One year ago today, the very first segment of The Inclusive Class Radio Show aired live on Blog Talk Radio! And, what a year it has been!
When Marianne Russo from The Coffee Klatch first approached me in June 2011 to host a show about inclusive education on her new Special Needs Talk Radio Network, my first reaction was....NO! I am a teacher by profession and know nothing about radio shows, broadcasting, advertising etc. However, I knew that it was an opportunity too good to pass up. I had been advocating for inclusive education on various social media sites for the previous 6 months, and now I had an amazing opportunity to take my passion to a larger audience.
Despite my growing confidence in being able to host a show about inclusive education, Marianne insisted I needed a co-host. My mind started spinning - who's arm was I going to twist, who was I going to bribe and who was I going to convince to do a radio program once a week with me? Then, I remembered Terri Mauro. Terri is an About.com Guide whose online, practical and often humorous articles about special education, I loved to read. Without having any prior contact with Terri, I emailed her and asked her to co-host the program with me. I guess I caught her on a good day, because after a few re-assuring emails, she agreed to give it a try. And, boy, did I luck out! Not only is she the best co-host ever, I have learned so much from her experiences raising her own children with special needs. Plus, we laugh a lot.
So, with scripts in hand, on September 9, 2011, Terri and I interviewed our first guest, Kathryn Burke. Fortunately, everything went according to plan; Kathryn gave our listeners a wonderful overview of parenting kids with special needs and Terri agreed to come back and co-host another show with me!
In May 2012, we left the Special Needs Talk Radio Network and began to produce, advertise and broadcast on our own under the name, The Inclusive Class Podcast. Under our new name, we have continued on to provide interviews with expert guests on ways to create, support and advocate for inclusive education. In the past year we have interviewed 46 outstanding, expert guests! You can click here to see this list of incredible people. In addition, you can click here to listen to all our past shows.
We hope to continue with our podcast and provide our listeners with information that they need to help find the best, possible educational setting for their child with special needs. We also THANK YOU for all your overwhelming support over this past year and continuing to tune in and listen to The Inclusive Class Podcast on Fridays @ 9 AM EST!