Mother’s Day is a KIT holiday!


If you’ve been around awhile, then you know I think of Mother’s Day as a KIT holiday. When I think of Mother’s Day, yes, of course, I think of my beloved Mom, but I also think of the founding of KIT. Gayle Slate was inspired to create more inclusion because of her own experience as a young mother with a child with a disability. She knew that families who experience¬†disability felt isolated and excluded. Mary Shea would always begin her KIT training sessions¬†sharing how her passion was inclusion because as a mom she knew she could just write a check and get her daughters into any sport or activity they wanted, and she knew that moms who had children with disabilities couldn’t do that.

Over the past 20+ years, our work has been informed, designed, delivered, championed, and shared by a whole lot of passionate and talented moms. These women, our KIT staff and board members, whom I feel honored to call my colleagues, set an example of service for their children and change our communities for the better, both at the most micro and macro levels. They help an individual preschool teacher learn to support one child in a classroom and then help the largest child care program in the world create policies to better support families. I could go on all day about how impressive and inspiring the KIT moms are, but I’ll stop for now and just say Happy Mother’s Day!

In other news, my passion was fueled this week in Boston at the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) employee volunteer workshop. MEAF has been generously supporting KIT for 15 years, and their early grant funding was instrumental in helping us expand our impact beyond San Diego. Currently, they have funded a needs assessment we are conducting on disability inclusion in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).

We (and by “we” I mean specifically Inclusionista Laura McLelland) led several workshops and a focus group at the event. We also got to experience the Boston Children’s Museum (their inclusive practices are impressive!) and the Perkins School for the Blind (who are also focused on inclusion for their students).

My favorite part of the event may have been the interactive inclusion workshop for the Mitsubishi employees, led by Laura and three Unified Theater alum. We were delighted to see active participation in theater activities by a group of engineers!
The Make & Take Workshop was a collaboration between KIT, the Boston Children’s Museum, and Science Buddies. Each of the six teams had a hands-on STEM project to complete and a challenge to create accommodations for students with a variety of needs.