Project Include: Early Childhood Access through Adaptive Technology

 Project Include provides training, support, and equipment to assist licensed Colorado family child care homes, child care centers, and preschools in developing learning environments and curriculums that are more inclusive for all children, including those with delays and disabilities.

Have Questions? Contact us anytime at

Project Include offers training, quick program support, Universal Design and Inclusion Kits, and customized coaching and materials support to licensed CO child care programs. Learn more about each of these project resources below!

Step 1 Submit an interest form. Step 2 Complete the training. Step 3 Submit a kit request form. Step 4 Explore the kit and return. Step 5 Access to Coaching and Materials


The Introduction to Universal Design online course is available at no cost on the Colorado Department of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS). This course will introduce you to concepts of universal design and provide ideas that you can implement right away to make your program more inclusive! Participants must take the training before they are eligible to check out a Universal Design & Inclusion Kit.

Quick Program Support

Participants who have quick questions, would like more information, or need brief consultation, may contact us at at any time. 

Universal Design and Inclusion Kits

Universal Design and Inclusion Kits are available for check out by licensed child care programs in the state of Colorado who have completed the Project Include interest form and the Introduction to Universal Design training. The kits can be checked out for up to 6 weeks.

All items have a QR code that links to an instructional video detailing how to use the item. The kits are designed to address one of the following topics:

Communication & Literacy                                                            

Designed to promote inclusion and participation of children with disabilities or delays affecting communication and early literacy development.

This might look like:

  • Limited talking
  • Words or phrases that don't make sense
  • Not looking at or attending to books

Examples of kit items include:

  • Recordable speech devices
  • Adapted books
  • Literacy props
  • Toys that promote literacy and communication

                             Communication and Literacy Kit

Behavior & Cognition 

Designed to promote inclusion and participation of children with disabilities or delays affecting behavior and/or cognition.

This might look like:

  • Frequent tantrums or meltdowns
  • Difficulty playing with others
  • Not using toys in expected ways

Examples of kit items include:

  • Tools to support transitions
  • Sensory tools
  • Support for teaching and learning social emotional skills
  • Toys that promote cognitive skills like matching, counting, and sequencing

Behavior and Cognition Kit

Fine & Gross Motor

Designed to promote inclusion and participation of children with disabilities or delays affecting motor development.

This might look like:

  • Difficulty with balance, sitting, kicking, or running
  • Trouble using hands and fingers

Examples of kit items include:

  • Adapted grip toys
  • Adapted grip tools for writing and art
  • Adapted seating options
  • Toys adapted for physical access

Fine and Gross Motor Kit


Vision & Hearing

Designed to promote inclusion and participation of children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing either temporarily or permanently.

This might look like:

  • Sitting very close to screens
  • Blinking and/or rubbing eyes frequently
  • Difficulty following directions

Examples of kit items include:

  • Toys with multi sensory signals
  • Adapted lighting options
  • High contrast toys and books
  • Braille and sign language literacy tools


Vision and Hearing Kit

Our team is also available to respond to questions that programs may have about how to use the kits most effectively. 

Customized Coaching and Materials Support

In this step, participants receive one-on-one training and support on a topic of their choice. Project Include staff will also recommend and purchase items for participants to keep at no cost to their program.

Participants must complete the online training and check out at least one kit to be eligible for this step.

Licensed child care programs in Colorado can fully participate in all aspects of Project Include, but we have information and resources available for everyone! Visit the section below that applies to you to learn more about what's available.

Licensed Child Care Programs in Colorado

Licensed childcare programs that serve children birth to 5 years old in Colorado can fully participate in project Include at no cost to the program. This includes:

  • Family childcare homes
  • Childcare centers
  • Preschools

Whether you have a child with a delay or disability in your program now, or simply want to make your program more inclusive, Project Include is a great resource to help you be better prepared to support any child.

Programs that wish to participate in Project Include do not need prior experience with adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment is any device or product that supports young children with delays or disabilities to do something they could not otherwise do.

Project Include aims to give your program new ideas and expert guidance to start using adaptive equipment in your program.

Learn more about how participating programs benefit from Project Include resources by visiting the Project Overview tab.

License-Exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Caregivers in Colorado

If you are a license-exempt FFN caregiver in Colorado, we encourage you to:

  • watch the Introduction to Universal Design and Inclusion course available in English and Spanish at no cost on the Colorado Department of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS)
  • visit the Additional Resources tab of this website to learn more about universal design and inclusion in early childhood settings
Colorado Families and Out-of-State Care Providers

Although you are not eligible to participate directly in Project Include, please visit the Additional Resources tab of this website to learn more about universal design and inclusion in early childhood settings.

If you are interested in checking out a Universal Design & Inclusion Kit or accessing instructional videos and quick program support, click the following button to complete the interest form.

Get Started with Project Include

After submitting the form, we will contact you by email and work with you to determine which resources will best meet the needs of your program and the children you serve. We require you to complete the Introduction to Universal Design training through the Colorado Department of Early Childhood’s Professional Development Information System (PDIS) prior to utilizing the other project resources.


If you have questions, would like more information, or need quick program support, please contact us at


All Project Include team members have specialized knowledge in assistive technology and universal design and inclusion strategies for children birth to age 5.


Our team includes professionals who have worked as teachers, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists in preschool and early childhood settings. We’re here to help your program succeed! 


Project Include is a collaboration between the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE) in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

Maureen Headshot
Christa Headshot
Catherine Headshot

Maureen Melonis, MNS, CCC-SLP/L

Christa LeGray, MS, CCC-SLP

Catherine Merritt, MS, CCC-SLP

Associate Director
Research Senior Instructor
Speech-Language Pathologist

Tech for Tykes Coordinator Research Instructor
Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist


Research Instructor
Speech-Language Pathologist


Phone Icon 303.315.1283

Phone Icon 303.315.1287

 Phone Icon 303.315.1278

Claire Headshot
Katie Headshot

Paige Headshot

Claire Simpson, MS,


Katie Hwang, MA, ECSE

Paige Garman, BA

Research Instructor
Occupational Therapist



Early Childhood Special Educator Research Instructor

Program Assistant I

Phone Icon 303.315.1291

Phone Icon 303.315.1276

Phone Icon 303.315.1276

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Mary Kay Rodriguez, BS


Laura Price, BA

Ashley Annan, BA

Administrative Assistant III

Administrative Assistant III


Administrative Assistant III


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Phone Icon 303.315.1276

 Phone Icon 303.315.1276

If you have questions or would like more information, please send an email to

Visit the following external sites for more information on universal design, adaptive equipment, and supporting children with disabilities in early childhood environments.

The UDL Guidelines by CAST CAST is a nationally recognized organization which offers numerous resources related to UDL. This link to their guidelines offers a set of concrete suggestions to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful challenging learning opportunities.

UDL Checklist for Early Childhood Environments From the Center on Technology and Disability, this checklist helps providers in early childhood environments evaluate how they can be responsive to all children’s needs.

UD and UDL resources from the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports this website that was funded through a Department of Education grant. It offers numerous valuable resources on UDL. 

Learning Module on Assistive Technology A comprehensive learning module on what Assistive Technology is and how it can promote access and participation for children.

The Right Mix to Support Social-Emotional Health in Early Childhood A document from the Colorado Health Institute and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood that gives guidance to Colorado Community-based organizations supporting social emotional health in early childhood.

Anchor Center for Blind Children – Educational Lessons and Learning Includes numerous free resources on communication & language, literacy, braille, cortical visual impairment (CVI), deafblind, assistive technology, orientation & mobility, sensory, fine motor, gross motor, horticultural therapy, and music therapy. 

Parent Resources from A Shared Vision Includes free recipes, crafts, and toy ideas designed to help support young children who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired. 

Perkins eLearning for Professional Development Offers professional development opportunities for educators of students with vision loss. They offer both free and paid opportunities for learning. 

Preschool Development Grant: Inclusion & Universal Design Project The website of the Inclusion & Universal Design Project run by the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering and supported by the Colorado Department of Early Childhood through the state’s Preschool Development Grant.

CLEL’s Guide to Selecting Picture Books Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy provides guidance on how to select developmentally-appropriate picture books for children, as well as resources for finding books that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Child Care Plus Rural Institute The Child Care Plus Center has a variety of resource sheets on topics such as communicating with children and families, making adaptations in your child care program, and meeting the needs of every child.

Center for Inclusive Child Care Resource Library Explore a resource library of materials and assistance for child care professionals and those they serve. This website contains a broad selection of tip sheets, documents, helpful websites, podcasts, and self-study courses.

Commonly Asked Questions about Child Care Centers and the ADA This Q&A provides an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and how they apply to child care centers and providers.

Diverse Storytime Music This website links to a variety of children’s storytime music from musicians of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Storytime Solidarity This website provides articles, blogs, websites, podcasts, and more resources to help child care providers diversify their storytime.

Diverse BookFinder The Diverse BookFinder is a comprehensive collection of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC).

Quotes From Our Participants

Colorado Department of Early Childhood Logo

Project Include is funded by the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) stimulus increase.

Did you know...

- 1 in 7 Colorado parents identified their child as having a delay, disability, or special need.

- Colorado has 3,597 child care programs serving children birth-5.

- One-third of Colorado parents of children with a delay or disability say their child care provider can’t meet their child’s needs. Project Include helps child care providers close that gap.

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two children crafting at a table

Programs in more than 49 of Colorado's 64 counties have expressed interest in Project Include

two young girls playing with building blocks

Over 120 licensed Colorado child care programs have explored a Universal Design & Inclusion Kit

a young girl cutting a piece of paper

Over 95% of survey participants found that items in the kits they borrowed increased inclusion or participation of children in their program

a young boy painting a birdhouse