Have students write a collaborative poem or story using Twitter, IM, Edmodo or Facebook. This way, authors can contribute one word, one line, or several paragraphs.

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.


Random acts of inclusion?

Posted on September 25, 2012 in Inclusion, News

So, last week I took my sister, Victoria, to see Madonna at the United Center in Chicago. This concert was very special as it was planned almost 30 years ago. Yep- you read that right. You see, Victoria had originally planned to see Madonna in 1985 for The Virgin Tour. She begged my mom to let her drive from Green Bay to Chicago, but mom could not be persuaded. So, Victoria waited. Every time Madonna came to Chicago (where Victoria ended up living for years), she had a conflict and then she moved to Australia and sort of gave up on seeing the show.

So now for the fun part of the story—a few months ago, I was reading the paper and saw that Madonna would be in town during Victoria’s annual visit. I was so excited and dreamed of buying her seats on the floor. Then, I went on line and saw that the concert was basically sold out and that I would have to pay even more than the asking price of $355 for good seats. Needless to say, $355 was just not in my price range. So, I bought the tickets I could afford in the nosebleed section and presented them to my sister on her birthday. Despite the news about sitting in Section 305, she was really excited.

Ok, so fast forward to last week. We show up at the concert in our Madonna bangles and lace and are just having a great time taking pictures, talking to people and checking out souvenirs when this young guy approaches us and asks us about our tickets. He wants to know where we are sitting, so we show him our tickets. He then hands us $355 tickets for the 20th row and tells us that he won better tickets on the radio and wants to give his away.

He even said that he thought about selling them, but then decided it was better to give them to someone!

He didn’t have to ask us twice. We took a picture with Scott and gave him hugs and ran to our fantastic seats. It was fabulous and was made all the better by the Scott’s generosity and random act of kindness.

So, I kept thinking about Scott and telling everyone about our night and then decided the situation was in need of a blog post. Scott got me thinking about how powerful random acts of kindness are. They are contagious. They have energy. They inspire creativity.

And that got me thinking about other random acts. What about random acts of inclusion? What if we all went out today and created an inclusive moment. What if we included a child in an extra-curricular activity in a new way? What if we reached out to a new family? What if we taught a lesson based on a certain child’s specific interest? What if we sat with a new colleague at lunch? What if invited a student to teach us something about her culture? What other random act of inclusion could you commit?

I am so thrilled to have this fun story about Scott to share. His kindness has really inspired me this week. Hope it has inspired you too.


  1. From Annie Castle on 25 Sep 2012

    My daughter, Hannah has ds. Her wonderful speech therapist and friend included her with her children to a children’s play. Hannah had so much fun and felt so special that she went out without me!!

  2. From Kelli on 25 Sep 2012

    My son is 13 with ASD. He is once again on his school volleyball team. It is a fully inclusive school. When I thank the teachers, they always tell me he made the team because he deserved to. This inclusive philosophy has made my son a much more confident person.

  3. From Scott on 26 Sep 2012

    I was so happy to do it. I love this so much. I really think the good Karma is why Madonna knelt down in front of me and held my hand during Like A Prayer.

  4. From Paula Kluth on 26 Sep 2012

    How fantastic to have you posting here. You have really started an inspiring conversation here and on my Facebook page. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart -Paula

  5. From Will on 26 Sep 2012

    This is awe inspiring. The same thing happened to my friends when I flew to Philly to see the opening show. They won Pit seats & had 2 tickets left over. They sold them for $20 each, I told them to give the tickets away, after all, you’ve been blessed, pass the blessing on. The tour is getting terrible reviews from some critics but I thought it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, even better than the Confessions Tour in NYC. Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. From M deal on 26 Sep 2012

    Love this!! How fun!! Scott, you rock and yes, Paula, appreciate how you are sharing not only a great story, but encouraging us to pay it forward

  7. From judy kuczwara on 26 Sep 2012

    TY for this story after reading about how workers killed a young woman by restaining her…this random act did not come witha set of preconceived ideas or agendas or When scott was looking for someone to Donate them too…did they LOOK needy enuff…were they pretty enuff…were they deserving enuff of the wonderful random act of kindness…The idea of random act of inclusion has really got me thinking…not only am i spec ed advocate and have devoted my being to full inclusion to the best of our abilitites….I fight for it somehow everyday..not only for my own teenagers (16 yo triplets) but for others as well…!!

  8. From Victoria on 26 Sep 2012

    Thanks Scott – RANDOM ACTS RULE!!!

  9. From Heather on 26 Sep 2012

    Love this story! We have a little girl in our school that doesn’t walk, but she can really scoot around on the floor! Her class was in gym playing tag and they were doing different forms of movement during their tag games. This little girl was having a blast scooting around on her bottom during the tag games. The teacher asked what the next movement could be and one of the students said they should scoot. They all loved the idea and everyone was down on the floor laughing and scooting around chasing each other! These kids are in Kindergarten, what a precious moment!

  10. From Eileen Yoshina on 26 Sep 2012

    I wanted to share a story about our Pacific Islanders’ Club here at South Puget Sound Community College–Pacific Islander culture IS inclusive by nature! I’m sending you a photo of a club luau; one of our performers was in a wheelchair. No one had to be asked or encouraged to invite her; she was an islander and the club automatically rearranged dances and events so that they were accessible and inclusive. Mary has since passed away, and we are working on a memorial plaque to put in the Student Union in her honor. :)

  11. From Paula Kluth on 27 Sep 2012

    I will find a way to post that photo– it is awesome!

  12. From Jeanne on 27 Sep 2012

    I love it! Random acts of kindness are so powerful! Wish you could come visit our school team in VT. Our son is in an inclusive fifth grade class, he is an awesome communicator using AAC including supported typing. Inclusion rocks!

  13. From Scott Cornwell on 16 Nov 2012

    Now you’ve inspired me. I’m doing a pay it forward fan page for MDNA can you visit my new page and share your story http://www.facebook.com/pages/MDNA-Pay-It-Forward/125150040975915

  14. From Jenny Haupt Renfro on 1 Mar 2013

    Okay I feel totally creepy but I have been trying to find your sister & I LOVED reading this. If you could forward my email to her I would love it. By the way – you are awesome. I am inspired by reading your page/blog & what you have been up to.