direction the Adaptive Swim Program as well as the entire School Swim Program has grown in scope and inclusiveness to enhance the lives of every student in Nehalem. Several years ago, in response to a growing Latino population locally she began putting Spanish phrases on the white board in the natatorium to be more inclusive of those students. Sue is a certified ARC Water Safety Instructor (WSI) and Lifeguard with extensive training including Adaptive Aquatic Programming for professionals, Total Immersion Program, Aqua Tots Inc., Preschool Aquatics, YMCA Learn to Swim Program and Trauma Informed Training. She is a member of ASCA (American Swim Coaches Assn.). Sue has also taken AEA and Arthritis Foundation aquatic fitness trainings with our staff over many years.

The members of the aquatics team are all trained professionals. They are all certified ARC Lifeguards. They have all had extensive training and years of experience working with special populations. We have an RN, an EMT, and several others who have previously been employed as caregivers for individuals with special needs and worked in the mental health field. We also have a couple of staff members with several of their own special needs children. They have spent most of their adult life caring and advocating for the rights and welfare of their family members. They have personal insight and empathy for all people who face challenges. We are all honored to be able to offer our services and to welcome everyone in our community.

YOUTH CENTER

The Youth Center has added Balance Ball (Yoga) Chairs for our special needs students to use during their school day. We have also taken a lot of training courses this year.  
Here are some of the trainings the Youth Team has completed:
Activity-Based Support in Inclusive Preschool and School-Age Child Care
All children need opportunities to play, but for children with disabilities, some types of play may be challenging - if not impossible - without adjustments to the environment, materials, or activities. During this 2-hour course, we will discuss how all children benefit from play and ways to make play activities accessible.
Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Needs
One of the most important features of any child care program is the extent to which it creates a healthy and safe environment for all children. The purpose of this course is to provide basic guidelines necessary to develop a disaster preparedness plan for child care facilities with infants and toddlers with special needs.
Strategies for Partnering with Families of Children with Special Needs
During this 2-hour course, we will address challenges faced by parents of a child with a disability, discuss effective communication strategies, explore ways parents can participate in your program, and identify strategies for gaining support for inclusion from parents of children who do not have disabilities.
Strategies for Caring for Preschool and School-Age Children with Sensory Integration Issues
This course is designed to help child care providers and directors learn how to create an inclusive child care environment for children. In this course, we explore how sensory processing, sensory integration, and sensory processing disorders can affect a child’s daily activities and overall development.
Strategies for Partnering with Parents of Children with Special Needs
The purpose of this course is to explore various aspects of building partnerships between early childhood professionals and parents of children with special needs. Participants will learn about different challenges, effective communication strategies, and ways to gain support from parents of children without disabilities.
Strategies for Caring for Children with Sensory Integration Issues
The purpose of this course is to explore how sensory processing, integration, and processing disorders can affect a young child's development. During the course, participants will learn about specific strategies that can be used to help children with sensory integration issues reach their full developmental potential.
Strategies for Caring for Children with Challenging Behaviors
Dealing with challenging behavior is a difficult aspect of providing care for young children. This course is designed to help child care professionals learn more about why infants and toddlers use challenging behavior, what they can do to prevent this behavior, and how to effectively respond when prevention is not enough.
Establishing a Healthy and Safe Environment for Preschool and School-Age Children with Special Needs
This course is designed to help child care providers and directors gain a better understanding of how to create a healthy, safe, and inclusive child care environment for preschool and school-age children. You will learn how to establish such an environment through daily practices to ensure the health and safety of children.
An Introduction to Inclusive Child Care: All Children Belong in a Natural Environment
The purpose of this online course is to introduce participants to the concept of inclusive child care for infants and toddlers. During the course, participants will be presented with an in-depth look at the process of inclusion, examining laws and regulations that govern this process.
Strategies for Caring for Preschool and School-Age Children with Challenging Behaviors
This course is designed to help child care providers and directors learn how to create an inclusive child care environment for all children. During this course, we learn why children use challenging behavior, what you can do to prevent it, and how to effectively respond when prevention is not enough.
An Introduction to Inclusive Child Care for Preschool and School-Age Children
This 2-hour course is the first in a series of online trainings designed to help child care providers and directors gain a better understanding of how to create an inclusive child care environment for preschool and school-age children with special needs.
Activity-Based Support in Inclusive Preschool and School-Age Child Care
All children need opportunities to play, but for children with disabilities, some types of play may be challenging - if not impossible - without adjustments to the environment, materials, or activities. During this 2-hour course, we will discuss how all children benefit from play and ways to make play activities accessible.

Dyslexia in Children
This training will explore what dyslexia is and examine its scope and impact. You will explore and practice strategies that can be used to support children and families experiencing dyslexia. You will also examine tools for writing collaborative and inclusive policies and procedures that meet Spark/QRIS standards.

Inclusion in Action
Strategies for Supporting Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Families During this interactive session, participants will explore strategies of working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in early childhood settings. The session will include a variety of activities including discussion, small group activities and self-reflection. Topics to be explored will include defining ASD; the causes and diagnosis process; characteristics of ASD; the impact of ASD on learning and development; strategies for supporting young children with ASD and strategies for communicating and collaborating with parents of children with ASD.

Understanding & Supporting Different Families
We will examine our own values and ideas about what a family should be and debunk the myth of the perfect family. We will explore family diversity and use our understanding to develop ways to respect, support, and respond to different families in different ways.  

Developing Early Childhood Education Settings to Support Students With Autism and Other Developmental Delays
This training opportunity will provide childcare staff with a greater understanding of working with children with autism enrolled at their center.  Topics discussed will include learning characteristics, behavioral strategies and simple activities to encourage social and language skill development.  This workshop will provide specific examples of evidence-based practices that can be implemented immediately in the childcare setting. Participants will receive visuals and access to valuable online resources.  

Additional Courses (detailed description unavailable at this time) Youth Center Employees have taken:
Assessing School-Age Children With Special Needs
Autism Awareness
Coaching Unified Sports
Coaching Adapted Sports
Working with Children with Disabilities
Understanding Attention-Deficit Disorders
Special Care: Inclusion
Physical Activity for Children with Disabilities
Positive Solutions for Challenging Behaviors
Supporting Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Programs for Multilingual Children
Multiculturalism
Ethics and Ethical Behavior

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