Inclusion Outreach assists school teams and families to develop meaningful and functional programs for BC students with complex intellectual and physical disabilities within inclusive schools K-12.
The Program builds capacity in schools by providing direct training and ongoing distance mentoring support to district partners, teachers, therapists, itinerants and educational assistants.
The philosophical foundation that guides our practice is based on the belief that educational programs for students with disabilities must enhance their current and future quality of life. Learning objectives must be functional, meaningful and address presence, choice, competence, respect, and inclusion as a framework for planning and accountability in a student’s school program.
The focus of this program is two-fold:
- Provision of information and strategies specific to the student with multiple severe disabilities to maximize their learning
- Provision of information, inservice and teaching strategies to support the classroom teacher and support team to meet the educational needs of the student with multiple severe disabilities.
What Does an Inclusion Outreach Visit Look Like?
Prior to the visit we collect assessment information and connect with our school-based team counterparts (i.e., the teacher on the team will contact the resource teacher or school-based case manager and the parents; the S-LP on our team contacts your S-LP and our therapist contacts your therapists).
Typical visits are scheduled Wednesday through Friday and our team arrives at the school on Wednesday as early as travel permits to meet the student and their team. Mostly we observe although (truth be told) we’re pretty hands on and bring big bags of equipment to try out. Sometimes therapists make arrangements to meet and touch base and/or work together. Wednesday after school we offer two options if desired: a PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) session for the student and their family, or a District Inservice.
Thursday we work with the student and their team at school while trying out and modelling strategies to facilitate inclusion, active participation, communication and learning. We try to be unobtrusive while in and out of classrooms with the student throughout the school day.
On Friday morning we hold a three hour meeting with the school team, family, therapists and others to present our suggestions. Districts agree in advance to provide release time for school staff (i.e., resource teacher, classroom teacher(s) and educational assistant) to attend the meeting. On Friday afternoon the Inclusion Outreach team leaves to travel home and the school team continues to meet to develop an implementation plan.
“I absolutely loved the presentation. I learned so much about how to best support all our students. One of the real connections for me was how well the core competencies align with IEP goals and ways to support classroom inclusion. It really helped me to see how our SBT can frame IEP goals for all our students, particularly how we measure progress.” Paul Manville, Principal, School District #40 New Westminster