It is very important for students to participate in various non-academic extracurricular activities while in school. Extracurricular activities, such as music, sports, ag and clubs, teach responsibility, teamwork and self-esteem while developing skills. The inclusion of students with disabilities in these extracurricular activities should not be overlooked. Disabled students learn how to build relationships, develop new skills and grow their self-esteem through extracurricular activities. This inclusion will teach “nondisabled” students to see disabled students for who they are, not for the disability they may have. Accepting others for their talents and character is a life lesson that can be taught by participating in activities that teach teamwork, responsibility and self-worth.
Disabled students that participate in extracurricular activities do not seek to be treated differently than those without disabilities. They seek for inclusion! To be one of the TEAM! To fit in! Their disability may make it more difficult to participate and they may have to work harder to achieve the same goal as non-disabled students but the price of being included and seen as an equal outweighs the extra cost. Nondisabled students are no different really than disabled students. All are seeking acceptance. This acceptance is achieved when they fill a part of a team and feel important to a cause. There are various things that hinder progress on different levels but once all the barriers are broken down achieving ones goals is possible. Society has gotten away from working together to achieve a task. Works can be achieved quicker and more effectively by a team or group than by the hands of one. Seeing the value of what individuals in our communities have to offer can establish a base that can be built upon to accomplish what could seem impossible.