That's a great idea, Cynthia!
@Calebs Chicks I used to teach dog obedience classes for 4-H, which was my only experience working with them. But if you haven't done so already, I think I'd start right there. I'd find out first of all if there already is a poultry program, and if there is I'd ask for a copy of their program. The first thing you'll have to do is look that over and see what modifications would have to be made for the special needs kids.
Second, I'd probably contact either your local news, like morning shows, or your local newspaper and ask them if they are aware of any existing programs, and then tell them what you hope to do. A little news coverage can go a long way toward getting maybe some chickens donated, or some assistants from therapists who believe in animal therapy (more of those out there than you might think!) and getting some fund raising done.
Oh, and don't forget another very important thing - be sure your community and the communities you hope to draw participants from ALLOW chickens....some don't. So switch the ordinance suggestion to the very top and do that one first!
Facebook! If you are a Facebook member, go to your town's page (most of them have one now) and extend some feelers.
Do a search right here on BYC for people in your area who might like to be involved, even if it's just offering the benefit of their experience or even a few birds to get you started. Just go to the search box and type in your state!
Now, this one might not make you happy, because if you are like me you get an idea and want to just jump in with both feet, looking for obstacles later. But you might need to be flexible enough to switch gears rather quickly, and decide which group you want to help first - kids or disabled adults. As you know, there's an age limit in 4-H. But the big reason is that no matter which group of lucky people you want to get started, it will take more out of you (and them) than working with "normal" (I HATE that word but I sat here staring at the computer waiting for it to give me a better one and it failed!) kids or adults. You have to be able to focus for the safety and confidence of the participants,and if you have too much to keep an eye on and too many different age groups that will be extremely difficult. So small groups would be better for you, and less likely to intimidate your son and the other kids if they are comfortable. The same is true of special needs adults!
I'm excited that you want to do this! Your son (I'm assuming that's Caleb?) is a lucky young man!!! And you know, there's nothing wrong with starting just with him out there, learning together as he gains confidence, before moving on to helping others. But I do think it's a very worthwhile dream.......my girls have bloomed out there with those silly chickens!!