Please forgive me for skipping a week here and there. To be honest, some weeks during this pandemic, I have a hard time locating my passion. But… lately a few things have brought back that good old feeling!
In 2014, I gave a TEDx talk called “Isn’t It A Pity? The Real Problem with Special Needs.” That talk has continued to pay dividends in the form of new connections with people around the world who care about disability inclusion. This time, it was the team from Happy Smiles UK, which is pretty much a KIT located just outside of Manchester, England. Their founder, Alex Winstanley, is a former teacher who, with his colleagues Haydn, Kurt, and Ellie, provide disability awareness and inclusive practices training to schools and youth programs in their region. We had a fun conversation about changing mindsets and helping people embrace differences.
And, fueling my passion is the fact that we are finally back to training!! It’s been a long, dry spell with social distancing and travel restrictions preventing half of our work from happening. But, as of last week, we are back!
Greg kicked us off with an in-person, safe, and socially-distant but still highly-engaged training site visit. Then, Janet helped some school age staff at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi analyze a difficult transition and made plans to make it smoother!
Our Education & Training Specialists (a.k.a. Trainers) have packed the calendar with virtual training visits to programs around the globe that are either partially or fully back to the program day. They need a lot of support figuring out how to make this all work safely while helping kids transition back to the classroom. I had the pleasure of attending Janet’s training this week on “Responding to Unsafe Behavior” with an active group of learners from Texas. It was so good!
It feels so darn good to be back at it. Between this and the return of the pumpkin spice latte, it feels like we just might get back to some sense of normalcy at some point.
I still wish I had some “in the field” photos to share with you, but I think it may still be a while before it’s anything but Zoom shots. Bear with me on that.