Diversity at the Holidays

As a special education teacher who teaches in a primarily inclusive setting, I have had the pleasure of seeing inclusion in its many forms. I have seen students embrace various forms of diversity, acknowledging and celebrating many types of differences. Children are remarkable in that they are naturally curious, not judgmental, about human differences. They also…

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When I Know My Work Here is Done

With the holidays coming, everyone at school as been squirrelly, students and teachers alike. With the restlessness has come some behavioral challenges, and I have felt myself beginning to lose patience. Sometimes, I just think to yourself, “Were my directions really that difficult? Why doesn’t anyone seem to listen? If I hear, ‘Wait, what are…

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Little Italy Restaurante in Anchorage: Thank you for your advocacy!

Little Italy Restaurante in Anchorage, Alaska recently demonstrated solidarity by refusing service. The restaurant stood behind its staff member with a disability, demonstrating that discrimination and disrespect would not be tolerated– by staff or customers. The restaurant’s management chose to value humanity over business. In addition to its extensive dine-in menu consisting of fan-favorite Italian and…

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Thankful for Inclusion

This Thanksgiving, I’ve spent time reflecting on the experiences that have made me who I am today and shaped the values I have. I have been thinking about the path that brought me to the career and the friends I have, as well as the way that I treat and lead others. I am thankful…

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Percy Jackson on Disabilities

Growing up, the only exposure I had to disabilities was through face-to-face conversations and interactions through school- and community-based programs. It felt as though disability culture was shunned from the media. As we have been reading more and more about models with disabilities, dolls with disabilities, and characters in TV shows for adult and child…

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Thinking of Inclusion This Halloween

Even as an adult, I always love Halloween. Delicious candy, carving Jack-o-Lanterns, frighteningly fun haunted houses, and the hilariously crazy costumes just scratch the surface of all that Halloween has to offer. Every year, I always have so much fun reminiscing about the unique costumes I’ve worn in the past– my favorites were the year…

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#NDEAM

I recently learned that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM. As many of you may know from my past blog posts, I previously worked as a job coach for an adult with autism, whom I will call Tom. Working with Tom was a dream– he was so kind-hearted, funny, dedicated, and driven…

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She Keeps Moving

This week, we are sharing the story of Evie, a 20-month-old girl who is rocking inclusion! Thanks to her mom, Michelle, for sharing their experience with us. A couple weeks ago I was picking Evie up from daycare and noticed a huge display in the lobby titled, “It’s okay to be different”. The entire focus promoting inclusion…

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The Power of Discussion

I’ve been feeling pretty nervous about inclusion lately. You may have read in the past that I am a special education teacher. This year, I’m teaching all English support– two blocks of co-taught class and one block of “self-contained” (or as my school and I call it, “separate class,” because self-contained sounds so icky). I’ve decided…

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“They Didn’t Like Me”

Last week, I gave one of my first assignments to my English class– asking students to write a letter to their teachers, outlining their goals for this year and describing last year’s experience in school. One of the new students, who is new to our school this year, wrote, “At my old school, all of…

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