Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Clay Aiken Launches The National Inclusion Project

The National Inclusion Project grew out of the relationship between Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel and Diane’s then 13-year-old son, Mike who had been diagnosed with autism. The bond between them grew strong as they shared a vision of a world where children like Mike could be fully immersed in society. They had both witnessed children with disabilities repeatedly turned away from activities opened to typical children.

As Clay pursued a degree in special education from UNC-Charlotte, he completed an independent study project where he created a foundation that focused on providing the support system for recreational and educational programs around the country to open doors to children with disabilities that had thus far remained closed. Both Diane and Clay realized that an organized effort could encourage and facilitate community inclusion and empowerment of individuals with disabilities.

This shared goal grew into reality on July 28, 2003. Since that time, the National Inclusion Project has established itself as a leading voice for inclusion working with a “Who’s who” list of youth organizations

  • YMCA

  • Best Buddies International

  • Boys & Girls Clubs

  • CampFire USA

  • 4H

  • ARC

  • – as well as many other local parks and recreation departments, community centers, and privately-run programs. They have also formed partnerships with:

  • Johns Hopkins University’s National Center for Summer Learning

  • The University of Massachusetts-Boston’s Center for Social Development and Education

  • The University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability

  • The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration

  • The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center.

  • In 2008, both of the Project’s cutting edge inclusion models – Let’s ALL Play and the K-12 Inclusive Service Learning Program – were closely evaluated with overwhelmingly positive results. Children with and without disabilities in these programs saw growth in motor skills, social skills, and self-esteem, and the impact of the friendships made will last long into the future.

    The National Inclusion Project has worked with hundreds of programs, trained numerous staff members and leaders, and provided inclusive opportunities for over 20,000 children. This far-reaching impact would not have been possible without the dedicated support of countless volunteers and supporters. With their help in raising awareness and funds through projects like Wrapping for Inclusion and Change for Change as well as local fund-raising efforts like cookbooks, gatherings, and online donation drives, the National Inclusion Project has dedicated the vast majority of every dollar into making an impact with our programs.

    The National Inclusion Project is poised to continue to make an impact with thousands of children nationwide as well as raise the national consciousness about the need for and benefits of inclusion.

    Click here for more information about the National Inclusion Project



    1. Thanks Chexxxy, For helping spread the 'Good News' about the name change to The Bubel Aiken. Looks like we are all thinking alike today. lol
      I love your blog page color scheme.
      Like your twitter page too.

    2. Bravo to Clay Aiken, Diane Bubel and the rest of the folk at National Inclusion Project. I could not be prouder of this amazing group of people.

      Thanks for the blog!!!

    3. PaulaBear8:07 AM

      The name may be changed but the heart of the foundation is still the same. Congratulations to Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel on their success.

    4. Anonymous11:39 AM

      It's going to be wonderful to see what changes the new name brings to the foundtion as it steps out on to a more national stage! Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel have done an amazing job with TBAF and I know that NIP will continue to have more success in the coming years.

    5. Anonymous2:06 PM

      Clay Aiken signs record deal with Universal Music’s Decca Records. Expect new music in the first half of 2010! Keep checking back here for more details to come

    6. claysweetea6:39 PM

      I am so proud of what Clay, Diane and everyone has accomplished for the Bubel-Aiken Foundation. Now Clay has chosen to change the name and what a wonderful choice that National Inclusion Project is.

    7. KartofflMuter6:37 PM

      I'd like to leave this message for Clay and anyone else who's interested. There is a wonderful and very important Soap Opera or serial coming out of India. It started several months ago and it's called Apke Antara. It is about a little girl with autism and how the family deals with it. IT IS GROUNDBREAKING! You can't imagine how much more difficult it is in tradition bound India than it is in the U.S. Everyone thinks the little girl is crazy. They ban her from restaurants. They tell her parents to leave her at home for family functions. They push her,insult her,abuse her. It's a daring project. You can watch snippets on You-tube. Even in Hindi,you'll get the idea.We need shows like this. I get Zee TV so I watch it every night. Clay would love it.