How can we help teachers and program leaders understand more about how children spend their time in school? This is particularly important when we think about children with special needs in inclusive settings. How do we know that such children are having meaningful experiences? How do we move from token inclusion to authentic inclusion? In this session, we will introduce and discuss the EduSnap, a tool that provides a minute-by-minute picture of how children spend their day in school, allowing educators to examine the degree to which those experiences are similar or different when... more
Do you have practical experience in providing inclusive services to children in your community? If so, your voice is needed in a guided conversation to share the facilitators and barriers to local inclusion and the finance strategies for making it happen. Learning from each other, we will explore the administrative considerations, community partners, service delivery models and settings, funding streams and costs, and supports for including young children with disabilities, focusing particularly on resources for local collaborations. This session was on the program of the 2011 Inclusion... more
Begin with the End in Mind: Making Inclusion Work from Early Intervention to Post Secondary Services
This presentation will highlight the perceptions of families and their adolescents with high functioning autism who are graduates of inclusive early intervention and school based programming regarding adult life. The need for family and youth empowerment for greater advocacy and self determination will be emphasized. Specifically, the elements of transition planning and supports needed at the early childhood to secondary levels to ensure successful inclusion and enhanced quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families will be addressed.
One of the hallmarks of being a professional field of practice with a united commitment to a competent and accountable workforce is having a set of agreed upon practice standards that guide practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve learning and enhance outcomes for young children and their families. The 2014 DEC Recommended Practices represent the practice standards for EI/ECSE. DEC seeks your input and involvement with the dissemination and product development plan to ensure that the 2014 DEC Recommended Practices are understood and implemented across the broad... more
Bringing Together the Best of Early Head Start/Head Start, Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention, and Pre-K to Promote Inclusion
Many inclusive early childhood programs have multiple funding streams with multiple sets of guidelines and accountability requirements. This session focuses on finding common ground among these seemingly disparate sets of demands to build high quality inclusive programs for the benefit of ALL children and families. Come and contribute your ideas for what resources can support your efforts to bring together the best of EHS/HS, ECSE/EI and Pre-K to support high quality inclusion in your workplace.
Building a Statewide Comprehensive and Aligned Assessment System for All Children: Birth to Kindergarten
In recent years, assessment requirements for young children with and without disabilities have increased. In early childhood programs, these additional requirements are complicated by the fact that policies and requirements for early childhood programs differ across funding agencies. To facilitate quality services and inclusive programs for all children, states would benefit from collaborative policies and practices across early childhood programs that result in appropriate and useful assessment systems. This session will provide a framework for a comprehensive and aligned assessment... more
The field of early childhood is challenged by policies that differ across funding agencies. This is evident in the disparate requirements established for child assessment across state-funded infant/toddler and preschool programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and early intervention/early childhood special education programs. The result can be challenges for teachers who face assessment requirements that seem excessive, may not be designed to match the service delivery model, may not be appropriate for all children, and may not produce timely and useful information for guiding... more
Building an Intentionally Inclusive Community Program: The Interactive Use of Selected TA Process Tools and Resources
This session will feature an overview of stakeholder-oriented processes and resources (e.g., self-assessments leading to action planning, guidance on financing) to facilitate an intentional process of building inclusive communities, from both a state and local lens. Participants will have an opportunity to visit interactive stations where they can talk about the tools, and explore their potential application with community partners.
Communities across the country have used a self-assessment process, the Community Perceptions of Inclusive Practices, to identify their strengths and needs and develop plans to promote high quality early childhood inclusive services. The process brings community partners (Head Start, early childhood special education, child care, families, etc.) together in a safe environment to share their diverse perspectives on inclusion. The data from these dialogues are used to facilitate relationships, prioritize action plans, provide targeted cross-system professional development, monitor progress,... more
Birth – 3rd Grade (B-3) reform presents the field of early education and care with a new paradigm for excellence, and the demand for new leaders is great, especially those promoting inclusive practices. Persons in positions of responsibility and authority have often relied on personal experience to acquire inclusion leadership skills rather having access to an intentional, focused approach. Lacking such opportunities, the field is now examining sustainable leadership development strategies and pathways that powerfully impact children with special needs and their families, borrowing lessons... more