It’s Time to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward

Forgive Yourself and Move Forward; Lisa Friedman, Removing the Stumbling Block

If you read a lot of blogs, particularly those focused on disability inclusion, it may seem like there are a lot of “shoulds”. This is how you should treat people with disabilities, this is how you should speak about people with disabilities, this is how you should teach and include people with disabilities.

Maybe you read these “shoulds” and they spark within you an idea of a possibility and you are inspired to make a change. Or maybe you read them and find yourself feeling guilty. When I write, my goal is to get you thinking. I hope I lead you to think about what is possible

Using Fidgets Appropriately to Promote Inclusion

What's in Your Fidget Box; Removing the Stumbling Block

A fidget is a small object that can be squeezed, pulled, or moved around as a form of self-regulation to help students with focus, attention, calming, and active listening. Fidgets come in all different shapes, sizes, and textures and can all be used to promote movement and tactile input that is critical for student learning.

Research shows that engaging in an activity that uses a sense other than what's required for your primary task can enhance focus and improve performance in children with Attention Deficit Disorder. There is also science around why many people fidget (not just those with attention issues): The Science of Why We Fidget While We Work.

Common Myths About Disability Inclusion [Avoiding Inclusion Pitfalls]

Debunking Myths in Disability Inclusion; Removing the Stumbling Block

Inclusion: the action or state of including or being included within a group or structure

This term (inclusion), when applied to education, is meant to capture an all-encompassing societal ideology. Inclusion is meant to secure opportunities for students with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms.

However, interpretations and approaches vary widely. I believe that inclusion is a state of mind, a belief system that guides us to ensure a true sense of belonging. Inclusive education is ensuring that ALL students have equal access to curriculum and meaningful learning experiences.

Nevertheless, there is no blueprint for how to make this happen on a practical level in schools. As a result, each state, district, school, and even teacher may have a slightly different understanding of what an inclusive classroom is, let alone how to create one.

Below are the four most common myths and misconceptions that have become barriers to the widespread implementation of inclusive education

Change is Scary {Why We Must Embrace Change to be Inclusive}

Do you fear change? Do you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of helping your school, organization, or community become more inclusive?

It made a difference for that one; Removing the Stumbling Block

It's not unusual to feel uneasy or intimidated by the magnitude of a significant undertaking. It can be that "inclusion" feels so huge that you do not even know where to begin; so you don't. 

Even knowing that change needs to happen you may not know how to go about delivering it. Where do you start? Whom do you involve? How do you see it through?

What really matters is that you start somewhere. Small steps CAN make a difference.

A favorite story:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who took walks on the beach every morning. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. 
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves. When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Helping to move your faith organization toward inclusion may seem like throwing back all the starfish on the beach, but it genuinely is ok to start with the starfish you can reach.  

Be sure you don't miss a post from Removing the Stumbling Block:


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