Youth and Family Disability Resources: June 2013

It is officially summer time! Here at PYD, it is one of our favorite times of the year. After being cooped up inside for so long, it feels wonderful to be able to spend time out of doors without freezing our tushies off! Accordingly, we have tried to include several outdoor activities in this month’s youth and family disability resources.

The VIP Project (Videos of Important People) 

Researchers at Boston University are looking for teens ages 12-17 with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to participate in a research study. They are testing a new social intervention in which teens make videos of their friendships. They will lend the teen with an ASD a digital video camera for 3-6 weeks for him or her to take videos of friends while doing activities together. They will meet with the teen weekly. The teen and a parent will fill out short surveys before and after the video intervention. The whole project takes about 7-10 weeks. The teen will get to keep a copy of the videos and receive a $50 gift certificate. Contact Dr. Gael Orsmond (617-353-2703, for more information.

“Morningstar Access” at Boston Children’s Museum

On June 11th and 15th, the Boston Children’s Museum is offering a new program that gives children with special needs the opportunity to enjoy the Museum in an uncrowded environment with few other visitors. Pre-registration is required. See the above link for more information.

Inclusive Summer Camps for All Ages & Abilities:

This site gives a list of different inclusive camps for various ages and disabilities. Included in the list are Camp Confidence, in Needham, for behavioral, developmental, and social needs. Others include Wild Hearts Summer Horse inclusive camp in Bridgewater, Camp Joy for Boston residents with disabilities and their siblings, and The Bridge Center in Bridgewater. All of the camps are listed alphabetically and by region on the above link.

Free Fun Fridays!

60 museums and cultural venues are free on Fridays all throughout the summer.  Located all around Massachusetts, there is sure to be at least one venue that strikes your fancy. Want to learn more about the different participating organizations? See the recreation page link above for more info.

Free Ferry Day

Enjoy a free boat ride to George’s or Spectacle Island where you can enjoy a picnic or relax. Ferries will be running on a special schedule. Due to high demand, all tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and have a specific return time. Ticket kiosk opens at 8am. Groups are limited to five, and there are no advance reservations. Jun 18th, 9am-5:30pm. Call 617-223-8666 to find out more.

Exceptional Lives: Quality of Life Survey for the Disability Community

Are you interested in sharing your valuable insights that can help create a brighter future for individuals with disabilities? Participate in the voluntary survey on the quality of life of people in Massachusetts with exceptional needs and you’ll receive a $5 Amazon gift card! The survey is led by Boston College Associate Professor of Special Education, Dr. Scanlon and the founders of Exceptional Lives. The results of this survey will be used to develop a free new online tool designed to assist and inform families with exceptional loved ones on how to maximize their quality of life. Survey participants must be Massachusetts residents eighteen years of age or older. If you would like to know more, click above to read our blog.

Mentor Research Survey

A graduate student at DePaul University is conducting research on what factors impact positive outcomes for adult mentors involved in youth mentoring programs. If any mentor is interested in helping with her research, the survey to participate is included at the link above.

For more monthly resources, check out PYD’s ongoing collection of disability resources. You can also find more programs and opportunities over at the SPED Children and Teens of Massachusetts.

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