Our goal is to make California a global leader for inclusion and disability empowerment. We are starting with education…. and we have a long way to go (see our California School Dashboard for Students with Disabilities).
We invite parents and policy makers; educators, activists, and administrators; students, disabled adults, and curious and concerned community members to come together, learn and act. Both as individuals and as a community to transform education for kids with disabilities.
Not from California?
Not a problem. We believe there are lessons on inclusion and change from around the world that can benefit all of us. Please join us. You can sign up below or make a presenter proposal or become a sponsor.
Phase 1 – 30 days of Inclusion
An Online Conference
1 to 30 October 2019
Join parents, students, community members, disabled adults, teachers, activists, leaders, academics to jump start making educational success and inclusion a reality for all kids with all disabilities.
This is not an academic conference to discuss inclusion in theory (DONE, but we’ll cover the highlights), it is a nuts & bolts community project to see what’s been done, what’s worked, what hasn’t, real experiences from real people trying to give kids a better education – individually, in a classroom, in a school, in a school district, and in a state.
Practical experiences that you can use.
And, hopefully, a community that will work together to build blueprints for action to help make educational inclusion the rule, not the exception.
Sign up below or send us your presenter proposal.
California’s Segregated, Failing Special Education System
California’s education system has slipped badly over the past 40 years. This has hurt all our students, but it has been particularly rough on our students with disabilities.
While we were once a leader in helping our disabled children, we now have the most segregated education system in the US with 20.9 percent of our disabled kids in segregated classrooms – 50 percent more than the national average of 13.4 percent and far behind the leading states (and even districts here in California) who are at 5 percent in segregated classes.
Separate is unequal.
While there are many ways this damages our kids, the most telling is that kids in segregated classrooms have 50 percent fewer minutes of instruction per day.
Start behind, end up no where.
Even worse, segregation violates US law (the Individuals with Disabilities Act – IDEA) and proven research.
And this has consequences.
Only 14 percent of students with disabilities in California are performing at or above grade level. While graduation rates aren’t terrible, a diploma without skills to match makes going to college or getting a good job a real challenge. Add in the stigma of disability, and it is no surprise that employment statistics and income for disabled adults are depressing.
Becoming a Leader starts today
There is plenty of room for improvement.
Let’s get started.
Join us in October or, if you have something you’d like to talk about.. give us a proposal.
How the conference will work
Our goal is to maximize reach and accessibility for the conference – two big challenges for the disability community…. and we want to make it easy for you as a participant, to get the most out of the conference.
- The presentations for the conference will be spread out over 30 days, so you won’t get overwhelmed with too much to look at on any day.
- Each presentation will include a written essay or article. There may be additional material from some presenters. These will all be posted online for you to review, ask questions about, or comment on.
- There will be a daily email as well as online post summarizing the day’s posts.
- We will have a supporting online forum to allow you to ask questions, discuss, and otherwise explore the issues raised or inspired by the presentations. We would very much like you to participate in these online discussions, but that is totally up to you.
- By having the presentations available in written format as well as a forum, we hope the conference will be accessible to as many people as possible (we are looking for sponsors to help expand that accessibility further).
- The forum will continue to be “live” after the event.
- We intend to release a complete proceedings from the conference after the event.
NOTE: We’d like to thank the What Works Podcast and its episode on Community Projects with Eli Trier for giving us a lot of the ideas we used for this conference – though any hiccups are purely our own.