If you have not yet heard the news, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently passed a proposal that would lift formal class size limitations on special education classrooms and allow all decisions on class size limits to be made at the local level.
We need to FLOOD the ISBE with our comments, feedback, and protests on this one, folks. We need to respond “early and often” in the next 3 weeks and do all we can to ensure that our teachers and our students get what they need to succeed.
The impact on inclusive schooling would be…
Posted on March 17, 2013 in Inclusion
From Section 3, idea #10 of Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?
If you have being “doing inclusion” for several years, it may be time to look outside your school and your district and discuss your work with other educators. To get new ideas and to assess your current practices, join like-minded folks at one of the nation’s many state or regional inclusive education conferences. There are many disability conferences across the country, but very few are specifically focused on inclusive education.
Some of the best are:…
From Section 1, idea #3 of Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?
Inclusive schools are not just places where we educate students with and without disabilities. In the best of circumstances, they are places where we inspire learners to think differently about ability. Disability awareness lessons done right can help teachers do this. Unfortunately, most disability awareness activities are not done right.
When most awareness activities are planned, they focus on simulations (e.g., letting students spend time in a wheelchair, blindfolding students to let them “experience” blindness) or on information about disability categories. If you really want to strengthen your inclusive school, however, consider…
Posted on March 15, 2013 in Inclusion
From Section 3, idea #11 of Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?
Years ago, I worked with a wonderful elementary school. They were committed to making very aspect of the school inclusive, welcoming, and supportive. One issue they had not examined, however, was transportation.
During a visit, I saw a little boy with disabilities skip off an accessible bus, greet his general education classmates as they stood in line on the playground, and enter the building. I asked the principal…
Posted on March 14, 2013 in Inclusion
From Section 4, idea #9 of Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?
When parents come to me and say, “I am so discouraged about my district. What can I do?” I often ask, “Would you consider running for school board?” This answer is a surprise to many but it shouldn’t be. The school board has power and makes decisions related to school culture, beliefs, values, and practices. They also hire the superintendent and that individual has a whole lot to do with how accessible, welcoming, and challenging schools will be for all learners.
The school board essentially establishes a vision for the..