All ANR programs, including 4-H YDP, are federally mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1991) to ensure that all programs are accessible to persons with disabilities. ANR policy addresses any individual with a disability who is connected with the 4-H YDP: a youth, a parent, a volunteer or committee member, and a 4-H YDP staff or UCCE county office staff person. See Disability_Definitions.
Based on U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for the implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ANR has developed guidelines for conducting all 4-H YDP activities at the local, sectional and statewide level. 4-H YDP staff are responsible for implementing these guidelines.
- 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers may not exclude from any program or activity any person on the basis of disability.
- 4-H YDP staff shall take into account the needs of such persons in determining the services to be provided under the program or activity. When feasible, all efforts are to be made to encourage and provide reasonable accommodations for youth with disabilities in 4-H YDP activities.
- Where existing UCCE office facilities are inaccessible, 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers may make program services that are normally provided at those sites available to disabled persons through other methods such as meeting in accessible locations, making home visits or communicating through writing, telephone calls and audiotapes or other available media.
- For activities held in publicly owned facilities outside of UCCE, 4-H YDP staff shall select accessible facilities wherever possible.
- For activities held at privately-owned facilities such as homes and farm buildings, 4-H YDP staff shall select accessible facilities whenever disabled persons requiring such accessibility are participating, have expressed an interest in participating or are likely to participate.
- If accessible facilities are unavailable or inappropriate to the nature of the activity, 4-H YDP staff shall use other methods to deliver program benefits to disabled members, such as meeting in accessible locations, making home visits or communicating through writing, telephone calls, audiotapes or other available media.
- While some activities such as field trips cannot be held at sites accessible to those with disabilities, alternatives such as audio- or video-taping of the activity should be explored.
- Upon request and when feasible, 4-H YDP staff will make program materials accessible to a disabled member with sensory or mental impairments, if that member has indicated a desire to participate. For example, materials could be made available through means such as Braille, audiotapes, readers, large-print formats, simplified versions, written scripts or sign-language interpreters.
- 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers will make reasonable accommodations to provide camping activities that are accessible to disabled members. The type of disability accommodations needed should be identified through camp applications. Accommodations may need to be made for health problems, physical limitations, dietary restrictions and medical requirements. When feasible, reasonable accommodations will be supplied at no additional cost to the member.
- Outreach activities to disabled members and adult volunteers will be conducted as part of the regular program. Targets of outreach should include state rehabilitation, education and advocacy agencies for disabled people. Interagency efforts should be cultivated and specific outreach efforts and contact sources should be identified.
- All UCCE county publications, meeting flyers, newsletters and other materials should advertise that the county offices and meeting sites are accessible to individuals in wheelchairs, if in fact they actually are; they should also contain a statement informing individuals that if they require a disability accommodation to call the county office and make their request. To indicate that the meeting location is accessible to wheelchairs, use the "wheelchair accessible" logo. When appropriate, other available accommodations should be specified. The Americans with Disabilities Act website outlines some appropriate accommodations.
- The 4-H YDP Incentives and Recognition Program is to be adapted so that members with disabilities can participate in 4-H YDP awards competitions. These adaptations might include "partnering" in awards competitions and providing assistance on record keeping.
- Individuals who need to request an ADA accommodation in order to participate in 4-H sponsored events and activities can complete a 4-H ADA Accommodation Request Form. UCCE County 4-H YDP staff should fill out the ADA Accommodation Request for Material/Equipment Form and submit to the Office of Affirmative Action when requesting materials, equipment and services or financial support from ANR. All requests should be retained for review purposes.
- For more assistance with providing appropriate experience for youth or volunteers with disabilities refer to the UC ANR Affirmative Action Resources or Youth With Special Needs - Leaders Handbook (2013).
What this means to our volunteers…
In 1991 the “Americans With Disabilities Act” was passed to protect the rights of those with disabilities and to ensure that all programs, ie 4-H Youth Development, are open and accessible to those with disabilities. There is a helpful handbook available on this site entitled Youth With Special Needs 4-H Adult Volunteer Handbook "Making 4-H More Accessible”. We recommend all 4-H volunteers read through this in order to broaden their experience and educate themselves regarding youth and adults who have mental and physical challenges.