Supporting Neurodiversity through Adaptive Programming

Supporting Neurodiversity through Adaptive Programming (SNAP) is a developmentally appropriate movement education – based embedded curriculum offered to children and youth experiencing disability in the Niagara region.

Formerly known as the Special Needs Activity Program, at SNAP our participants health, safety and well-being is our first priority.

Our trained student volunteers work with youth who require one-on-one support (and in some cases two-to-one support).

We implement an embedded curriculum and are constantly adapting based on observations for what does and does not work for each individual participant.

We practice phrasing and feedback, observation and analysis of movement, progression and skill building across a variety of different dimensions of movement competency, such as:

  • stability
  • loco-motor
  • quality of movement (time, weight, space, flow)
  • sending-receiving-retaining
  • gross and fine motor

We develop and enhance movement competency through play and sport while providing a developmentally appropriate environment that encourages achievement and nurtures dignity.

Neurodiversity: A Social Movement

More information

Student Volunteers

Student Volunteers are typically Brock University undergraduate and graduate students from across all Faculties and departments. Due to the nature of the programs students tend to be from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Faculty of Education and Applied Disability Studies.

•Background in growth and development, motor learning, observation and analysis of movement, activity planning and progression skills( games, educational gymnastics, creative/expressive movement, outdoor activities, aquatics, general gross and fine motor skills)

•Knowledge of disabilities and APA an asset!

Snap Coordinators

A team of undergraduate students working together to plan, organize and implement ideas to the SNAP program. These group of students are in charge of scheduling schools for the program, training volunteers, running SNAP, and providing assistance to volunteers and educators on the day of SNAP.


* Committed graduate students or alumni who are working in the field professionally.

* Lifers provide support and mentorship to current SNAP coordinators.

SNAP has been offering developmentally appropriate, movement education to children and youth with special needs in the Niagara Region since 1994.

SNAP provides individualized programming designed to meet each child’s specific movement needs.

SNAP is constantly expanding and adapting to meet the ever changing needs of the participants, as well as the 200 student volunteers who participate in the program each semester.

This program is specifically designed for children, youth and teens who have a broad spectrum of disabilities and severities.

Many of our participants have more than one disability. The most common are:

  • Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Developmental Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome
  • Anxiety, depression, bi polar, ID

Community & Service Learning

In addition to being Brock University’s largest on-campus site for experiential education, SNAP is southern Ontario’s longest-running and largest service learning site.

SNAP works in collaboration with all three school boards in the Niagara Region and a number of disability service organizations.

Our capacity to provide this program is unique in the Niagara Region, because of the number of student volunteers, we are able to provide our participants with support they would not otherwise be able to access in Niagara.

Our ability to provide one-on-one facilitated instruction to each child creates the least restrictive environment possible. Depending on the individual’s requirements, we can even pair two or three students with a single child.

The success of SNAP has inspired other programs at Brock which have been created to operate under the same service learning, embedded curriculum and station based pedagogy approach, including:

  • CHARM (Confident Healthy Active Role Models)
  • Saturday SNAP, and
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder summer movement camp

•Based in a community need

•Stakeholder consult

•Skills that benefit students and community partner

•Assessed academic component  over and above the actual practical direct contact work

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Get important information, about financial assistance, our program and life at Brock.

Apply to volunteer

Learn more about the admission requirements and career outcomes.


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