It's spring, and for millions of American kids and their families that means dusting off the camp trunk, sewing name tags into clothing and making appointments for the annual camp physical. For children who are disabled or chronically ill, however, this fime of year can be a painful reminder of all the things they cannot do.
Fortunately, times are changing. While sleep-away camp traditionally has been the province of healthy, mainstream, middle-class youth, camping opportunities for children with special needs have increased dramatically in recent years. There now are hundreds of specialty programs for children with asthma, epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, developmental disabilities, speech, hearing and visual impairments, among other needs, throughout the country. At the same time, more and more traditional camps are adapting their programs and facilities to accommodate disabled campers, thanks in large part to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law No. 101-336).