INCLUSIVE EDUCATION MEANS we no longer accept that separate classrooms, separate schools, and separate lives are in the best interest of any student. Separating people by ability disadvantages everyone. Belonging is a human need. Our educational system, practices, and spaces, need to be reimagined.
INCLUSIVE EDUCATION MEANS every student is valued because of their strengths, gifts, and even challenges. As disability is simply… diversity. Everyone benefits from meaningful participation and opportunities to learn grade level content with diverse peers. We must trust that all students come to us as incredible whole people who do not need to be fixed.
Explore our family resources to get prepared to advocate for an inclusive IEP that reflects your whole child and provides them with access to general education settings, peers, effective supports and services, and meaningful goals.
Download the article Achieving Inclusion: What Every Parent Should Know when Advocating for Their Child, by Dr. Causton and Dr. Kasa— it is an incredible legal resource to help you advocate for inclusive education for your child [pdf]
Listen to our Inclusion Podcast episodes about the legal aspects of inclusive education:
- Ep. 22: The IEP and Inclusion [link]
- Ep. 10: 5 Common Special Education Myths: An Important Conversation with Pat Radel (Special Education Lawyer) [link]
Checklist of Supplemental Supports and Services
Download and use our Checklist of Supplemental Supports and Services at your child’s next IEP meeting. Star the supports and services you think would benefit your child and provide them with effective inclusive experiences and opportunities and discuss them with the IEP team.
Checklist of Supplemental Supports and Services [pdf]
Connect with Our Experts
Want 1:1 support? Our inclusive education experts can help you to advocate for inclusion and provide you with support before, during, and after the IEP meeting.
Click on the expert names to learn more about our experts’ experiences, services, and contact information.
Charmaine Thaner, Special Education Advocate
Charmaine Thaner works with and learns from parents of school-age children with disabilities by providing tools and strategies so their children receive the inclusive education they deserve. Her diverse experiences provide a unique perspective when collaborating with families and educators. I am the parent of a young adult who received special education services. I have supported students, parents and educators as a special educator, classroom teacher, adjunct university instructor and continue to do so as a public speaker, and advocate for parents.
Pat Radel, Special Education Lawyer
About Pat: Pat Radel is a litigation attorney whose practice includes representing clients in federal and state court matters. He is passionate about the rights of people with disabilities and has been honored to represent families in matters involving special education law.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlene Hansen, AAC Specialist
Darlene Hanson is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist based in Southern California. She specialize in working with individuals who have complex communication needs and provides support for their team and families. Her professional experiences have included work in public schools, private practices, and as a Director of Communication Services for a Non-Profit. She works to serve you and help you and your family achieve daily and lifelong goals. Her heart for this community is rooted in my desire to show people who they can be in this world and empowering them to embrace their strengths.
Ashley Lyons, Special Education Consultant and Advocate
About Ashley: Ashley is an early childhood special education and intervention (ECSE/EI) professional with experience in SPED K-12. She has significant experience in the areas of assessment, policy, online learning, and professional development, including the use of innovative technologies and instructional approaches for both young children and adult learners. She is passionate about advocating for ALL children with exceptionalities and their families with a focus on systems-level changes that will improve the funding, implementation, and accessibility of services for all children.
Ashley’s Contact: Anlyons7@gmail.com
Learn With Us
Ready to learn more? Dive in with our What Hy & How of Inclusion on demand PD!
Looking for more resources: The Nation Down Syndrome Society and Down Syndrome Education International have published a resource for enhancing inclusive education for students with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome: Guidelines for Inclusive Education aims to improve the development and educational outcomes for individuals with Down syndrome from birth to adult life by providing educators, therapists, early interventionists, parents, and school districts with a guide to evidence-based practices. Download here.
Below are videos, articles, handouts, books, and courses created by us, inclusive education experts, self-advocates, families, and real life educators who are doing the work of inclusion every day. Explore, share, and use them to inspire your school team about the possibilities for inclusive education for your child.
Inclusion in Action
- Watch inclusive educators in action at Dr. William W. Henderson’s Inclusion School, a public school near Boston, MA [YouTube]
- Watch this short documentary by filmmaker and inclusive advocate, Dan Habib, about Thasya Lungkewas, 8, who thrives in an inclusive education setting at Maple Wood Elementary School in Somersworth, NH [Vimeo]
- Download our helpful handout 140 Ways paras can support your child virtually [pdf]
- Read Dr. Causton’s article all about effective inclusive paraprofessional support [pdf]
- Get our NEW edition of The Paraprofessional’s Handbook for Effective Support in Inclusive Classrooms [link]
- Share or gift our amazing on-demand course for Paraprofessionals [link]
Many of the videos above were originally part of our Summer Leadership Institutes in 2020 and 2021. Join us for our SLI2023 to learn from more incredible experts and self-advocates. Learn more about SLI2023 here and read more about the event below.