If you have students in middle and high school who regularly show up without supplies, consider letting them keep a second set of materials in the classroom.

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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Illinois Includes Speaker Preview: Norman Kunc & Emma Van der Klift

Posted on March 26, 2013 in Families, Inclusion, News

For the next few days I am going to be profiling a few of the amazing speakers that will be presenting at Illinois Includes in Oakbrook, IL this May 9th & 10th.

I am part of a group of advocates who have been trying to bring a regional inclusion conference to Illinois for years. We cannot believe it is finally happening and that we have secured such wonderful talent and energy for the two-day event

The first speaker I am highlighting is the incomparable, Norman Kunc.

If you don’t know about Norman Kunc, you…

URGENT: Action needed in Illinois

Posted on March 26, 2013 in Families, Inclusion, News

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…

Come Together in Colorado (or Pennsylvania or Texas or Illinois…)

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:…

Take Off the Blindfold

Posted on March 16, 2013 in Inclusion, News

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…

Examine Your Transportation Needs

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…

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