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Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2004

IU gives parents of children with disabilities a hand

New Web site offers tips and resources for finding suitable camps

NOTE: For information about the Discover Camp Web site, call the National Center on Accessibility at 812-856-4422 (voice) and 812-856-4421 (tty) or send e-mail to

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Parents want their children's camp experiences to be fun and memorable. The planning leading up to camp, however, can be intense and overwhelming, particularly for the parents of children with disabilities.

Help is on the way. Recreation and disability experts at Indiana University Bloomington have launched a Web site designed to give parents the information they need to find the camps best suited for their children.

Discover Camp ( is an on-line resource for parents whose children with disabilities are going to camp for the first time. The guide, prepared with insights from parents, answers such questions as how to select a camp and whether to attend open houses or meet with camp staff. The Web site includes a database of camps accredited by the American Camping Association, with links to camps across the country.

Discover Camp was created by the National Center on Accessibility in collaboration with Bradford Woods Outdoor Center, both programs of the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

"Often when we work with parents of children with disabilities and chronic illnesses at Bradford Woods and the National Center on Accessibility, they express feelings of being overwhelmed with the demands for accommodations at school, attending therapy or medical treatment, coordinating transportation and preparing for employment. Time for recreation is often a low priority," said Jennifer Skulski, director of marketing for the National Center on Accessibility.

The Web site expands upon a 26-page booklet the National Center on Accessibility developed last year and distributed to children's hospitals, parent resource centers, ADA centers and centers for independent living throughout the United States. The center wants to tap into the Internet savvy parents often develop while researching their child's disability.

The project was funded under a partnership with the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability at the University of Illinois at Chicago through a grant from the Division of Human Development and Disability at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).