With the pilot of the FIRST Access project, FIRST in Texas aims to make FIRST robotics programming more accessible to students with disabilities. The diversity of disabilities leads to the need to be more aware of opportunities to make our programs more accessible. There is not a one-size fits all solution. Instead, we will attempt to provide options that teams can choose to best meet the needs of their students.
Students with disabilities and special needs have many multiple avenues to participate:
- Traditional FIRST teams
- FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access Edition
- Unified Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access Edition and Unified Robotics specifically support the participation of students with disabilities, although any student can choose to participate on a traditional FIRST team through their school, youth group, community organization, homeschool group, or other supporting entity. Inclusion of students with disabilities on a traditional FIRST robotics team is wonderful and encouraged, while FIRST Access programs provide a different experience that is equally important.