Jessalynn Jones 0

Justice desired for the disabled 4H Justice Riders

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4H is a club where youth and adults share hands-on experiences together to implement valuable outcomes. The 4H pledge is: "I Pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world." However, the 4H program (even at the statewide level) seems to be having a problem following their own pledge when it comes to involving disabled children. There is a Mom who needs help in justifying this situation. She is the mother of two children who are disabled with autism and cerebral palsy. She is also an adult leader for their 4H group. Thus far she has not convinced the 4H program to allow her children to compete at a state level for medals, or be graded on their ability and not their age on projects that they do complete. For example, 4H groupings require their youth to focus on one activity for one year, such as horses or sheep. The children are currently graded together in groups according to their age. This is difficult for a disabled older child with the ability of that of a younger child. It is being proposed that children who are unable to ride a horse can demonstrate their year long training on doing "in-hand" work with horses. Children with disabilities need more one-on-one time for reasons of their needs being met and safety. Therefore, in regards to earning medals at the state fair level, they may not be able to compete over several days. A specific example would be: trying to schedule their activities together within a reasonable time, and allowing them to have their adult mentors with them as needed during their performance There is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination to support this proposal. It is being supported by the people that sign this petition that the 4H Leaders accommodate disabled children. To allow these children to compete for points and advance to the state level as judged by their ability and as their training safely allows. We are hoping for 1,000 signatures to get started. Thank you for your support.

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