TIES

TIES gives participants and volunteers the opportunity to develop:

  • Leisure skills
  • Community and School Connections
  • Friendships

What is TIES?

Together Including Every Student (TIES) promotes the participation of students with disabilities in extracurricular and community activities by creating effective, natural support provided by trained student volunteers. This unique program began in 1997 in the Brighton and Webster School Districts, and now is available in over 20 school districts in Monroe County and beyond, including the Victor Central School District. The goal is to provide a secure and informed environment that is also free from too much adult intervention, so children with disabilities can take part in traditional community and extracurricular activities in the most natural possible manner.

The program employs a coordinator to work in close conjunction with the school district to identify eligible participants, recruit and train volunteers, communicate with activity leaders, and make the necessary arrangements for each activity.

Purpose of TIES

The purpose of the TIES program is to provide opportunities for students with disabilities in 3rd - 12th grade to participate in a wide range of community/extracurricular activities. This is accomplished by pairing students with disabilities with a middle or high school student who has expressed an interest in acting as a support volunteer. Providing more naturalized support to students encourages participation, independence, socialization, and development of skills.

How Does it Work?

Student volunteers attend a training, prior to working with the TIES participant, so that they can learn how to be an effective volunteer. This training explains the mechanics of the program more fully and addresses the concepts of inclusion, diversity, and the language of respect. TIES also provides training and ongoing support to the activity leader in order to help ensure that everyone has a positive experience.

Which Activities Qualify As a TIES Activity?

The chosen activities are based on the student's interest and choice. Activities that students have previously participated in include, but are not limited to: Boy/Girl Scouts; religious education programs; sports; school-related activities; and community/recreational programs. Any adult-supervised activity that a student might be interested in, qualifies for the TIES program. 

In addition to personalized experiences, there are several TIES programs offered throughout Monroe and the surrounding counties that are open only to TIES participants. Some of these activities include drumming circles, outrigger canoeing activities, and cooking classes.

How Do I Enroll My Child Into the Program?

Participants are children and young adults between the ages of 8 and 21 who have developmental disabilities. Individuals receive an application from the TIES Coordinator that asks about interests and what support is needed to be successful. Support is individualized and can be in physical, social/behavioral, or language areas. Participants list the activities they would like to join or request information about desired activities. The Coordinator discusses the chosen activities and needed support with the participant and/or parents. An individualized plan is developed that guides the peer volunteer’s support. The Coordinator also communicates with the activity leader to introduce the TIES program and assess what individual accommodations may be needed.

Volunteer Applications are available on this web site. 

We encourage you to help your child take advantage of the many extracurricular activities that our schools and community have to offer by participating in TIES! For more information about the TIES Program, please visit www.starbridgeinc.org/TIESprogram.