Inclusive Education Workshop

Inclusive Education for the rest of the century: Creating a vision for inclusive education for authentic learning for all!


Presenters will discuss strategies, best practices, and what is needed to ensure an inclusive vision in a student’s formative years, college and beyond.

Who should attend?

Anyone who is interested in inclusive education is welcomed to attend. This workshop is strongly recommended for those in the following professional and personal roles:

  • State agency leaders and senior staff (Education, DD Council, Disability Rights and more)
  • Educators, Education Leaders and Resource Professionals
  • Parents and Family Members
  • Self-Advocates
  • Future Educators
  • School

8:00-8:10- Introduction by Andrea Ruppar

Short overview of all the topics that will be discussed.


8:10- 10:10- Including ALL students in Common Core and Other General Education Classroom Instruction 

Kathy Gee

Based on strategies which have been demonstrated and evaluated in the field, the presenters will provide information and numerous examples of “how to” determine meaningful outcomes within the common core and other instructional areas of the general education curriculum. The focus will be on children/youth with the most significant support needs and children who are nonverbal. Practice will be provided through case examples.


As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. problem solve how to develop meaningful access to the common core curricular and other instructional activities children and youth with the most intensive support needs; and
  2. understand how to cognitively scaffold in order to personalize outcomes for all children.


10:10- 12:10- My Child’s Inclusion Can’t Wait for Systems Change!

Janet Sauer, Barb McKenzie, and Cheryl Jorgensen. 

Parent presenters will share their visions for their children’s education and lives beyond school. Presenters will recommend strategies for identifying allies and troubleshooting barriers to inclusion. Participants will learn research- and values-based rationales for inclusion and resources for creating meaningful lives with friends, responsibilities, goals, and dignity. Through small group activities and problem-solving participants will write their own vision statements and strategic plans for inclusion.


As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Organize a vision for their children’s school and adult lives and develop comfortable language to express that vision
  2. Recruit strategic allies to support their children’s inclusion
  3. Make a strong case for full inclusion in general education classrooms and activities based on up-to-date research
  4. Develop game plans for troubleshooting some predictable barriers to inclusion.
  5. Use research articles and summaries, their own videos and testimony, and materials available on the Internet that portray the benefits of and concrete examples of successful inclusion
  6. Actively promote inclusion through the IEP process by:  – presenting a strengths-based description of their children – sharing ways that service providers, general and special educators can support their children effectively in inclusive classrooms and activities  – suggesting general education-aligned goals and objectives


12:10-2:10- Providing literacy opportunities for all in natural contexts 

Andrea Ruppar

This presentations will engage participants in actively creating ways to provide access to authentic literacy learning opportunities for individuals with intensive support needs across the lifespan in natural contexts.  Using universally designed instruction, assistive technology, authentic assessment, and core curriculum standards, participants will leave prepared and excited to make literacy a part of the future for everyone.


  1. Understand that all individuals are capable of developing literacy within general education classrooms and inclusive community environments.
  2. Understanding that literacy extends beyond conventional forms of reading, writing, listening and speaking, participants will learn how to integrate common core state standards with IEP objectives, as well as developmentally appropriate practices and lifelong learning.
  3. Create literacy learning opportunities for students with intensive support needs. This learning objective will address the use of universal design, assistive technology, integrating goals with core curriculum across content areas, and all areas of literacy instruction.  Participants will learn to design literacy learning opportunities across all areas of literacy instruction, including language, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension.
  4. Use formative and summative assessment to design and implement effective literacy learning opportunities for individuals with intensive support needs.  Participants will learn to design ways to evaluate progress of  students with a variety of complex support needs within authentic contexts of use, and systematic ways to measure incremental progress.
  5. Participants will leave excited, energized, and ready to implement meaningful literacy instruction for all individuals with intensive support needs.

2:10-4:10- College and Career Readiness and the Hidden Curriculum 


To ensure future success for all students, college and career ready skills (communicative competence, appropriate social skills, independent work behaviors, and academic fluency) must be addressed now.  This session will address how this can be achieved through inclusive school communities, a standards-based curriculum, and involvement in extracurricular activities when taught hand-in-hand with the hidden curriculum, the underlying rules and social morays of a learning community.

As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the hidden curriculum and how it impacts college and career readiness. Participants will gain insight from a self-advocate about the hidden curriculum that is not taught in schools but is a basic part of school success and a foundation for college and career readiness.
  2. Describe the elements of college and career readiness.  Participants will be able to identify what college and career readiness means for students with complex instructional needs. They will be able to describe what these skills are and why they are important for all students to have. Teachers and advocates will leave with some ideas for important IEP objectives (both those that align to standards based instruction and the hidden curriculum) that will support student success.
  3. Identify the concepts or skills a student needs to successfully maneuver through the hidden curriculum, as well as how and when that can happen in an inclusive setting. Often we hear that people are unsure of how to teach academics if a student needs to also focus on goals within the hidden curriculum, however, we have found many ways to support both without dividing the student’s day into two different curricula. Participants will have opportunities to consider how the hidden curriculum could be taught in conjunction with the academic one and thus improve inclusive practices.

4:10-4:30- Open Discussion between all presenters and Audience. Facilitated by Andrea Ruppar

All presenters will come on stage and participate in an open discussion with the audience about any questions they may have and what actions they can take to make inclusive education more available to all.