Combining Science and Heart: Relearning Inclusion Through Love

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My education and work brought me to a cutting-edge level in theoretical understanding of inclusion research, policy, and practice. However, when my daughter Juniper was born and we received her unexpected rare genetic syndrome diagnosis, I realized that so much of what I had learned was incomplete. As Juniper’s family, we began observing her experiences of systemic ableism, and as Juniper’s mom, I came face-to-face with my own implicit biases. Before Juniper, I was sure that if we scientifically prove that certain practices are effective, then their use will become a reality. Now that I'm an administrator, I've seen first-hand the importance of promoting high quality inclusive practices through teaching and evidence-based professional development, but these supports are not enough. We may never get to where we need to be, as a field and as a society, until we can put inclusion into people’s hearts, not just their minds.





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Appropriate for all levels