FlagHouse, Inc. and CATCH Global Foundation are pleased to announce a partnership with Lakeshore Foundation - National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) and Special Olympics International to make physical activity programs more inclusive of youth with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities.
The lack of physical activity is a major concern among youth with a disability. In addition, obesity rates are 35 percent higher for youth with disability compared to youth without. This is coupled with an increased risk of secondary conditions associated with being overweight. Afterschool programs across the country have been working hard to provide opportunities for youth to get the recommended amount of physical activity. The most current data show that 10.2 million children take part in some afterschool program with numbers continuing to rise, yet few programs are helping youth with disability to be physically active.
CATCH® (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) is the most cost-effective program proven to prevent childhood obesity and launch kids toward healthier lifestyles. The CATCH curriculum is designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices for students in Pre K through Grade 8. CATCH coordinates and reinforces healthy messages in schools, afterschool sites and early childhood centers. With the largest evidence base of any child health promotion program, CATCH is championed by educators and health professionals in over 11,000 communities worldwide. With support from Lakeshore Foundation - NCHPAD and Special Olympics International, FlagHouse and CATCH Global Foundation, the distributors of the CATCH program, will work to prioritize inclusion in current initiatives and programs starting with the CATCH Kids Club (CKC) afterschool curriculum.
The new CKC Inclusion Guide is an addendum to the CATCH Kids Club afterschool curriculum for grades K to 8. It provides practical tips and resources to maximize opportunities for youth with disability to participate in meaningful inclusive physical activity. The program adaptations were created utilizing the GRAIDs tool (Guidelines, Recommendation, and Adaptations Including Disability) which separates core program components to identify areas where adaptation is needed to make it more inclusive for people with disabilities. The result is a set of evidence-informed recommendations or adaptations that can be added back into the original curriculum for inclusion.
“The CATCH philosophy has always been about making physical activity fun and accessible to kids of all abilities,” said Duncan Van Dusen, CEO and Founder of CATCH Global Foundation. “Thanks to these new partnerships, we can now bring best practices for inclusion of youth with disability to the thousands of afterschool providers who use CATCH Kids Club.”
“Through this partnership with CATCH, Lakeshore is able to further its reach and vision of improving the lives of people with physical disability around the world,” said Lakeshore Foundation President Jeff Underwood. “Every community can access these resources and provide quality, inclusive physical activity programs.”
“Special Olympics’ mission is to make an inclusive world for people of all abilities. Statistically, children with intellectual disabilities are two times as likely to be obese compared to their peers without intellectual disabilities,” said Drew Boshell, Senior Vice President of Sport and Health, Special Olympics International. “We are pleased that this addendum will make afterschool activities accessible and inclusive for all children, setting them on a path to healthier, more fulfilling lives. We are optimistic that this collaboration will open new doors for children that have not been given the opportunity to benefit from much needed physical activity programs CATCH Kids Club.”
The CKC Inclusion Guide is now available as part of the digital CKC Activity Packs at CATCH.org. For more information about the CATCH Kids Club Afterschool Health Programs, go to https://catchinfo.org/programs/after-school/.
FlagHouse is a premier global source of quality equipment and programs serving physical education, recreation, special needs therapies and education. FlagHouse provides resources that enable physical activity, learning and play—to make the world more accessible and rewarding for everyone, regardless of age or ability. For more information, visit www.flaghouse.com.
About Lakeshore Foundation and NCHPAD
Lakeshore Foundation’s activity, research and advocacy initiatives annually serve thousands of children and adults with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions. Through the UAB/ Lakeshore Research Collaborative, Lakeshore is home to the CDC-funded National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). NCHPAD works to create health equity for people with disability by providing assistance in the form of web-based materials and health communication endeavors. For more information, visit www.lakeshore.org and www.nchpad.org.
About Special Olympics International
Special Olympics is the world's largest sport and public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities. We strive to make health systems fully inclusive to ensure people with intellectual disabilities are able to lead healthy and meaningful lives. For more information about Special Olympics, please visit https://www.specialolympics.org/ . For more information about inclusive health for people with intellectual disabilities, please visit inclusivehealthcenter.org.
About CATCH Global Foundation
CATCH Global Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in 2014. Our mission is to improve children’s health worldwide by developing, disseminating and sustaining the CATCH platform in collaboration with researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. The Foundation links underserved schools and communities to the resources necessary to create and sustain healthy change for future generations. For more information, visit www.catchinfo.org.