New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition - the Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities
Quality Standards

Self-Assessment Rubric: Special Needs & the Whole Child

Performance Levels
Rate your afterschool program in each of the indicators using the following system:

  • Performance Level 1: Needs Improvement/Standard Not Met
  • Performance Level 2: Some Progress Made/Approaching Standard
  • Performance Level 3: Satisfactory/Meets Standard
  • Performance Level 4: Excellent/Exceeds Standard

A quality afterschool program should strive to meet Performance Level 3 on all quality indicators.

Special Needs & The Whole Child
The program environment is welcoming, supportive, and respectful of youth with any special or unique needs and their families.

1. The program views a "special need" as any special situation or unique need of a child

The program implements the concepts outlined below for any special situation or unique need that a child or youth has, not just those that are formally classified or for which the program has record of a classification.

  • Performance Level 4: The program consistently implements the relevant concepts outlined below in any situation in which a program youth has a unique need, regardless of classification or eligibility for classification. For example, the program may use this approach for a youth struggling through the divorce of her/his parents.
  • Performance Level 3: The program implements the relevant concepts outlined below in situations in which a program youth has a unique need, even if that need is not classified or eligible for classification. For example, the program may use this approach for a youth struggling through the divorce of her/his parents. However, it does not do this consistently, and most youth that the program views as having a “special need” are those with needs that are classified or are eligible for classification.
  • Performance Level 2: The program implements the relevant concepts outlined below for youth with unique needs that are eligible for classification, even if the need is not formally classified or if the program has no record of a classification. However, it does not implement these concepts for youth with unique needs that are not eligible for classification.
  • Performance Level 1: The program only implements the concepts below for youth with special needs that are formally classified.

2. The program advertises itself as welcoming to youth with special needs

a. The program advertises its policy to enroll youth with special needs in writing where families and staff can see it.

  • Performance Level 4: The program advertises its policy to enroll youth with special needs in writing on all major written program materials. It also posts this policy in a prominent place at the program.
  • Performance Level 3: The program advertises its policy to enroll youth with special needs in writing on most, though not all, major written program materials. It may not post this policy in a prominent place at the program.
  • Performance Level 2: The program advertises its policy to enroll youth with special needs in writing in some written program materials, but most do not advertise this policy. It does not post this policy at the program space.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not advertise a policy to enroll youth with special needs in writing where families and staff can see it.

b. Program materials include information that clearly demonstrates that the program is welcoming of youth with special needs. For example, materials may explain that there's a section of the IEP that can include afterschool and encourage families to look into their options. Or, if applicable, materials may say that the program has special education teachers on site.

  • Performance Level 4: Program materials explicitly state that the program welcomes youth with special needs and does all it can to help youth integrate into the program community. Program materials explain that there’s a section of the IEP that can include afterschool and encourage families to look into their options. If applicable, materials say that the program has special education teachers on site. Materials may also include other information demonstrating that the program is welcoming.
  • Performance Level 3: Program materials explicitly state that the program welcomes youth with special needs and does all it can to help youth integrate into the program community. Materials may also include other information demonstrating that the program is welcoming.
  • Performance Level 2: Program materials explicitly state that the program welcomes youth with special needs. However, materials do not go beyond this to demonstrate that the program is welcoming.
  • Performance Level 1: Program materials do not explicitly state or otherwise demonstrate that the program is welcoming of youth with special needs.

3. Professional development around special needs is appropriate and high quality

a. The program trains staff on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Disability Law.

  • Performance Level 4: The program trains all staff on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Disability Law. All staff display mastery of the material.
  • Performance Level 3: The program trains all staff on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Disability Law. Most, though not all, staff display mastery of the material.
  • Performance Level 2: The program trains some but not all staff on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Disability Law.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not train staff on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Disability Law.

b. The program provides staff with training on ways to individualize activities or routines for youth with special needs that are applicable to a wide variety of situations.

  • Performance Level 4: The program trains all staff on ways to individualize activities or routines for youth with special needs that are applicable to a wide variety of situations. All staff display mastery of the material.
  • Performance Level 3: The program trains all staff on ways to individualize activities or routines for youth with special needs that are applicable to a wide variety of situations. Most, though not all, staff display mastery of the material.
  • Performance Level 2: The program trains some but not all staff on ways to individualize activities or routines for youth with special needs that are applicable to a wide variety of situations.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not train staff on ways to individualize activities or routines for youth with special needs that are applicable to a wide variety of situations.

c. Staff training builds awareness of developmental milestones and signs that may indicate a child has a unique need and requires a different approach.

  • Performance Level 4: All staff are trained to understand developmental milestones and to recognize signs that may indicate a child has a unique need and requires a different approach. All staff display mastery of these concepts.
  • Performance Level 3: All staff are trained to understand developmental milestones and to recognize signs that may indicate a child has a unique need and requires a different approach. Most, though not all, staff display mastery of these concepts.
  • Performance Level 2: Some but not all staff are trained to understand developmental milestones and to recognize signs that may indicate a child has a unique need and requires a different approach.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are not trained to understand developmental milestones or to recognize signs that may indicate a child has a unique need and requires a different approach.

d. Staff training builds awareness of the importance of inclusion and the practices that support inclusion.

  • Performance Level 4: All staff are trained to understand the importance of inclusion and the practices that support inclusion. All staff display mastery of these concepts.
  • Performance Level 3: All staff are trained to understand the importance of inclusion and the practices that support inclusion. Most, though not all, staff display mastery of these concepts.
  • Performance Level 2: Some but not all staff are trained to understand the importance of inclusion and the practices that support inclusion.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are not trained to understand the importance of inclusion and the practices that support inclusion.

e. When necessary and appropriate, the program conducts specific training for staff on how to accommodate the specific special needs of youth in the program.

  • Performance Level 4: Immediately after enrolling a child with a specific special need that requires additional staff training, program administrators conduct the necessary research to identify high-quality trainers and training materials on this topic and to acquire expertise themselves on the topic. Prior to the first day of the child’s participation in the program, at least two staff members receive high-quality, specialized training on the topic. Within one month of the first day of the child’s participation in the program, the program provides basic training on the topic to all staff.
  • Performance Level 3: After enrolling a child with a specific special need that requires additional staff training, program administrators conduct the necessary research to identify high-quality trainers and training materials on this topic. Prior to the first day of the child’s participation in the program, at least two staff members receives high-quality, specialized training on the topic.
  • Performance Level 2: After enrolling a child with a specific special need that requires additional staff training, at least one staff member receives specialized training on the topic. However, this training may not be high-quality and/or it may occur after the child’s first day participating in the program.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not provide any specialized training for staff even if the program enrolls a child with a specific special need that requires additional staff training.
  • NA: The program has never enrolled a child with a specific special need that requires additional staff training.

f. Professional development in this area follows the guidelines for appropriate and high quality professional development outlined in the Administration section, standard #4. For example, professional development around special needs is ongoing, reinforced, and integrated into the day to day operations of the program.

  • Performance Level 4: The administration’s evaluation of the program’s professional development needs and offerings and development of a professional development plan include attention to PD around special needs issues. The program uses qualified, experienced trainers and/or evidence-based training materials. Training on this topic includes job-embedded learning in addition to formal training opportunities.
  • Performance Level 3: The administration’s evaluation of the program’s professional development needs and offerings and development of a professional development plan include attention to PD around special needs issues. The program uses effective trainers and training materials for professional development around special needs issues, though these may not have an established track-record. Professional development around this topic consists primarily of formal training opportunities and makes minimal use of job-embedded learning.
  • Performance Level 2: The administration’s evaluation of the program’s professional development needs and offerings and development of a professional development plan do not include adequate attention to PD around special needs issues. However, the program does use effective trainers and training materials for professional development around special needs issues, though these may not have an established track-record. Professional development around this topic consists entirely of formal training opportunities and does not use job-embedded learning.
  • Performance Level 1: The administration’s evaluation of the program’s professional development needs and offerings and development of a professional development plan does not include any attention to PD around special needs issues. The program does not use effective trainers or training materials for professional development around special needs issues. Professional development around this topic consists entirely of formal training opportunities and does not use job-embedded learning.

4. The program takes steps to ensure communication with families about youth with special needs is respectful and as effective as possible

a. There are opportunities for parents or guardians to provide information about a youth's special need or situation in a safe and confidential environment.

  • Performance Level 4: Parents or guardians have at least one written and one verbal opportunity at the beginning of each school year or at the time of the child’s enrollment to provide information confidentially about a youth’s special need. Staff use this exchange to ensure families of this confidentiality and to explain to families program practices designed to ensure the emotional and physical safety of program youth with special needs. Staff always maintain this confidentiality.
  • Performance Level 3: Parents or guardians have at least one opportunity, either written or verbal, at the beginning of each school year or at the time of the child’s enrollment, to provide information confidentially about a youth’s special need. Staff use this exchange to ensure families of this confidentiality, and staff always maintain this confidentiality.
  • Performance Level 2: Parents or guardians have at least one opportunity, either written or verbal, at the beginning of each school year or at the time of the child’s enrollment, to provide information about a youth’s special need. However, staff do not always successfully ensure families that the information is confidential.
  • Performance Level 1: There are no opportunities for parents or guardians to provide information about a youth’s special need or situation.

b. Staff do not ask about special needs prior to accepting a youth into the program and at no point violate a family's privacy or pressure a family to give information not offered to the program already.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff never ask about special needs prior to accepting a youth into the program. Families never feel that their privacy is violated or that they are pressured to give information not offered to the program already.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff never ask about special needs prior to accepting a youth into the program. However, families occasionally feel that their privacy is violated or that they are pressured to give information not offered to the program already.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff occasionally ask about special needs prior to accepting a youth into the program, but generally staff ask this question when a child is enrolling and has already been accepted. Families sometimes feel that their privacy is violated or that they are pressured to give information not offered to the program already.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff ask about special needs prior to accepting a youth into the program. Families sometimes feel that their privacy is violated or that they are pressured to give information not offered to the program already.

c. Staff make sure families are aware of what the program can provide for youth with special needs.

  • Performance Level 4: The program uses a variety of strategies, both verbal and written, to explain to all families what the program can provide for youth with special needs. Staff check in periodically with families to ensure that they are aware of program provisions. This communication occurs with all families, though not always one-on-one, at least twice a year.
  • Performance Level 3: The program uses a variety of strategies, both verbal and written, to explain to all families what the program can provide for youth with special needs. This communication occurs at least once a year. However, staff do not often check in with families to ensure that they are aware of program provisions.
  • Performance Level 2: The program explains to families what it can provide for youth with special needs. However, the program uses only written or only verbal means for this communication, and/or the program targets some but not all families for this communication. Staff may not check in with families to ensure that they are aware of program provisions.
  • Standard Performance Level 1: Staff do not take any steps to ensure that families are aware of what the program can provide for youth with special needs.

d. Staff or materials make clear to families that the program doesn't have information about youth that the family has not explicitly given, for example, information that the family has given to the school.

  • Performance Level 4: The program uses both verbal and written means to communicate to all families that the it doesn't have information about youth that the family has not explicitly given. This communication clearly explains that the program does not automatically have information that the family has given to the school.
  • Performance Level 3: The program uses either verbal or written means, but not both, to communicate to all families that it doesn't have information about youth that the family has not explicitly given. This communication clearly explains that the program does not automatically have information that the family has given to the school.
  • Performance Level 2: The program uses either verbal or written means to communicate to families that it doesn't have information about youth that the family has not explicitly given. However, the program targets some, not all, families for this communication, and/or this communication does not clearly explain that the program does not automatically have information that the family has given to the school.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not make clear to families that the program doesn't have information about youth that the family has not explicitly given.

e. The program has the philosophy that strong, trusting relationships with families is the foundation for information-sharing about a youth's special need or situation.

  • Performance Level 4: The program has an explicit philosophy that strong, trusting relationships with families is the foundation for information-sharing about a youth's special need or situation. The program communicates this policy explicitly and effectively to staff, whose actions on based on this belief.
  • Performance Level 3: Program staff almost always act on the belief that strong, trusting relationships in families is the foundation for information-sharing about a youth’s special need or situation. However, there is no intentional strategy for communicating this philosophy to new staff or staff struggling in this regard.
  • Performance Level 2: Some but not all program staff act on the belief that strong, trusting relationships is families is the foundation for information-sharing about a youth’s special need or situation. There is no intentional strategy for communicating this philosophy to new staff or staff struggling in this regard.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not have the philosophy, explicitly or otherwise, that strong, trusting relationships with families is the foundation for information-sharing about a youth’s special need or situation.

f. There are strategies in place for effective communication with the family about a youth's special need or situation when necessary and appropriate. Communication should include discussion of the youth's interests and skills, as well as opportunities for the family to share with staff effective strategies for helping the child or youth succeed.

  • Performance Level 4: There are varied strategies in place for effective communication, both written and verbal, with a family about a youth's special need or situation when necessary and appropriate. Communication includes discussion of the youth’s interests and skills, as well as opportunities for the family to share with staff effective strategies for helping the child or youth succeed. This communication is always two-way, with the program providing as much opportunity for families to share as it does information or advice to parents. This communication is always respectful of families and youth, and it balances any negative concerns with a focus on the positive.
  • Performance Level 3: There are varied strategies in place for effective communication, both written and verbal, with a family about a youth's special need or situation when necessary and appropriate. Communication includes discussion of the youth’s interests and skills, as well as opportunities for the family to share with staff effective strategies for helping the child or youth succeed. However, this communication sometimes overemphasizes program information or advice to parents and under-emphasizes family input. The communication is always respectful of families and youth, but it is sometimes excessively negative and fails to balance negative concerns with a focus on the positive.
  • Performance Level 2: There is at least one intentional strategy in place for communication, either written or verbal, with a family about a youth's special need or situation when necessary and appropriate. However, there are not varied strategies in place. Also, this communication may not include discussion of the youth’s interests and skills or opportunities for the family to share with staff effective strategies for helping the child or youth succeed.
  • Performance Level 1: There are no strategies in place for effective communication with the family about a youth's special need or situation even when necessary and appropriate.

5. The program's response to youth with a special need or situation is well-planned and appropriate

a. The program has a procedure to follow when staff recognize that a youth needs special attention.

  • Performance Level 4: The program has a written procedure to follow when staff recognize that a youth needs special attention. All staff are trained in this procedure and follow it faithfully and consistently.
  • Performance Level 3: The program has a written procedure to follow when staff recognize that a youth needs special attention. However, staff may not all be trained in this procedure. Staff generally, but may not always, follow it faithfully and consistently.
  • Performance Level 2: The program does not have a written procedure to follow when staff recognize that a youth needs special attention. However, the administration has discussed this issue and generally follows the same basic steps each time this situation arises.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not have any procedure to follow when staff recognize that a youth needs special attention.

b. The program supports the goals set by a youth's Child Study Team, if applicable.

  • Performance Level 4: For each program youth with an IEP of which the program is aware, program staff meet with the Child Study Team to discuss the goals and how the afterschool program can support them. Either the program is written into the IEP or program staff develop a written plan to guide the actions the program takes to support the goals. Staff faithfully and consistently follow the plan, revising it as needed.
  • Performance Level 3: For each program youth with an IEP of which the program is aware, the program has a copy of the IEP. Program staff develop a written plan to guide the actions the program takes to support the goals set by the youth’s Child Study Team. Staff faithfully and consistently follow the plan, revising it as needed.
  • Performance Level 2: For each program youth with an IEP of which the program is aware, the program has assessed how the program can support the goals laid out. However, there is no written plan and/or there is a written plan, but staff do not faithfully and consistently follow it.
  • Performance Level 1: The program makes no attempt to support the goals set by a youth’s Child Study Team, even if there are program youth with an IEP of which the program is aware.
  • NA: There are no program youth with an IEP of which the program is aware.

c. The program makes reasonable accommodations in order to be able to include youth with special needs and facilitate their success in the program. (Note that the language of "reasonable accommodations" is from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). "Reasonable" means that the program is not required to dramatically change its structure, and what is "reasonable" varies according to the specific situation.) Accommodations may include modifications to the environment, activities, materials, or methods of interacting. Examples of modifications to the environment are placing picture cards on activity centers so youth can identify activities without reading and designating a "safe" area for a specific child or youth to go to alone when needed. An example of a modification to an activity is having a peer buddy system to give extra support, for example if a child in a wheelchair is pushed around the bases in a baseball game. A material modification might be having soft balls with bells in them that a youth who is blind could use for catch. Examples of modifications to methods of interaction are using more non-verbal communication such as with objects, actions, and pictures and making rules very simple. See the resources section for more examples of accommodations.

  • Performance Level 4: The program develops a written document outlining possible and necessary accommodations for each program youth with a special need. This outline is comprehensive and reflects collaborative brainstorming and research into expert opinion, and the administration revisits it for needed updates at least annually. Staff members regularly refer to this outline and implement accommodations as needed.
  • Performance Level 3: Program staff collectively have an understanding of multiple possible and necessary accommodations for each program youth with a special need, and they implement these accommodations as needed. However, there may be no written document outlining these options. If there is a written document, this outline may not reflect collaborative brainstorming or research into expert opinion, and/or the administration may not revisit it for needed updates at least annually.
  • Performance Level 2: The administration implements the minimum necessary accommodations in order to be able to include youth with special needs in the program, as these situations arise. However, the program does not go beyond what is minimally necessary.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not implement even the minimum necessary accommodations in order to be able to include youth with special needs in the program, even as these situations arise.

d. Program administrators and staff consider the unique circumstances of each youth and each situation when coming up with responses.

  • Performance Level 4: The collection of possible and necessary accommodations for each program youth that the staff may draw on as needed is developed with attention not just to the youth’s classification but also to the individual youth’s full spectrum of needs and abilities. The collection of possible and necessary accommodations for each program youth that the staff may draw on as needed is varied enough that different accommodations are appropriate for different situations in the same program with the same youth. Staff draw on this collection of options carefully and intentionally so that accommodations are always customized to specific situations.
  • Performance Level 3: Accommodations for youth with special needs are generally customized to match the specific situation and the individual youth’s full spectrum of needs and abilities, not just the youth’s classification. However, the staff implement some accommodations without attention to needed customization.
  • Performance Level 2: Most accommodations for youth with special needs are not customized to match the specific situation and the individual youth’s full spectrum of needs and abilities, not just the youth’s classification. However, staff do sometimes consider needed customizations when implementing accommodations.
  • Performance Level 1: Accommodations for youth with special needs are never customized to match the specific situation and the individual youth’s full spectrum of needs and abilities. Accommodations, when they occur, are based entirely on a youth’s classification, with no further considerations.

e. Activity planning includes consideration of the multiple ways a youth with special needs might approach the activity and what accommodations might help in each scenario. The plans should be flexible enough to make immediate accommodations or changes as needed.

  • Performance Level 4: For every activity plan, staff consider the multiple ways that program youth with special needs might approach the activity and what accommodations might help in each scenario. Plans are flexible enough to make immediate accommodations or changes as needed.
  • Performance Level 3: For most, but not all, activity planning, staff consider the multiple ways that program youth with special needs might approach the activity and what accommodations might help in each scenario. Plans are generally, but not always, flexible enough to make immediate accommodations or changes as needed.
  • Performance Level 2: When planning activities, staff sometimes consider the multiple ways that program youth with special needs might approach the activity and what accommodations might help in each scenario. However, they do not do this on a regular basis. Also, plans are often not flexible enough to make immediate accommodations or changes as needed.
  • Performance Level 1: When planning activities, staff do not consider the multiple ways that program youth with special needs might approach the activity and what accommodations might help in each scenario.

f. Responses or modifications allow for maximum possible participation, inclusion, and independence for youth with special needs.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff prioritize maximizing participation, inclusion, and independence for youth with special needs when developing and implementation program modifications. Staff draw on collaborative brainstorming and research into expert opinion in order to achieve this goal.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff prioritize maximizing participation, inclusion, and independence for youth with special needs when developing and implementation program modifications. However, they do not draw on collaborative brainstorming and research into expert opinion in order to achieve this goal.
  • Performance Level 2: When developing and implementing accommodations, staff focus primarily on other considerations, such as safety and efficiency. However, some modifications do allow for maximum possible participation, inclusion, and independence for youth with special needs.
  • Performance Level 1: Responses or modifications do not allow for maximum possible participation, inclusion, and independence for youth with special needs

g. Staff behavior accurately reflects the program's policies regarding youth with special needs.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff behavior is always in line with the program’s official and written policies regarding youth with special needs.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff behavior is generally in line with the program’s official and written policies regarding youth with special needs. However, staff behavior sometimes diverges from these policies.
  • Performance Level 2: Is is common for staff behavior to diverge from the program’s official and written policies regarding youth with special needs. However, the program does take steps to bring staff behavior in line with program policies, including through professional development.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff behavior does not accurately reflects the program's policies regarding youth with special needs.

6. The program makes use of outside resources and professionals when necessary and appropriate

a. When necessary and appropriate, the program conducts a dialog with relevant professionals outside the program regarding youth with special needs in the program. This may include the Child Study Team and other school-day staff. The program ensures it has the permission of the parent or guardian when discussing an individual child or youth.

  • Performance Level 4: The program regularly consults outside professionals to learn more about the special needs that affect program youth. This consultation is intentional and well-planned, and it occurs proactively every time there is a program youth with a need or situation that is new to the program. The program always has the permission of the parent or guardian if discussing the specific situation of an individual child or youth.
  • Performance Level 3: The program consults outside professionals to learn more about the special needs that affect program youth. This generally occurs any time staff are confrontated with a challenging situation they do not know how to address. However, this consultation may be ad-hoc rather than well-planned. Also, this consultation may not occur proactively every time there is a program youth with a need that is new to the program. The program always has the permission of the parent or guardian if discussing the specific situation of an individual child or youth.
  • Performance Level 2: The program rarely consults outside professionals to learn more about the special needs that affect program youth, even when there is need for such consultation. However, such consultation does occur occasionally.
  • Performance Level 1: The program never consults outside professionals to learn more about the special needs that affect program youth, even when there is need for such consultation.
  • NA: The program has never had need for such outside consultation.

b. When necessary and appropriate, the program seeks outside resources to aid in the process of identifying ways to accommodate youth with special needs in the program and implementing those accommodations.

  • Performance Level 4: The program regularly seeks outside resources to learn more about possible accommodations for the special needs that affect program youth. This process is intentional and well-planned, and it occurs proactively every time there is a program youth with a need or situation that is new to the program.
  • Performance Level 3: The program seeks outside resources to learn more about possible accommodations for the special needs that affect program youth. This generally occurs any time staff are confrontated with a challenging situation they do not know how to address. However, this process may be ad-hoc rather than well-planned. Also, this process may not occur proactively every time there is a program youth with a need that is new to the program.
  • Performance Level 2: The program rarely seeks outside resources to learn more about possible accommodations for the special needs that affect program youth, even when there is need for such resources. However, this process does occur occasionally.
  • Performance Level 1: The program never seeks outside resources to learn more about possible accommodations for the special needs that affect program youth, even when there is need for such resources.
  • NA: The program has never had need for such outside resources.

7. To the extent possible, the program's physical space is accessible and welcoming to people with special needs, even if there are no youth enrolled in the program who currently have this need

a. All newly constructed facilities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For older spaces, programs do what they can to create pathways with room for wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers, even if there are no youth enrolled who currently use these.

  • Performance Level 4: All newly constructed facilities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The program ensures that older spaces can accommodate wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers, even if there are no youth enrolled who currently use these.
  • Performance Level 3: All newly constructed facilities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The administration reorganizes some older spaces to accommodate wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers, even if there are no youth enrolled who currently use these. However, the administration only reorganizes older spaces when this process is relatively easy and inexpensive.
  • Performance Level 2: All newly constructed facilities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The administration does not reorganize older spaces.
  • Performance Level 1: Even newly constructed facilities are not always compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

b. Newly constructed or altered playgrounds are compliant with the ADA. Programs consider what would be fun and challenging for youth with special needs when constructing or altering outdoor space.

  • Performance Level 4: The program’s outdoor space reflects consideration of what would be fun and challenging for youth with special needs. This consideration is based on collaborative brainstorming and research into expert opinion. If the program constructs or alters a playground, it ensures the space is compliant with the ADA.
  • Performance Level 3: When designing the program’s outdoor space, administrators consider what would be fun and challenging for youth with special needs, to the extent possible. However, the administration does not have full control over design of the program’s outdoor space. If the program constructs or alters a playground, it ensures the space is compliant with the ADA.
  • Some Progress: If the program constructs or alters a playground, it ensures the space is compliant with the ADA. However, the program does not go beyond the minimum requirements of the law with regard to special needs in the design of its outdoor space.
  • Performance Level 1: The program constructs or alters a playground that is not compliant with the ADA. The administration does not consider youth with special needs when designing outdoor space.