California Finally Pays for Summer Programs for Children with Disabilities, But Access Hurdles Remain – California Health Report


Tyler Wetsch dreams of hosting his own YouTube channel.

Like many teens his age, the 15-year-old loves to watch videos on social media and leave comments on his favorites.

But Tyler has Down syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, so his parents want to give him additional safety training before he spends unmonitored time online. It seems like a simple enough request, his mother, Carrie Wetsch said. But due to COVID-19 and the legacy of deep state budget cuts, actually enrolling children and adults with developmental disabilities in life-skills trainings and recreation programs like summer camps often takes tireless advocacy. The result is a segregated system where Californians with resources or who live in the right areas can access these programs, while many others — particularly those who are low-income, living in rural areas or are from families that speak a language other than English — may go without.

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