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Success Story: Inclusive Crew Model

  • Three crew members at Yellowstone National Park
  • A photo of a crew on the trail, including one worker in a wheelchair.
  • Members of the Corps Network's Minnesota Conservation Corps Deaf Crew receive instructions in sign language while working in a forest

Organization: The Corps Network
Grants: $122,000
Years: 2007-2009

The Corps Network logo Corps Network received a three-year $122K grant from MEAF in 2007 to develop an Inclusive Crew Model to fully engage youth with disabilities in national service programs, particularly in conservation work. The model was created and piloted by the Utah Conservation Corps, and tested with the Minnesota Conservation Corps and Operation Fresh Start in Wisconsin. The program helps young people, with and without disabilities, develop self-advocacy, leadership and vocational skills that will help them lead successful productive lives.

A toolkit was developed for Corps to use to develop inclusive crews.

Project Results

Andy Zimmer, a crew leader with the Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) who uses a wheel chair and helped develop the inclusive crew model, was named national crew leader of the year in 2007 by the Corps Network. In 2010, UCC crew leader Quintin Williams, who is blind, received the award.

Working in the National Parks and Forests, Corps Network members developed an assessment system to determine the accessibility of public lands. Under the leadership of Quintin Williams, the Inclusive Crew developed a fully accessible database for the U.S. Forest Service to use to prioritize work projects internally, and for the public to use to determine facility accessibility.

The Utah Conservation Corps Inclusive Crew developed a universally-designed, fully accessible community garden in Logan, Utah. Community members of varying abilities can plant their garden plots using accessible hand tools, and use planting beds of varying heights, including "roll under" beds to accommodate wheelchairs.

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