Heather Avis, author and advocate for individuals with Down syndrome, emphasizes the importance of intentional inclusion and the need for a shift in the narrative around disability. She shares personal experiences as a parent and highlights the power of storytelling to change perceptions and create spaces of belonging. Heather also addresses the challenges of advocating for inclusion and the ongoing work needed to dismantle ableism.
This week, we are bringing you a feed drop from UDL in 15 Minutes by Loui Lord Nelson *** The ultimate UDL question is “what does UDL look like?” Loui shares how her new tool, The UDL Gears, helps UDL users in all fields and around the world shift that question to, “What are the […]
Lori Miranda, from Palm Beach County School District, discusses their move towards inclusive placements for students with disabilities. The video was created to showcase their collaboration between the school district, Head Start, and community partners. The goal is to keep children with disabilities in their natural environments and provide support through inclusive practices. They have faced challenges such as funding and teacher buy-in, but have seen positive outcomes with students transitioning to general education kindergarten. The program has grown and they are now able to provide evaluations and services directly at community centers. The key takeaway is to prioritize the needs of children and families and ensure representation and diversity within the team.
Brad Cohen, an educator with Tourette's syndrome, discusses the misconceptions surrounding the condition and the challenges he faced in finding a job. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and support from educators, as well as the need to focus on a student's strengths rather than their weaknesses. Brad shares his personal experiences and encourages families to be open and honest about their child's disability, while also advocating for self-acceptance and perseverance. He highlights the power of education in making a difference and inspiring others.
Valerie Williams, Director at OSEP, discusses the importance of inclusion in early childhood education. She shares a personal story about finding the right preschool for her son with Down syndrome and emphasizes the need for a mindset shift among educators. Valerie highlights the lack of knowledge and resources available to support inclusive practices and calls for better dissemination of information. She also mentions the promising initiatives happening in different states and encourages educators to be bold, brave, and urgent in their efforts to improve inclusive opportunities for all students.
About The Guest(s): Lori Boll is an inclusive education leader with a personal connection to individuals with disabilities. Her son Braden was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and an intellectual developmental delay, inspiring her to advocate for all children’s education. Lori has taught in international schools for over 25 years and holds two Masters degrees […]
This week, we are bringing you a feed drop from School Disrupted with Toni Barton. *** In this episode, Toni challenges the education system’s approach to inclusivity. Toni kicks off the episode with the controversial sentiment, “…if we fix general education, we wouldn’t need special education,” and emphasizes the need to fix general education classrooms […]
About The Guest(s): Jen Malia is a professor of English and a writer of children’s books. She started out publishing literary criticism before transitioning to creative writing. Her interest in neurodivergence and autism led her to write personal essays and reported pieces on the topic. This eventually led to the opportunity to write children’s books, […]
About The Guest(s): Tim Harris is a motivational speaker, author, and former restaurant owner. He gained national attention when he opened Tim’s Place, a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, known for its friendly atmosphere and Tim’s signature hugs. Tim has Down syndrome and has used his platform to advocate for inclusion and spread joy through […]
About The Guest(s): Maya Chupkov is the host of the podcast “Proud Stutter” and a passionate advocate for people who stutter. She is also the Media & Democracy Program Manager at California Common Cause, where part of her work focuses on supporting local journalism. Maya is dedicated to raising awareness about stuttering and creating a more […]