Some students need a challenge. Instead of asking students to simply answer questions, have them evaluate, critique, create, or invent.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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What is your whale?

Posted on March 25, 2015 in Inclusion

Whale FI

I am so excited to post another great teaching idea from a general education teacher who is soooooo very dedicated to supporting all of the diverse learners in her classroom. This amazing educator gave me permission to share a lesson she designed with her student teacher.

The lesson is based on Pedro’s Whale, a …

Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Richard Villa

Posted on March 24, 2015 in Inclusion

Richard Villa

Interested in co-teaching? Collaborating? Inclusive lesson planning? Building classroom communities? Encouraging peer supports? You name it, Dr. Richard Villa has written about it, presented on it or advocated for it. Rich Villa has long been one of my professional heroes, so it is such a pleasure to finally get to bring him to Illinois Includes.

Richard A. Villa has worked with thousands of teachers and administrators throughout North America and the world, to develop and implement organizational and instructional support systems for educating all students within …

Speaker Spotlight: Jacqueline Thousand

Posted on March 17, 2015 in Inclusion, News

Jacqueline Thousand

I first saw Dr. Jacqueline Thousand present about twenty years ago when I was a new teacher in an inclusive school. I left her workshop so inspired and immediately read everything she had written to that point. Today, reading everything she has written would take quite a bit of time! Jacqueline has authored numerous books, research articles and chapters on issues related to inclusive schooling, organizational change strategies, differentiated instruction and universal design, cooperative group learning, collaborative teaming and teaching, creative problem solving, and …

Speaker Spotlight: Patrick Schwarz

Posted on March 11, 2015 in Inclusion

Patrick Schwarz

Another not-to-be-missed speaker at the Illinois Includes Conference is Dr. Patrick Schwarz.

When it comes to Patrick Schwarz, I almost have no words (and that is saying a lot for someone like me who seemingly never stops talking). He is an amazing presenter with equal parts heart, soul, and energy. Let’s just say that if you have never seen Patrick speak you are in for a treat and a half. People describe him as dynamic, energizing, and motivational. I see him as all of these things and so much more.

Patrick has been my …

Speaker Spotlight: Jonathan Mooney

Posted on March 02, 2015 in Inclusion, News

Jonathan Mooney

Jonathan is a writer and activist who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. With the publication of Learning Outside The Lines when he was 23, Jonathan has established himself as one of the foremost leaders in LD/ADHD, disabilities and alternative education. His second book, The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal, is a memoir, published by Henry Holt in June, 2007. Lauded as “a heartfelt rebuke to the …

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