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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Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Richard Villa

Posted on March 24, 2015 in Inclusion

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

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

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 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 …

Speaker Spotlight: Lauren Potter

Posted on February 19, 2015 in Inclusion

Today begins my “speaker spotlight” series designed to introduce you to some fabulous advocates in the field and to give you a peek at the sessions you will see at this year’s Illinois Includes Conference.

I’m thrilled to begin with our closing keynote speaker, Lauren Potter.

If you want to hear some words of inspiration on taking risks, living an “inclusive life” or pushing past barriers, you will love this session.

Lauren Potter has proven herself to be a young woman of strength and character. When professionals told her she “couldn’t” or “wouldn’t” she …

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