Inclusion for Everyone, Everywhere, Everytime
Mission: The Kearney Inclusive Recreation Project (KIRP) problem solves, supports, identifies, and encourages inclusive recreation experiences for youth and adults with and without disabilities in the Kearney community.
The KIRP partners are committed to our mission to join those with and without disabilities in a variety of recreational opportunities. We believe the Kearney community will experience the following outcomes thorough our efforts.
- Community members will experience enriched quality of life.
- Community members will lead healthier lifestyles.
- Community members with disabilities will have greater choice in their pursuit of recreational experiences.
- Community members without disabilities will more thoroughly enjoy recreation activities when all community members are given an opportunity to be involved.
- The Arc of Buffalo County
- Buffalo County Extension (4-H)
- Boy Scouts of America
- Kearney Family YMCA
- Kearney Parks and Recreation
- Girl Scouts of America
- University of Nebraska at Kearney
- Wellness Initiatives of Nebraska
What is Inclusive Recreation?
The concept of inclusive recreation is based on providing individual accommodations to any type of activity so any person (with or without a disability) can enjoy recreation within our community. Accommodations are creative in nature and know no bounds! They may include adaptive equipment, rule or activity modifications, or individual support. Sometimes, it is just a simple word of encouragement!
What is KIRP?
The Kearney Inclusive Recreation Project provides support to individuals who may need an accommodation for a recreation activity of their choice. A community partnership consisting of The Arc of Buffalo County, and Kearney partners (listed above) who work together to provide welcoming activities for all ability levels. The Arc of Buffalo County is the lead agency and assists the partner agencies in developing accommodations for persons with disabilities. The Arc of Buffalo County is able to provide recreation assistants and volunteers when individual support is necessary. This project was started with a federally funded Inclusive Recreation Grant through the U.S. Department of Education, which was written and administered by Wellness Initiatives of Nebraska.
Are there charges for KIRP Support?
KIRP participants are responsible for any programmatic fees associated with their recreational choice. An accommodation plan is available free of charge. Some fees may apply if individual support is requested. The Arc of Buffalo County hires, trains, and supervises all Recreation Assistants used for individual recreational support. Donations to The Arc of Buffalo County or volunteers to support this effort are always welcome!
What do people have to say about KIRP?
“My son’s swimming lessons were a success thanks to the KIRP assistance. We tried regular classes first without an assistants, but having a Recreational Assistant made a world of difference for him. He felt more comfortable getting into the water with his assistant, and his swimming skills improved substantially! More importantly, he got the extra help that he needed. Thanks KIRP!”
“I’ve been helping as an inclusion volunteer with KIRP for the past two years and it’s something I wouldn’t change for anything! Being able to help individuals with disabilities enjoy activities like volleyball and kickball is an experience that has been very rewarding, especially since I have developed some great friendships through KIRP. Helping out with KIRP is definitely something I would encourage anyone to do!”
– Recreation Assistant
Are you interested in volunteering for this project?
The Arc of Buffalo County is always on the lookout for committed, outgoing, motivated people who want to make a difference in the Kearney community. As Kearney grows into a community where all people of any ability level are included in all community offerings, The Arc of Buffalo County needs dedicated individuals to become Recreation Assistants. Recreation Assistants offer a little extra support to those with disabilities enabling them to enjoy recreation activities they might not otherwise have experienced. If you are interested in volunteering as a Recreation Assistant log onto The Arc of Buffalo County website at www.arcofbuffalocounty.org and register as a volunteer.
Who is eligible for KIRP’s support?
The project is designed to assist anyone of any age with a developmental disability who has a desire to participate in a community-based recreation activity in the Kearney area.
What do I need to do to participate in KIRP?
- Find a program or activity you would like to participate in.
- Contact the agency or organization that runs that program, or The Arc of Buffalo County if the program is not through a KIRP partner agency.
- Fill out the registration form and the KIRP questionnaire. Register early – allow two weeks for the rest of the planning to occur.
- Meet with the agency inclusive recreation coordinator, a representative from The Arc of Buffalo County, and the activity leader to coordinate your participation in the activity.
- If necessary, The Arc of Buffalo County will match you with a volunteer Recreation Assistant.
- Begin the activity/program! We will evaluate the accommodations as we go and at the end of the program.