For reluctant writers, introduce novel or unexpected materials and supports. Try old typewriters, novelty or colored pencils, voice-activated software or story starters.

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.


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 should. Norman is one of the first speakers on inclusion I ever saw and to say that he rocked my world is an understatement! I became a fan from day one and when Illinois Includes started to plan their first conference, I hoped he would be selected as a keynote so families, educators, and self-advocates here could hear his powerful message.

Norman Kunc has worked for more than 30 years on issues of equity, human rights, and inclusion. He and his wife, Emma Van der Klift, have a private practice in narrative counseling and narrative mediation in Vancouver, B.C. They also travel extensively throughout North America and abroad providing in-service and training to school districts, human service agencies, employers and advocacy groups. Their work is completely unique in the field and we are lucky enough to have not just one of them, but both of them coming to the conference!

Emma is giving a talk with one of the most fascinating titles in the history of inclusion conferences: Talk to Me: Using Hostage Negotiation Strategies to Solve Classroom Management Problems. This talk is based on research that Emma recently completed so we are one of the first to have her speak on this provocative topic. I just love Emma’s respectful and person-centered approach and I know you will too.

Before signing up for the conference, I encourage you to learn more about Norm and Emma by

  • Visiting the fantastic Broadreach Training Centre website
  • Reading one of their landmark articles on dis/ability
  • Or taking in a short film about Norm (also created by Norm); this one makes me cry, think, and work harder every time I see it.

  • Please “like” or comment on this post if you have seen Norm and/or Emma. Let others know how his work has had an impact on you!

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