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Posted: Thu, 07/16/2015 - 10:33 | The New Normal

Competition and the possibility of victory can awaken the American “can-do” spirit in us all. We rightly support initiatives for people with disabilities to compete in athletic events.  Everyone should have the opportunity to strive (and even struggle) to achieve his or her “personal best.”

The Sports Dilemma

The parents of some children with disabilities face a dilemma every summer. If they send their children an integrated camp, the children may actually be segregated when it comes to the portion of each day devoted to athletic activity. 

Posted: Tue, 07/14/2015 - 14:03 | The New Normal

Lately it seems like I get most of my news from scrolling my Facebook newsfeed. Recently I came across an article about California’s Governor signing a law mandating that children be vaccinated before starting school.

The SB 277 law states that as of January 2016, children entering kindergarten or 7th grade must be vaccinated. If the child does not have his or her shots before the 2016-2017 school year, then he or she will not be allowed to enter any public or private school.

Posted: Thu, 07/09/2015 - 19:42 | The New Normal

One of my primary responsibilities as the inclusion coordinator at URJ Camp Harlam, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania, is to make sure that campers with a disability (or a “different ability”) are set up for success at camp. We provide them with similar accommodations as the ones they have at home and at school, allowing them to experience camp to their personal best, in keeping with their abilities. This can often take careful planning, thoughtful conversations among partners, and communicating the right information in the right way to our counselors.

Posted: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:23 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: It's summer camp season! We will be sharing voices from a wide range of Jewish camps throughout the summer.

As more Jewish camps across the country expand their programs to welcome campers of all abilities, a new online resource has been created in a partnership between the Foundation For Jewish Camp and the Ramah Camping Movement.  The “Inclusion Training Guide for Jewish Summer Camps” is a comprehensive guide that camps are able to download and use for staff training.

Posted: Thu, 07/02/2015 - 09:26 | The New Normal

If you are anything like me, you eagerly await the summer months to finally make a sizable dent in that pile of books adorning your nightstand. My summer reading list typically includes a mix of young adult novels, professional books and a healthy handful of books for fun.

Posted: Sun, 06/28/2015 - 07:38 | The New Normal

Here in the U.S., we are about to celebrate Independence Day.  I’m from Philadelphia so July 4 is especially meaningful to me: After all, it was in the City of Brotherly Love that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. 

July is another celebration of American freedom. July 26 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Americans With Disabilities Act, the ADA. The ADA has been widely recognized as the Civil Rights Act for people with disabilities. It's a recognition by our nation that people with disabilities are to be treated with respect and dignity.