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Children's Community Integration Program (CCIP)

Santa Barbara Children's Community Integration Program (CCIP)

CCIP serves school age students enrolled in Special Education classes in South Santa Barbara and West Ventura Counties. These students experience a wide array of developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, hearing and vision impairment, muscular dystrophy and various other medical, emotional or neurological conditions.

Why Is CCIP Critical?

Children's Community Program

Most of the children that we serve through CCIP reside in low-income households or institutional facilities and lack the resources (money, transportation, parental support or staff, etc.) necessary to participate in many community-based activities. As a result, these children miss out on important opportunities to become active members of our community, which creates more limitations in their lives and hinders their personal and educational development. Due to the unique circumstances involved in educating children with special needs, traditional classroom instruction is often not as effective as community-based experiential learning.

With the weakening economy, school districts restrict fieldtrip funding to once per year, limiting a teacher’s ability to incorporate the community into the classroom. These students are further restricted from community integration because of the lack of affordable wheelchair accessible transportation. All of these factors point to needed support from outside agencies that can fill the void by opening the doors to teachers and their students with special needs.

CCIP Activities

Childrens Community Program

Through CCIP, students participate at no cost to their families or the school district. CCIP offers fully staffed fieldtrips such as therapeutic horseback riding, whale watching, children’s theatre, musical concerts, arts and crafts programs, adapted bowling, nature programs and much more. This also includes Children's Adaptive Arts Program, a unique art workshop opportunity held at our downtown art studio-gallery, Santa Barbara Art Works. Special Education teachers select outings that relate to lessons taking place in the classroom. For example, the students may learn about reptiles and then visit the Natural History Museum’s “Lizard Lounge” to experience them firsthand, or a pre-school class of children with physical disabilities needing motor skills development may visit “Pump It Up” and enjoy bouncing and sliding on an inflatable jungle gym.


UCP WORK, Inc. staff confers with teachers on a regular basis to discuss children’s individual goals, which are then incorporated into CCIP activities. These goals cover a wide range of objectives including learning appropriate behavior in varied social settings, increasing coordination, enhancing flexibility and self-esteem through adaptive physical education activities, learning to become active members of society and the local community and developing new interests that may encourage future vocational or personal goals.

The UCP WORK, Inc. CCI Program has benefited hundreds of children for over 25 years. We evaluate our progress by monitoring our students’ success in achieving their community related goals, which are designed by teachers and parents at their Individualized Education Plan meetings. Teachers report a wide range of positive changes in their students as a result of our outings, for example; increased confidence, significant signs of improved self-esteem, increased motivation, assertiveness and retention in activities and lessons.

In addition to our students benefiting from this program the community benefits as well. When people with disabilities are active community participants, it helps make everyone aware that challenges are not insurmountable.

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