TIES – Together Including Every Student
What is TIES? Together Including Every Student (TIES), developed in 1997 by two parents of children who have disabilities, promotes the participation of students and young adults who have developmental disabilities in inclusive, organized extracurricular and community activities through the support of trained student volunteers.
How does TIES work? TIES Coordinators work closely with the school districts to identify eligible participants, recruit and train peer volunteers, communicate with activity leaders, and make necessary arrangements for each activity.
Activities can be:
- A single event, such as a school dance or after-school football game.
- An ongoing class, such as cooking, dance, martial arts, music, or gymnastics.
- Ongoing participation in a community organization, such as Scouts.
- A Drumming Circle.
Participants are children and young adults between the ages of 8 and 21 who have developmental disabilities. They join activities where they can develop recreational interests, learn about their community, and have fun with peers.
Peer volunteers are students within the school district in grades 8 to 12 who want to share their extracurricular interests and make it possible for the participant to experience the learning and fun that’s part of the activity! They learn how to support participants according to their individual needs, gain more understanding of disabilities and diversity, and make a positive difference in a peer’s life.
Activity leaders create an experience where all individuals and talents are included, and promote community awareness and inclusion. A peer volunteer attends the activity with each TIES participant to provide necessary support. The Coordinator shares the participant’s needs with the activity leader and provides resources as necessary.
How do you get started? Contact the Lockport TIES Coordinator Carrie Fick at email@example.com to sign up as a participant or become a peer volunteer.