Access & Inclusion
At Imagination Stage: Everybody Plays! Access at Imagination Stage endeavors to create an inclusive and welcoming environment and equitable access to all artistic and educational programming for students, staff, and visitors of all abilities.
Imagination Stage encourages children of all abilities to discover and develop their full creative potential through the performing arts. We work with students and their caregivers to identify and provide the most successful scenario for each student, whether in a “peer-group” Arts Access class or in a general classroom setting with reasonable and appropriate inclusion supports. All placements provide children a safe and welcoming environment to develop and enhance language, gross motor, developmental, cognitive, social and life-learning skills.
Access & Inclusion Opportunities
"Inclusion gives my son confidence as well as equality of access to drama and performance experiences. Inclusion changes everything for families/kids living with disabilities. –IStage Parent
Inclusion: Approximately 10 - 12% of our student population each semester is served through inclusion. To make sure that all students are welcome and safe at Imagination Stage, the inclusion process may include family communication, pre-program student/family visits, specific strategy implementation, additional staff support, and continued observation and follow-up.
Arts Access Classes and Teen Workshops are designed for students with cognitive/developmental disabilities. These classes offer the same curriculum covered in our general education classes, allowing students to have a deep exploration of their art form. Students will be provided a variety of entry points to the material with supports such as higher student-teacher ratios. Past offerings have included Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Physical Comedy, Improvisation, and Hip Hop Dance. Click here to find out more about our Arts Access Classes, or see the information below to contact a member of the Access Team.
Performance Accessibility: Imagination Stage works to create an inclusive and welcoming environment throughout our professional theatre programming. To learn more accessibility accommodations for our professional theatre productions, click here.
"Imagination Stage’s teaching team used theatre skills to effectively engage students and helped them develop self-confidence in emotional expression, verbal presentation, positive teamwork, and creativity to name but a few skills. The students’ families joined their children at the end of the year to see them at work! It was an inspiring experience as many parents watched their sons and daughter display their new talents and skills." --The Lourie Center
Students participating in residencies are encouraged and supported to further develop individual creativity, self-awareness, flexibility, empathy, and self-esteem, while increasing the vital ensemble skills of communication and collaboration. Residencies are custom-designed to meet the goals of our partner organizations. Imagination Stage is proud to have designed and implemented specialized drama residency experiences for the following schools and programs:
• The Ivymount School
• Kennedy Krieger School (Rockville Campus)
• The Lourie Center for Children’s Social and Emotional Wellness
• Take 2 Summer Camp
• The Auburn School (Silver Spring)
Imagination Stage offers customized professional development workshops and trainings for staff, faculty, and volunteers within arts and arts education communities to facilitate an exploration of disability and inclusion awareness and sensitivity. Trainings cover the basic tenets of accessibility and inclusion, but also focus on specific areas of interest or exploration as identified by the training host. Interactive trainings include discussion-based, hands-on, and reflection-based activities as well as the provision of tangible resources.
Find out more about our professional development trainings.
ArtAbility teams Imagination Stage with Glen Echo Park, The Ivymount School, and the Puppet Co. to design and implement a multi-genre arts program designed for middle school children on the autism spectrum. ArtAbility provides the opportunity for students to explore the artistic mediums of drama, music, puppetry, visual art, and movement while giving students the opportunity to develop socialization and communication, and the lifelong learning skills of self-esteem, empathy, advocacy, cooperation, perseverance, and creative-problem solving. ArtAbility is made possible through a Team Up grant with the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation.
Imagination Stage is a proud host site of the Reelabilities Film Festival, which is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. To learn more visit their website here.
National Youth Inclusion Summit / “I am Norm”
In January 2010, Imagination Stage served as a co-sponsor and facility host for the first ever National Youth Inclusion Summit. The Summit brought together twenty young people with and without disabilities from around the nation who worked together over the course of one weekend to design a multimedia campaign to promote the acceptance, respect, and full inclusion of youth with disabilities in schools and communities. The result of this work was the highly successful “I am Norm” campaign which has since reached thousands of young people, teachers, youth service workers, schools, and organizations nationwide. Imagination Stage is proud to be a partner organization of this vital project working to promote inclusion within all aspects of our society.
Questions? Contact a member of the Access Team