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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.


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:

  • PEAK Parent Center in Denver, Colorado
  • PEAL Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or surrounding area
  • Arc of Texas (Inclusion Works!) in Austin, TX
  • Kids Included Together (KIT) in San Diego, California
  • New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education in New Jersey
  • Illinois Includes in Oak Brook, IL
  • Inclusion MATTERS in Louisiana
  • Summer Inclusion Institute in Wisconsin
  • TASH is another source for conferences on inclusive education but these national conferences move from city to city so you need to go directly to their website to learn about conference locations and topics.

    These conferences can be transforming for self-advocates, parents, and teachers alike. One of the most powerful ways to use conference attendance as a tool for change is to attend as a team. Bring teachers, therapists, parents and school leaders if possible and use the one or two day event as a way to learn, connect, and create new goals.

    Have you attended or presented at an inclusion conference? Which ones have you found to be the most inspiring? Helpful? If you could take a team from your school to a conference, which one would you attend and who would you take?


    1. From Kim on 19 Mar 2013

      I was just looking for this type of information and it supported my research that shows there are no inclusion conferences near Virginia. Paula or anyone – what was the driving force that started these conferences? Does the state dept of ed always have to be on board to have any effect from a conference? Is there any data that supports that the inclusion environmental drastically changed after a conference?Thanks

    2. From Paula Kluth on 19 Mar 2013

      Hi Kim-
      I think you would find that these conferences have made a huge impact when they have happened annually or at least regularly. They have provided a resource for not only districts needing to educate staff over and over again, but for families looking for ideas and support. We are having our first conference here in IL and it was started totally grass roots by advocates and families. The state has not been involved at all at this point. Every conference I know of came to be in a different way. Some start with a non-profit or parent group, some by education agencies, and others by educators. In Virginia the Circle of Support Conference is great and has a message that is very inclusive. You might start there.