Welcome To Angels With Special Needs
Who we are and what we do
We Have Come This Far By Faith “Angels With Special Needs” is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization for children and youth who are severely disabled. The organization provides the children opportunities of inclusion to recreational and socialization activities “at no charge” to their families. The organization is located in the state of South Carolina and primarily focus’s on providing severely disabled children and youth inclusion in recreation and social activities such as ceramics, arts and crafts, gymnastics, and music. Our program also provides opportunities for mini field trips to zoos, museums, bowling, movies, swimming, and summer camp activities. AWSN provides funds to special needs groups at schools, for field trips and other activities throughout the year. These groups include children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and physical disabilities. Many schools sponsor summer camp programs for their students during the summer therefore, AWSN helps with supporting the special needs summer camp programs and provide funds for the camp's activities and cost of transportation. Our funding helps to make these summer camps possible due to the economy cutting of programs. We provide funding for these programs to enable children with severe disabilities inclusion to participate in recreational and socialization activities which they normally would not be able to experience due to their medically fragile conditions. The opportunities we provide are centered around our mission statement of enriching the lives of disabled children and bringing down the barriers of exclusion and open doors to inclusion for all disabled children.
What is inclusion
Inclusion is a relationship between two classes that exists when all members of the first class are also members of the second class. This definition has a great deal of meaning when thinking about the inclusion of children with disabilities. We strive to build relationships between the community as a whole and disabled children in order to unify the community as one. AWSN promotes a condition of undivided harmony with the purpose of inclusion for children with disabilities.
Why is Inclusion important
Inclusion in important because when children with severe disabilities are not included in community activities, then the activities are not really involving the entire community. We all suffer when certain parts of a community are excluded because each of us has something of value to give and share. Real inclusion only comes when communities, programs, and individuals are able to look beyond a person’s disability and see their right to belong. Then and only then will disabled individuals be given a red carpet welcoming them and inviting them to participate just as non-disabled persons. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the inclusion of children with disabilities in school activities, but less has been placed on the inclusion of children in community activities. We are therefore, attempting to provide awareness and useful information for parents, community members, and youth who are interested in developing and promoting inclusive recreational and social activities for severely disabled children. The need for inclusion programs for disabled children and youth (ages 6-21) during summer months, holidays and weekends is extremely important and could have a tremendous impact on their development and quality of life. It is at these times that families with disabled children are limited to few or no options for recreational activity programs. We recognize the struggles of families with severely disabled children and the number of barriers they face when trying to obtain any type of service for their children. It is the goal of the AWSN organization to support the children and their families. Therefore, we are in the process of establishing a respite voucher program which would enable parents and caregivers a well deserved break. Once the plans for the program are complete the information will be available to everyone. We hope to demonstrate the incredible benefits of providing recreational inclusion opportunities for severely disabled children and youth and the enormous benefit respite care offers families of severely disabled children. This is why we need to begin providing quality, inclusive recreational activity programs with trained staff and equipment that will accommodate children with any disability level. This would allow children who are severely disabled to participate in these programs on a regular basis. Our society must move beyond the belief that inclusion is something done on a one time basis for disabled individuals. Inclusion is an ongoing “labor of love,” a work in progress which can successfully be achieved when we all work together for the common good of severely disabled persons.
How do we fix the problems surrounding inclusion
There are no one time or quick fixes for turning general programs into socially inclusive programs over night. In order for severely disabled individuals, especially children, to be included in non-disabled programming and for the inclusion to be successful, the community must adopt a new way of thinking about the disabled population as a whole and how they are treated in our society today. If you would just take a moment to reflect and ask yourself this question “how would I want my child or family member to be treated if they were severely disabled?” Your answer will either empower you to take action for disabled rights or just continue accepting the status-quo for the treatment of the severely disabled population. As concerned parents and citizens who are for the equal rights of everyone we are empowered to take a stance. We must demand the facilitators of non-disabled equipped programs to recognize the importance of making their programs inclusive of all disabled children. We must also develop a new way of thinking about how children of diverse abilities are served. If the parents of disabled children demand inclusive services program facilitators will react. Parents need to band together to advocate for the rights of their disabled children. Some of these disabilities include: blindness, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or severe and multiple disabilities. All children are entitled to be supported and have the right to be included in social and recreational programs.
Become better informed on inclusion disability issues. It is essential for you to obtain accurate information concerning the legal rights of people with disabilities and successful methods of including children with disabilities into inclusion inclusive activity programming. Check the Americans with Disabilities Act for detailed information on the rights of disable people. Inform others of inclusion benefits for severely disabled children. Speak with other parents, business owners, board members, community leaders, influential people in the media, and other interested citizens of the importance of inclusion, what it is, the benefits of inclusion, and the strategies for making inclusion successful. Organize an advocacy group for inclusion of disabled children in recreational activity programs. Form a network of persons with similar concerns on inclusion.
Angels With Special Needs Organization enjoys partnerships with many people and organizations and invites you to join us in our efforts. Opportunities to partner with us are described in the “Getting Involved” and “Donate” pages. The severely disabled children and youth we serve are truly thankful for our generous partners who provide donations, and volunteer to help in their quest for inclusion. We invite you to become a partner - to join us in our efforts to ensure that every man, woman, or child with severe disabilities are afforded the rights and pleasures that everyone deserves.
Our motto: Communities that gives generously, works vigorously, and acts collectively to solve problems benefits everyone!