I’m in a grateful state-of-mind. My family celebrated Thanksgiving early so that we could see my mother-in-law before her assisted living facility closes up tight due to reimposed restrictions in California. She turned 97 last month. So, the chance to take her out of her facility and have a safe and physically-distanced Thanksgiving meal with her meant everything to us.

At KIT, we are currently commemorating 10 years of service to our largest client. I am feeling all kinds of thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to make a positive difference for kids & families around the world. We’ve conducted thousands of in-person inclusion and behavior support trainings, coaching sessions in our Inclusion Support Center, and tens of thousands of educators have completed our eLearning programs over the past decade. It’s fun to look back and see how much we’ve done to increase inclusive practices.

The practice of thanks-giving feels more necessary than ever. In a year of unprecedented challenges, there is still so much to be grateful for. Today, I want to express my gratitude to our KIT community for keeping the spirit of inclusion alive in a year when the safest thing to do is keep a distance from other people. The antithesis of inclusion became an opportunity to better understand its value, and for that I am thankful.

I’m grateful for our KIT Inclusionistas who worked harder than ever this year, under especially adverse conditions. They persevered through hardship, adapted quickly to new ways of doing things, and found new ways to help our learners through the crisis.

Our Board members have been an even more crucial support system this year, and I know they were dealing with challenges on many fronts – their own work and home/schooling, plus helping KIT navigate uncharted waters. The fact that they answered every call for help is not only much appreciated, but also made a big difference.

I’m also feeling so grateful for the teachers and child & youth program professionals who have remained committed to inclusion. Early on I was afraid that the pandemic would have a lasting negative effect on people’s willingness to include kids with disabilities. But, so far we’ve seen the opposite. We’ve had organizations asking us how they can engage all kids in virtual programs, and how they can make their new program environments safe, but also accessible to all. It’s been heartening to see our learners doubling down on the values of equity, inclusion, and belonging.

I am sending you my heartfelt gratitude for all you do to champion all kids, and best wishes for a wonderful, even if unusual, Thanksgiving holiday.

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