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National Service and Inclusion Project

Inclusion: The active engagement of people with disabilities as service members in all levels of national and community service

Visit NSIP's sister site The National Service to Employment Project (NextSTEP)


Photo detail of hand
holding penField Essay


Advice to Service Programs: For Successful Inclusion

This section is a summary of the advice participants offered to service programs that want to successfully recruit, engage and retain participants with disabilities. Advice is organized into the following categories:

  1. Outreach and Recruitment
  2. Interview
  3. Training
  4. Host Site
  5. Reasonable Accommodation
  6. Disability Law
  7. Etiquette

Outreach and Recruitment:

Outreach· focusing on that community and saying to that community: "We want your participation. We believe that you have the skills that are needed to help other communities." Outreach is the key: to get out there and to notify every disability organization that you can think of, and not just notify, you need to develop relationships. The best way to get a community involved in your cause is to get involved in their cause also. [Service programs] not only need to do outreach and recruit people with disabilities, but they need to integrate themselves in that community. We need to be a part of that community.
Peter Anderson, Director, Vancouver Housing Authority Statewide VISTA; AmeriCorps/VISTA,1994-1996; Promise Fellow, 1999-2000


If someone identifies as having a disability before the interview, ask them if they need accommodation, what kind, and be prepared to provide it.


Host Site:

Reasonable Accommodation:

Disability law:


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Go to another chapter in the Field Essay:

  1. Introduction: Project and Methodology
  2. Service & Inclusion: How Do These Concepts Relate?
  3. Disability Awareness: Identifying Barriers to Inclusion
  4. Reasonable Accommodation: Examples and Recommendations
  5. Advice to Service Programs: For Successful Inclusion
  6. Appendix

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©The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) is a training and technical assistance provider on disability inclusion. NSIP partners with the Association on University Centers on Disability, National Council on Independent Living, Association on Higher Education and Disability and National Down Syndrome Congress to build connections between disability organizations and all CNCS grantees, including national directs, to increase the participation of people with disabilities in national service.