As great as technology has proven to be of late, and as lucky as we are to be able to turn to a virtual world during this pandemic, it falls short of providing a full sense of inclusion and social engagement.
That is why I was happy to see that there is an upcoming event that will combine socialization and outdoor play for kids with special needs. Even though this is a one-day event for two hours, it still will be a great opportunity for outdoor activity.
I have read many different articles regarding the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities which state that, while all of us are being impacted psychologically, there is an increase in the response of those with disabilities. One such article from the American Psychological Association, “How COVID-19 Impacts People With Disabilities,” points out, “ ... the pandemic might particularly harm the mental health of marginalized populations who have less access to socioeconomic resources and supportive social networks (e.g., Goldmann & Galea, 2014).” The article full reveals, “Some people with disabilities report higher levels of social isolation than their nondisabled counterparts (O’Sullivan & Bourgin, 2010). They may experience intensified feelings of loneliness in response to physical distancing measures.” https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/research-disabilities
“Special Needs Sports Day” is the creation of John Hansen. Hansen participated in a similar project as an Eagle Scout project in Orem several years ago and wanted to make it happen again. Individuals of all ages with special needs are invited to participate at no charge and teams will be divided accordingly.
This event will be held at the Spanish Fork Sports Park located at 295 Volunteer Drive on Aug. 15th from 8:30-10:00 am. Customized trophies will be awarded for those who RSVP by Monday, but registration will continue until the event. An RSVP can be made by calling Hansen at (801) 318-4023.
Spectators are being asked to wear masks and hand sanitizer will be made available.