Inclusion: A vision and a mindset Shira Ruderman Director, RFF
Vision: Including each, strengthening all • Vision: spread the mindset of inclusion across en9re organiza9ons, communi9es, socie9es, and lives. • Why focus on mindset? • With a mindset of inclusion, everyone feels welcome and anything is possible. • Money is not everything.
Inclusion in the schools • Inclusive schools prepare children to be more independent, and be,er ci.zens throughout their lives, in higher educa9on, worship, employment, etc. • There are beneﬁts for children with all abili9es. • Inclusion promotes acceptance and trust, and decreases prejudice (Sirlopu et al., 2008). • Inclusion beneﬁts academic skills (Stahmer & Carter, 2005).
Holis9c approach Schools
• We promote inclusion throughout all sectors, and the en9re life cycle. • Educa9on is cri9cal at every stage.
Holis9c approach • All organiza9ons need to be inclusive • Every school • Every synagogue • Every camp, etc.
• Community of prac9ce • Share ideas and collaborate • One change is a catalyst for another
Holis9c approach • Our work throughout all sectors of society includes advocacy and programs.
Holis9c approach • Inclusion is NOT an isolated program within an organiza9on.
Inclusive and accessible Building
A mindset in a school • As school leaders… • Iden2fy small changes you can make now. Then, share these changes with the en9re school community. This shows that inclusion is a priority. • Add welcoming language on the school website. • Encourage parents, students, and teachers to use you as a resource. You might not be able to answer all of their ques9ons, but you want to try. • Include pictures of students with disabili9es in promo9onal materials. • Consider inclusion across all ac9vi9es – educa9ng students, hiring teachers, purchasing supplies from inclusive corpora9ons, etc. • Communicate to donors that inclusion is essen9al. We can’t aﬀord to exclude 20% of our popula9on.
A mindset in a school • As teachers… • Celebrate diversity and inclusion. • Model kindness, ﬂexibility, and crea9vity. • View inclusion as an opportunity for collabora9on and professional development. • Recognize the contribu9on that each child can make to the classroom community. Communicate this contribu9on to the class, to parents, and to the school. • Ask all parents about their children’s unique strengths and weaknesses. If appropriate, ask the children, too!
Thank you! • Any ques9ons or comments?