Thursday, June 2, 2022

Three Lessons Learned About Inclusion From My Marathon Journey

Author, blogger, and cerebral palsy (CP) advocate, Zachary Fenell, is back on our blog with a story about inclusion and a marthon. Read below to find out how the two intersected and changed Zachary's life in ways in couldn't have imagined. For the full story, check out Zachary's new book, Slow and Cerebral.

Discussing inclusion proves important. Through such discussion we learn from each other. Gathering ideas which will help inclusion thrive. Exactly why I approached Nicole and asked about providing a new guest post for The Inclusive Class blog. 

A lot has happened since my last guest post, published nearly a decade ago. Nearly a decade? Wow! Where the heck does the time go? Anyway, amongst those prior mentioned happenings, one in-particular stands out to me. I accomplished a feat that nearly a decade ago I deemed “unreasonable.” Becoming a marathoner.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Effects of Presuming Competence

Ms. B is a teacher at XYZ Middle School. She has 32 students of various abilities in her class, including a student with intellectual disabilities. The student with intellectual disabilities has the support of a paraprofessional who facilitates access to the curriculum. Ms. B is about to plan for an upcoming unit on plants. The grade-level learning outcomes require students to understand the structure of plants and plant biology. She wonders if the topic and content will be too challenging for her student with intellectual disabilities to understand. Ms. B is concerned that the student will become overwhelmed and frustrated when presented with such a complex topic. Should she plan for the student to work with a list of science vocabulary words that were targeted for review in a recent assessment or should she plan to modify the unit lessons for the the student so they can participate in the class lessons and learn the same new concepts as their peers? Ms. B wonders what to do. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Is Your School Failing at Inclusion?

Is your school failing at inclusion? If you think your school is failing at inclusion, it does not mean that, "inclusion doesn't work". It actually means that your school is failing to successfully create an inclusive educational environment. 

There are several components of inclusion that are absolutely critical to creating and providing meaningful, inclusive environments. It's important for educators and parents to know about these crucial aspects of inclusion in order to give students with disabilities opportunities to successfully learn and grow alongside their same-age peers. 

Here are the foundational elements that every successful inclusive school system has: 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

How to Make Accessible and Inclusive Education Materials for Students With and Without Disabilities

You've heard me say this many times. Inclusion isn’t a program. It’s the process of including students of all ability levels in our education system to the fullest extent possible. There are dozens of articles and books that cite the research on inclusion, describe the process and practice of inclusion, provide tips for writing inclusive IEPs, and name strategies for facilitating inclusion in the classroom

I've written many times on the types of materials that are widely used in an inclusive classroom such as visual timers, highlighters, color-coded folders, and more. However, one area that I haven't said much about is the text-based educational materials that we use in our daily instruction. After a year of viewing online coursework and hundreds of presentation slides, it's time to talk about providing accessible and inclusive text-based education materials for students with and without disabilities.