On May 11, Russian Children’s Centre <<Orlyonok>> hosted a Roundtable of Russian and international presenters on the topic of “Inclusive recreation for children: international experience, challenges and perspectives”. The roundtable took place within the Orlyonok inclusive camp session for visually impaired children “Artistic Impulse”.
It was a joint collaboration of Russian Children’s Centre “Orlyonok”, the task force on the issues of involvement of people with disabilities in the cultural life of society (Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation on People with Disabilities Issues), charity fund of Diana Gurtskaya for blind and visually impaired children “Po Zovu Serdtsa”.
ICF supported the international participation by camp professionals in Canada and the United States. April Young (Camp Maple Leaf, Canada), Tracey Gaslin (Association of Camp Nursing, United States) and Kate Goodfellow (Easter Seals Camps, Canada) each presented virtually some of their programs and perspectives alongside those of Russian presenters: Liudmila Spirina, (“Orlyonok” Deputy Director on Education, Personnel and Public Relations), Yegor Kazakov, (Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation on People with Disabilities Issues) and Igor Gribanov, (Head of the National Center “Abilympics”).
Throughout the presentations, there was emphasis on a camper-centred approach to developing camps and to providing the best camp solutions and experiences for all children. Presentations touched on universal access design to reflect all community needs, easy adaptations to facilities and flexible leadership/support in responding to specific and varying needs. Camps could and should become both inclusive and integrated where possible to provide a true reflection of society and to benefit everyone.
Diana Gurtskaya, Chairman of the Commission for Accessibility and Inclusion Development (the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation) thanked everyone for their support and the realization of a dream for her personally and for all children with special needs – the opportunity to attend barrier – free and inclusive camp.