State 4-H Leader’s Perceptions of Involvement of Youth with Special Needs in the 4-H Program

Kristin S. Stair, Brenda S. Seevers, Austen Moore


Estimates indicate that 13% of school age children have a disability. With such a large number of children identified as individuals with special needs, it is important that organizations such as 4-H have strategies in place to work effectively with this population. This study sought to understand how Extension programs across the nation are working with children with special needs. Overall, 86% of respondents were unsure how many children with special needs were being served in their programs and only 44.7% of respondents indicated they provide training for agents and volunteers. While 68% of respondents indicated that there were programs in place, the scope and size of these opportunities varied greatly. Almost 95% of respondents indicated that modifications/accommodations were in place for children with special needs. The researchers suggest a more standardized response to identify and support children with special needs to ensure that effective programming can be developed.

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