The Foundation, created by American Idol contestant, Clay Aiken, focuses on programs that help bridge the gap that exists between young people with special needs and the world around them. The Foundation also supports communities as they create environments of full inclusion where opportunities exist, barriers break, and doors open. Funding priorities include but are not limited to the development of inclusion/integration curricula primarily in K-12; educational approaches that engage different learning styles; inclusion strategies for minority populations including those for whom English is a second language; and service learning opportunities and program development, training, and implementation. Also of interest are job training; development, training and implementation for recreational programs aimed at both paid staff and volunteers; and continuing education programs/symposia aimed at developing best practices protocols and strategies. The Foundation will also consider programs that create awareness, change attitudes and behaviors about the abilities of young people with special needs, and those that foster full life experiences. Applications should promote the inclusion of children with special needs in school and community settings.
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