We are starting our third year at Inclusion From Square One. There are a lot of things that have derailed some projects I’ve wanted to get going specifically involving Inclusion From Square One. When I thought about the original website, I really wanted this to be a repository of information so folks would have to stop the solitary mad scramble that would happen on behalf of their child. And then the pandemic of 2020 put a marker in not only education but economics.
What I know we do have are some amazing voices of folks willing to come forward to talk about the nuances in providing systems to make inclusion possible. What I have prepared for Spring 2021 is in amazing contrast to what happened in July 2020 discussing distance learning. However one feels about distance learning, for the first time in a long time, there are more systems in place to make access to academics much more possible for some students with disabilities.
And that’s the crux of the issue ‘some’. Our goal is as many as possible.
- What do we need to know?
- What have we learned?
- What strategies are we going to have in place?
- What strategies do we need for the future?
- What will it look like for this student?
- How will they develop pride in their disability?
- How will they develop self-confidence?
- How do I develop my confidence as an educator to bring out the best in this student?
- Will they make friends?
- Will they know their strengths are what they bring every day to class?
- Will their classmates appreciate their peers with disabilities for being unique to perspectives within academics?
When we get through the questions that address our worries, we truly do know how to include all students. It remains to be seen that we need the most to include is the reminder that we are all human and deserving of care and space to grow—and not just our children.
When we get through the questions that address our worries, we truly do know how to include all students.
We open our Square One Spring Quarter publication with this in mind. The questions we have for a given student will be endless. In the end, we want them to have that space to grow to become a member of our communities that feels that their contributions are equally considered, not the afterthought.
Let’s keep building the world we can be proud of—one student at a time.