Community Inclusion TIES¿Qué es TIES (siglas en inglés)?

Together Including Every Student (TIES)/ Juntos Incluyendo a Todos los Estudiantes, fue desarrollado en 1997 por dos padres de niños con discapacidades, este programa promueve la participación de estudiantes y de adultos jóvenes que tienen discapacidades de desarrollo en actividades que sean inclusivas, extracurriculares y de la comunidad por medio del apoyo de estudiantes voluntarios entrenados.

Los Participantes con discapacidades de desarrollo van a participar  en actividades en las que ellos desarrollen intereses recreativos, aprendan sobre su comunidad, y que se diviertan con sus compañeros.

Los compañeros voluntarios aprenden cómo brindar apoyo a los participantes de acuerdo a sus necesidades individuales, obtienen más entendimiento sobre discapacidades y diversidad, y hacen una diferencia positiva en la vida de un compañero.

Los Líderes de Actividades crean una experiencia en donde todos los individuos y los talentos son incluidos, y promueven la concientización y la inclusión en la comunidad.

¿Cómo funciona TIES?

TIES actualmente está funcionando en más de 30 distritos escolares a lo largo del Oeste (Western), Centro, y las regiones de los Finger Lakes de Nueva York. Para ver si TIES está en su distrito escolar, visite está página.

Los Coordinadores de Distrito trabajan en estrecha colaboración con los distritos escolares para identificar a los participantes que sean elegibles, reclutar y entrenar (capacitar) a los compañeros que sean voluntarios, se comunican con los líderes de actividades, y hacen los arreglos necesarios para cada actividad.

Las Actividades pueden ser –

  • Un solo evento, como el baile escolar o un partido de fútbol después de la escuela.
  • Una clase que sea continua, como baile, artes marciales, música, o gimnasia.
  • La participación continua en una organización, como los Scouts.
  • Círculo de tambores de TIES (Drumming Circle).
  • Una clase de cocina.

Los participantes son niños y adultos jóvenes con discapacidades de desarrollo que tienen entre 8 y 21 años. Los individuos reciben un formulario del Coordinador del Distrito en el que le van a preguntar sobre sus intereses y sobre qué apoyos necesita para tener éxito. El apoyo es individualizado y puede ser  físico, social/de comportamiento o del lenguaje. Los participantes hacen una lista de las actividades en las que a ellos les gustaría participar o solicitar la información sobre las actividades deseadas. El Coordinador discute sobre las actividades elegidas y el apoyo requerido con el participante y/o con los padres. Se desarrolla un plan individualizado que va a guiar el apoyo de los compañeros voluntarios. El Coordinador también se comunica con el Líder de Actividades (Activity Leader) para introducir el programa TIES y para evaluar las adaptaciones especiales individuales que puedan ser necesarias.

Participant FAQ

nick and dWhat does an activity look like?

It can be any organized recreational or extracurricular school activity in which students typically take part. TIES arranges a trained student partner for each participant to facilitate a successful experience for all members of the group.

How long is each activity?

An activity may be one event, such as attending a school dance or after school football game, or an ongoing class (dance, martial arts, music, gymnastics) or continuing participation in a community organization such as Scouts.  If an activity is ongoing, two or more peer volunteers may share the commitment.

What restrictions are there to joining an activity?

Any activity that is organized and has an adult activity leader is available to the TIES program. Modifications, as needed, are arranged on an individual basis through the collaboration of the TIES Coordinator, the activity leader, parents, teachers, and other interested parties.

Who pays the activity fees?

The participant pays whatever fees, if any, are required by the activity of choice.

Is one peer volunteer assigned to one participant?

Peer volunteers make a commitment for one activity at a time and each activity is arranged as a separate project. For long-term activities, two or more peer volunteers may take part. Some partnerships endure from year to year, while others may change with each activity. Individual input and choice is a dynamic element of the program for both peer volunteers and participants.

As a participant what kind of support will I receive?

Your partner will provide whatever support will make the activity successful and enjoyable for you. It may be as general as keeping you company in a new activity, or it may be specific physical, verbal or social support (see Volunteer FAQs, What will I be doing? for sample strategies).

ties pic web sizeDoes the school provide transportation for me?

The school district does not provide transportation, and the TIES Coordinator is not allowed to transport participants. Parents are responsible for transporting their child to and from an activity.

What if I do not like the peer volunteer?

The TIES Coordinator aspires to match peer volunteers with participants based on common interest, age, and gender. Both parties complete similar applications on which they list their interests, hobbies, or activities they are currently involved in, or have been involved in before. From this information, the TIES Coordinator proceeds to make arrangements. The program is designed to be individual and flexible. If at any time either the participant or peer volunteer feels that he or she was not correctly matched, the Coordinator will gladly find another partner.

Can the peer volunteer spend time with me in my home?

TIES only provides peer volunteers for school- or community-sponsored activities that are run by an activity leader. If a participant and peer volunteer choose to spend time together outside of this type of activity that is their decision and not part of the TIES Program.

Los Compañeros Voluntarios son estudiantes dentro de su distrito escolar que cursan los grados de 8-12 y que quieren compartir sus intereses extracurriculares y  ¡hacen lo posible para que el participante experimente el aprendizaje y la diversión que es parte de la actividad! Después de completar un formulario y un programa de entrenamiento, se conectan en pares a los voluntarios con los participantes basándose en intereses mutuos, atributos personales y en su disponibilidad. El Coordinador desarrolla y explica el plan de apoyo del participante y provee asistencia continua.

Peer Volunteer FAQ

Community Inclusion TIES peer volunteersWhat will I be doing as a volunteer?

You will be providing support to a young person with a disability in a community recreational activity.  The individualized support plan that the TIES Coordinator gives to you will contain, in detail, the strategies that you will use to help your participant partner enjoy success in the activity and make friends with other members of the group.  Here are some examples of strategies – 

  • Cue the participant to say, “Hi!” to other members of the group.
  • Model turn-taking for the participant.
  • Break instructions down into short sentences.
  • Use conversation starters.
  • Move the participant’s wheelchair close to other members of the group.

What does an activity look like?

It can be any organized recreational or extracurricular school activity in which students typically take part.

How long is each activity?

An activity may be a single event, such as attending a school dance or after school football game, or an ongoing class (dance, martial arts, music, gymnastics) or continuous participation in a traditional organization, such as Scouts.  If an activity is ongoing, two or more peer volunteers may share the commitment.

Is one peer volunteer assigned to one participant?

Peer volunteers make a commitment for one activity at a time, and each activity is arranged as a separate project. For long-term activities, two or more peer volunteers may take part. Some partnerships endure from year to year, while others may change with each activity. Individual input and choice is a dynamic element of the program for both peer volunteers and participants.

What if I do not like the participant?

The TIES Coordinator aspires to match peer volunteers with participants based on common interest, age, and gender. Both parties complete similar applications on which they list their interests, hobbies, or activities they are currently involved in or have been involved in before. From this information, the TIES Coordinator proceeds to make arrangements. The program is designed to be individual and flexible. If at any time either the participant or peer volunteer feels that he or she was not correctly matched, the Coordinator will gladly find another partner.

Do I need to travel to and from the activity with the participant?

No. You and the participant are responsible for getting to and from the activity on your own.

Do I have to pay for the activity?

No. Your fee will be waived or covered by another source. You will need to register for the activity with the activity leader, however, so that you are covered by insurance.

Do I stay with the same participant from one activity that they choose to the next?

Once you and your participant have completed an activity, you may tell the TIES Coordinator whether you would like to continue in another activity, but it is not required.

What if I need to stop doing the activity because of another commitment?

When you have a change in your schedule, let your TIES Coordinator know so that she can find another peer volunteer. The program is flexible to accommodate the needs of student volunteers to participate in other activities along with TIES.

Can I do something with my participant partner outside of the TIES activity?

You are free to make arrangements to meet with your TIES participant outside of the TIES activity. The TIES Coordinator and the school district are not involved in or responsible for activities other than the TIES activity.

How do I begin?

Please complete the Application for Peer Volunteers [insert link to pdf] and follow the instructions on the application. Individuals whose applications are approved must attend a TIES training workshop prior to being matched with a participant.

What is the training workshop?

The peer volunteer training workshop is designed to extend awareness of inclusion, diversity, and language of respect.  It is integral to the program as a valuable tool for both volunteers and activity leaders, and can be adapted to a wide array of audiences. 

The workshop is 45 minutes long to accommodate school period schedules and covers the following areas – 

  • Definition of developmental disability.
  • How diversity enriches our lives and community.
  • The critical role of friendship in a person’s social and emotional growth.
  • Examples of support and modifications that the individual may need.
  • Person first language.
  • The skills and attributes of an effective peer volunteer.
  • The role and responsibilities of the peer volunteer.

The emphasis is on creating a relationship of mutual respect in which the specific goal is successful participation of each individual in a group activity.  Friendship, which cannot be mandated or created at will, may arise from this opportunity but is not a specific goal for the partner team.

Los Líderes de Actividades tienen la oportunidad de incluir a los jóvenes y a los adultos jóvenes  con discapacidades de desarrollo en su grupo. Un compañero voluntario asiste a la actividad con cada participante de TIES  para proveer el apoyo necesario. El Coordinador comparte las necesidades del participante con el líder de la actividad y provee los recursos como sean necesarios.

Activity Leader FAQ

ties track editWhat kind of support will the participant receive?

A trained TIES volunteer will provide support to a young person with a disability in a community recreational activity, according to the individualized support plan developed by the TIES Coordinator. The peer volunteer will have strategies to help his or her participant partner enjoy success in the activity, and make friends with other members of the group.  Here are some examples of strategies –

  • Cue the participant to say, “Hi!” to other members of the group.
  • Model turn-taking for the participant.
  • Break instructions down into short sentences.
  • Use conversation starters.
  • Move the participant’s wheelchair close to other members of the group.

Is one peer volunteer assigned to one participant?

Peer volunteers make a commitment for one activity at a time, and each activity is arranged as a separate project. For long-term activities, two or more peer volunteers may take part. Individual input and choice is a dynamic element of the program for both peer volunteers and participants.

What are my responsibilities toward the TIES volunteers?

They are the same as toward any member of your group. The TIES volunteer is there to provide specific individual support for his or her partner so that you can lead the group as a whole. With younger participants, the TIES volunteer, who may be older than the other students, may assume a role of general assistant, being naturally available to all the children. TIES volunteers can enrich the group as a whole by bringing a new experience to all.

What modifications will need to be made to this activity?

Modifications, if needed, are arranged on an individual basis through collaboration of the TIES Coordinator, the activity leader, parents, teachers, and other interested parties.

What is the role of the TIES Coordinator?

The TIES Coordinator is selected by the school district and is ideally the parent of a child with a disability. The Coordinator is responsible for –

  • Marketing TIES in the school and community.
  • Recruiting participants and peer volunteers.
  • Training peer volunteers and activity leaders through the training workshop.
  • Developing a support plan for each participant and sharing it with the peer volunteer.
  • Evaluating the experiences of the participants, peer volunteers and activity leaders.

What is the training workshop?

The training workshop is designed to extend awareness of inclusion, diversity and language of respect.  It is integral to the program as a valuable tool for both peer volunteers and activity leaders, and can be adapted to a wide array of audiences. 

The workshop is 45 minutes long to accommodate school period schedules, and covers the following areas – 

  • Definition of developmental disability.
  • How diversity enriches our lives and community.
  • The critical role of friendship in a person’s social and emotional growth.
  • Examples of support and modifications that the individual may need.
  • Person first language.
  • The skills and attributes of an effective peer volunteer.
  • The role and responsibilities of the peer volunteer.

The emphasis is on creating a relationship of mutual respect with the specific goal of successful participation of each individual in a group activity. Friendship, which cannot be mandated or created at will, may arise from this opportunity but is not a specific goal for the partner team.

¿Cómo puede comenzar?  

Por favor lea las Preguntas hechas frecuentemente (por sus siglas en inglés FAQ) para aprender más sobre el programa. Después, contacte al coordinador de TIES para su distrito para que lo asocien con un compañero voluntario, o para inscribirse para ser un compañero voluntario.

TIES Coordinators and School Districts

Kathy Costello – TIES Program Director - (585) 546-1700 - kcostello@starbridgeinc.org

School District TIES Coordinator District mailing address
Amherst

Erin Cogan

ecogan@amherstschools.org

Amherst School District
55 Kings Highway
Amherst, NY  14226
Avon

Barbara McCormick

bmccormick@avoncsd.org

Avon Central School District
191 Clinton Street
Avon, NY  14414
Brighton

Karen McGraw

karen_mcgraw@bcsd.org

Brighton Central School District
2035 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY  14618
Brockport

Katherine Manchester

Katherine.e.manchester@gmail.com

Brockport Central School District
40 Allen Street
Brockport, NY  14420
Cattaraugus-Little Valley

Sheryl Williams

swilliams@cattlv.wnyric.org

Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School District
25 N. Franklin Street
Cattaraugus, NY  14719
Corning-Painted Post

Robin Drury

rdrury@stny.rr.com

Corning-Painted Post School District
165 Charles St.
Painted Post, NY  14870
Cortland

Arielle Brown

ariellelbrown@yahoo.com
Cortland Enlarged City School District
1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY  13045
Dunkirk City

Diane Gifford

Dmgiff108@hotmail.com

Dunkirk City School District
Boorady Center-Special Ed. Office
90 East 4th Street
Dunkirk, NY 14048
East Irondequoit  

East Irondequoit Central School District
600 Pardee Rd.
Rochester, NY  14609

East Rochester

Laura Connard

laura.connard@erschool.org

East Rochester Union Free School District
200 Woodbine Avenue
East Rochester, NY  14445
Elmira

 Christine Melens

cmelens@gstboces.org

Elmira City School District
951 Hoffman Street
Elmira, NY  14905
Fairport

Mary Bridget Barniskis

TIESProgramfairport@outlook.com

Fairport Central School District
38 West Church Street
Fairport, NY  14450

Gananda

 

Julie Neal

djn4boys@gmail.com

Gananda Central School District
1500 Dayspring Ridge
Walworth, NY 14568
Gates Chili

Dee Staley

gateschili.ties@gmail.com
Gates Chili School District
3 Spartan Way
Rochester, NY 14624
Geneseo

Darlene Hunt

darlenehunt@geneseocsd.org

Geneseo Central School District
4050 Avon Road
Geneseo, NY  14454
Grand Island

Susan Spiesz

sspiesz@starbridgeinc.org

Grand Island
1100 Ransom Rd
Grand Island, NY 14072
Greece

Colleen Gates

ColleenGates@msn.com

Greece Central School District
750 Maiden Lane
Rochester NY 14615
Hamburg

 Kajsa Genzel

kgenzel@hamburgschools.org

Hamburg Central School District
5305 Abbott Road
Hamburg, NY 14075
Hilton

Katherine Manchester

Katherine.e.manchester@gmail.com
Hilton Central School District
225 West Avenue
Hilton, NY 14468
Honeoye

Kari Simmons

karisimmons63@gmail.com 

Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, NY 14471
Honeoye Falls-Lima   Honeoye Falls - Lima Central School District
20 Church Street
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
Hornell  

Hornell City School District
134 Seneca  Street
Hornell, NY 14843

Horseheads

Jennifer Cavanagh-Wheeler

jcavanagh@horseheadsdistrict.com 

Horseheads Central School District
One Raider Lane
Horseheads, NY 14845
Lewiston-Porter

Denise Plennert

dplennert@starbridgeinc.org

Lewiston-Porter Central School District
4061 Creek Road
Youngstown, NY 14174
Livonia

Marie Lynn Sweet

msweet@livoniacsd.org

Livonia Central School District
P.O. Box E
Livonia, NY 14487
Newark

Tracy Larson

testing@drtracylarson.com

Newark Central School District
100 East Miller Street
Newark, NY 14513
North Tonawanda

KasieLynn Schultz

casekm66@hotmail.com
North Tonawanda City Schools
175 Humphrey St.
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Penfield

Brenda Killackey-Jones

brenda@brendakj.com

Penfield Central School District
2590 Atlantic Ave
Rochester, NY 14625
Pittsford

Dale Cameron-Kody

dale_cameron-kody@pittsford.monroe.edu

Pittsford Central School District
75 Barker Rd
Pittsford, NY 14534
Rochester   Rochester City School District
690 St. Paul Street
Rochester, NY 14605
Rush-Henrietta

Elena Camerieri

erlmv@rochester.rr.com

Rush-Henrietta School District
150 Telephone Road 
West Henrietta, NY 14586 
Starpoint

KasieLynn Schultz

casekm66@hotmail.com

Starpoint
4363 Mapleton Road
Lockport, NY 14094
SUNY Geneseo

Victoria Starr

ves5@geneseo.edu

SUNY Geneseo
1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY 14454
Watkins Glen

Nancy St. Julien

stjulienn@aol.com

Watkins Glen
301 12th Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Wayne Central   Wayne Central School District
6200 Ontario Center Road
Ontario Center, NY  14520
Webster

Jennifer Russo

jlr.ties1@gmail.com

Webster Central School District
119 South Avenue
Webster, NY 14580
West Irondequoit

Michael Black

michael_black@westiron.monroe.edu

West Irondequoit Central School District
321 List Ave
Rochester, NY 14617
Williamson

Kate Wieser

kwieser@starbridgeinc.org

Williamson Central School District
PO Box 900
Williamson, NY 14589
Williamsville

Margaret Terrill

mterrill@starbridgeinc.org

Williamsville Central School District
105 Casey Road
East Amherst, NY 14051

Si su distrito escolar no está en la lista, ¿qué puede hacer?

Por favor llame a Kathy Costello, Director del Programa TIES, al 585-546-1700 o 800-650-4967 (la llamada es gratuita en el Estado de Nueva York) o envíe un mensaje electrónico (email) a kcostello@starbridgeinc.org.

Si usted desea ver implementado el programa TIES en su distrito, un paso esencial es el de considerar el apoyo financiero, administrativo y el personal (staff) disponible, así como también los recursos existentes que puedan complementar al programa TIES. El financiamiento para el programa TIES puede ser obtenido por diferentes medios. Sea creativo en la exploración de los distritos escolares locales, en la comunidad, y en las oportunidades de financiamiento a nivel estatal, incluyendo su oficina local, La Oficina del Estado de Nueva York para las Personas con Discapacidades de Desarrollo (NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities). La implementación exitosa de TIES es un esfuerzo en conjunto entre el Director del Programa TIES, el administrador del distrito escolar, y la comunidad.

Starting TIES in Your School District FAQ

How is TIES funded?

TIES was originally funded by a grant from the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council as a one-year, Field-Initiated Idea. After a successful year of development and implementation, our school districts assumed the cost of TIES. Other school districts in our area became aware of TIES and requested support in starting the program in their school districts. We sought funding from Family Support Services, a component of OPWDD (Office for People With Developmental Disabilities), to provide funding for one year of training to new school districts. After the initial year of funding, each school district commits to continued funding after the grant period.

What is the cost of TIES?

The District Coordinator’s salary is based on 13 hours per week for 36 weeks. This salary is paid through our existing grant for the initial year of implementation, and then the school district assumes responsibility. We allow a budget for supplies and expenses, such as brochures, posters, transparencies for volunteer training program, letterhead, postage, and printer cartridges.

What is the role of the TIES District Coordinator?

The TIES District Coordinator is selected by the school district and is ideally the parent of a child with a disability. The Coordinator is responsible for –

  • Marketing TIES in the school and community.
  • Recruiting participants and peer volunteers.
  • Training peer volunteers and activity leaders.
  • Developing support plans for each participant and sharing them with the volunteer.
  • Evaluating the participant’s, volunteer’s and activity leader’s experiences.

What does the TIES Program Package include?

There are three component parts to the TIES Program Package that provide the basic tools to implement the program –

  1. The TIES program manual is meant to explain the program design, provide structure for implementation, and detail the essential ingredients for success.
  2. The TIES training workshop is a PowerPoint presentation for peer volunteers and other interested audiences.
  3. The TIES video shows TIES participants and peer volunteers engaged in an array of activities, and presents the perspective of volunteer, participant, and parent.

Please contact Kathy Costello by phone at 585-546-1700 or email kcostello@starbridgeinc.org to discuss the TIES package further.

How do I persuade my school district and community to implement a TIES program in my community?

TIES was developed and implemented by two parents who each had a child with a developmental disability. They knew from firsthand experience the interest their children had in joining recreational activities, as well as the difficulty they had in getting the modifications and support they needed to be successful. Although it was their children’s right to fully participate in school and community activities, several obstacles kept them from being able to do so. A lack of knowledge, experience, and effective support was preventing their success.

Parents are often in the best position to advocate for TIES, since the opportunity it provides to their children means the most to them. An initial meeting with the school district’s Director of Special Education to share the concept of TIES, and to elicit his or her feedback and experience, is an important beginning. Frequently, we find that these individuals recognize the need for inclusive recreation and are enthused about exploring approaches to meet this need. You may want to form a group of parents, school district members, and community members to identify approaches that would be effective in your community. It is always critical to include key decision-makers at the outset who can assist with planning, funding options and implementation.

How does Starbridge market TIES to school districts?

Since our existing grant runs from January 1 – December 31, in September of each year we send a letter and brochure to each school district in the county that our grant covers. In this letter, we describe the TIES program, and encourage contact with the Pupil Services Director/Special Education Chairperson in order to set up a meeting with the TIES Director to more fully describe TIES. The TIES Director asks for a commitment from the school district stating that – after the initial year of funding – the school district will continue the program.

TIES es un programa de Starbridge, y es financiado por La Oficina Regional de Discapacidades de Desarrollo de  Finger Lakes (Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Regional Office) y por la Oficina Regional de Discapacidades de Desarrollo del Oeste de NY (Western NY Developmental Disabilities Regional Office).