Reopening Schools for Students With Disabilities: Everything You Need to Know

Few educators thought, when they left their school buildings in mid-March of 2020, that they wouldn’t step back in until the summer. Now, with the number of cases of Covid-19 rising in the United States, the debate rages on about whether to open schools for in-person learning. For months, students have been in lockdown at home, with … Continue reading Reopening Schools for Students With Disabilities: Everything You Need to Know

How Special Education Works in Private Schools

I didn't even know what special education was until I took a psychology course in my last semester of college. If there were students with disabilities in my classes at the private Christian K-12 school that I attended, I wasn't aware of them. There were maybe one or two students with noticeable learning differences, but it's easy … Continue reading How Special Education Works in Private Schools

Becoming a Special Education Advocate: The Essentials

My education colleagues scoff at the credentials of special education advocates all the time. Some say, "You know, you don’t even need any special training to become an advocate.” Others will opine, “I could just quit my job as a teacher and become a special education advocate; that's where the real money is.” These statements reflect a … Continue reading Becoming a Special Education Advocate: The Essentials

10 Ways to Flex Your Social Media Advocacy Skills

Nearly a decade ago, I bit the bullet and created a Twitter account. I had no idea what to expect. I was in for a big surprise. I made my Twitter account in preparation for a conference in Atlanta called TASH; I was presenting. At the time, I was a classroom teacher for students with significant intellectual disabilities, … Continue reading 10 Ways to Flex Your Social Media Advocacy Skills

How to Explain a Pandemic to Students With Disabilities

Nothing prepares you for a global pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the last pandemic comparable to the current one was H1N1 influenza, which killed about 12,500 people in the United States and an estimated 284,000 worldwide. Discussing the ramifications of a pandemic with people who have disabilities takes some thoughtful planning. My … Continue reading How to Explain a Pandemic to Students With Disabilities

The 4 Digital Learning Tips Every Special Education Teacher Needs to Know

After the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic went from a far-flung concern to an existential threat, the world awakened to a seemingly alternate universe. According to the most recent data, 1.5 billion children around the world (87 percent of Earth's student population) are affected by school closures. And according to a United Nations agency, 60 million teachers are home as well. … Continue reading The 4 Digital Learning Tips Every Special Education Teacher Needs to Know

Inclusion Gives Kids with Disabilities the Best Chance—Here’s Why

I had a discussion the other day with inclusion advocate Lou Brown about what success looks like for students with intellectual disabilities. He said that, ultimately, success is about outcomes. So, what produces the best outcomes? Is it inclusion or segregation that gives students the best chance to live, work, and play in an integrated society? THE … Continue reading Inclusion Gives Kids with Disabilities the Best Chance—Here’s Why

4 Fool-Proof Inclusive Education Strategies All Teachers Need ASAP

My journey to becoming an advocate for inclusive education began with teaching in a “special day class,” a segregated special education classroom. I taught a class that was designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum, so at first, I was skeptical about including my students with their nondisabled peers—but once I started, I didn’t want to … Continue reading 4 Fool-Proof Inclusive Education Strategies All Teachers Need ASAP

The One Story Every Teacher Needs to Know (And Why)

All special education teachers know the importance of looking beyond their students' perceived limitations and believing in their potential. Take, for example, the story of French physician Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard and his student Victor, which serves as one of the earliest known examples of special education methods being used in a way similar to the way we … Continue reading The One Story Every Teacher Needs to Know (And Why)