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Arts integration is a valuable tool for reaching multiple learning styles across the curriculum and is linked to enhanced academic outcomes and social/emotional development for children, including those with special needs. 

As an inclusive organization, Young Audiences’ goal is to bring high-quality, arts-integrated instruction that is accessible, supportive, and welcoming to children of all backgrounds and abilities into the classroom. 

Inclusion Training for YA Roster Artists:

As a Wolf Trap Institute affiliate, we are making great strides in the community by providing inclusion training for our teaching artists, preparing them to build a nurturing environment that promotes acceptance in any classroom.  Some examples of accommodations we have provided in the past include preferential seating, visual schedules, language-adapted materials, and use of school-provided communication devices.

To expand our in-depth knowledge, last year nine YA teaching artists applied their training in a series of residencies at William S. Baer and Sharp-Leadenhall school.

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All artists customized their residency programs using best practices to teach students with special needs. Baer school residencies focused on accommodations for children with severe multiple challenges including orthopedic disabilities, fragile health conditions, developmental and mental delay as well as other health impairments. Sharp Leadenhall focused on practices for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. 

Master teaching artist Sue Trainor observed and provided feedback to YA artists, who also received 12 hours of training with Disability Rights Maryland on topics like:

Person First Language, Adaptive Technologies, Techniques for Differentiation, Reasonable Accommodations, Lesson Plan Development

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Young Audiences Roster Artists who have completed the training as of 2016:

Please click on an artist’s name to find out more information about their programming.

YA Inclusion Testimonials:

Wow! My experience have been awesome! The respect of each professional’s talents and experiences and being “open and flexible” to suggestions and student  responses have been key elements to our own success”

-Linda Woodward, pre-K–3rd-grade teacher at William S. Baer School

I learned how to teach patterns to help with predictions of movements, to reinforce body awareness, to use stimulation like a dance break to transition to another activity, and use tactile picture cues. Anna [Menendez] did a wonderful job! It was a pleasure working with her!”

-Ms. D. Peals and Ms. M. Lyons, Pre-K teachers at William S. Baer School

What Our Partnering Artists are Saying About Inclusion:

“The irony of Quest’s visual theatre approach is that we ask teachers, teaching artists, and parents to strip away language in order to help children and students acquire language. Yet, every day we see the positive impact that this approach has on children, teachers, and families. Since the reading level of all Deaf people remains unacceptably low and since the number of students in our schools who struggle with the English language will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, we must give serious consideration how we prepare and support our teachers, how we assist parents, and how we construct our curriculum.”

–An excerpt from an article titled, “A Case for Visual Theater,” by Quest Visual Theater director, Tim McCarty, a Young Audience roster artist ensemble with a long history of arts integration opportunities for Deaf, hard of hearing, and ELL (English Language Learners) students and adults.

If you are interested in learning more about Quest Visual Theater, please visit their Artist Page.

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Young Audiences is a proud partner of Disability Rights Maryland.