{ABC’s of Inclusion} I is to Ignite Passions

{The ABC's of Inclusion} I is to Ignite Passions

What do you think of when I use the phrase “ignite passions”?

Do you think of finding that which someone loves and discovering ways to enable that person to do more of it?

Do you think of figuring out what excites someone most and finding ways to incorporate that into everything else he or she does?

Do you think of distinguishing between what someone has to do in favor of what someone wants to do?

For me, the phrase “ignite passions” is most easily demonstrated by sharing the story of two people whom I deeply admire – Renee Laporte and Nathan Devlin.

{The ABC's of Inclusion} H is to Hold High Expectations

{The ABC's of Inclusion} H is to Hold High Expectations, Removing the Stumbling Block

When we consider the idea of holding high expectations, we could go in two distinct directions:

The first, of course, is to hold high expectations for our students. This is quite similar to the notion of what it means to expect competence. To expect competence is “to assume that a child has intellectual ability…and assume the child wants to learn and assert him or herself in the world. To not...is to assume that some individuals cannot learn, develop, or participate in the world.”

This is critical for a conversation of inclusion. If we are not able to expect competence, if we can't see the value in each and every person, we have stalled before we have ever really gotten started. 

But the direction I want to go is the second; it’s to focus on the bigger picture. We need to explore what it means to hold high expectations for ourselves.

{The ABC's of Inclusion} G is to Grab Partners

The ABC's of Incusion, G is to Grab Partners; Removing the Stumbling Block

You may feel like I’ve written about this before. And you’d be right, because I have. (Thanks for reading!)

If you recall, the focus of C is to Collaborate was around teachers making the time to work with others to make classrooms and lessons more inclusive. Working collaboratively is critical to ensuring that each student’s needs are met appropriately and successfully.

But we need to think bigger than the classroom, too.

{The ABC’s of Inclusion} F is to Face Challenges

{ABC's of Inclusion} F is to Face Challenges; Removing the Stumbling Block

No one said it was going to be easy.

Inclusion is hard work. It takes vision and time and commitment.

There will be setbacks. You will make progress and you will feel proud of your accomplishments, and then someone will say something ridiculously awful that reminds you of how much more work is still ahead.

{The ABC’s of Inclusion} E is to Expect Competence

{The ABC's of Inclusion} E is to Expect Competence; Removing the Stumbling Block

Maybe this seems a little familiar to you. Maybe you recognize a variation of this phrase. That wouldn’t surprise me. The phrase “presume competence” has been around the education world in relation to disability inclusion for quite some time.

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