Category Archives: National Service

National Service – Including People with Disabilities

There is an increasing interest in providing some transition experiences through service learning.  One Organization, the National Service Inlcusion Project (NSIP), provides technical assistance for organizations to include people with disabilities in their service program.  The NSIP website is filled with tools and resources for those interested in starting or enhancing a service program for people with disabilities.

One story highlights a young man with Cerebral Palsy developing life skills through service in Iowa.

As an individual with cerebral palsy, many activities are more exhausting to me than to the average person. Growing up, I was told that physical therapy and exercise was the number one way to work on building my endurance, mainly so I would be able to be active and productive as I got older. Things would not come easy for me, as I was told, so I would need to work all the more diligently to stay up with others, be it physically, academically, or socially. It seems only natural, therefore, that the same thing can be said about serving others. I decided to take part in AmeriCorps’ Iowa Campus Compact program primarily because I was feeling a strong call to volunteer and serve others. The crux was that I did not feel confident in my own ability to follow through with such an important yet challenging call. I knew from past experience that if the going got tough early on, if I felt that I was incapable of serving meaningfully or in a way that suited my capabilities, there was a chance that I might get disgruntled and quit altogether. Acknowledging that quitting was not an option, I turned to the Iowa Campus Compact program as a kind of service therapy. I would be able to build up my service muscles with others, sharing our experiences and holding each other accountable.

Read more about NSIP and how to get involved here.