This week is Inclusive Schools Weeks and last year I started a week long celebration of inclusion at the kids' elementary school. I am the Special Education rep on the PTA and quite honestly I had no idea how to fill that role. I did a little research and found out about this national program to celebrate and promote inclusion. I thought this was the perfect event for our school. Thankfully we have supportive administrators and teachers who helped make the week possible.
Each day the kids are wearing a color to bring awareness to a particular diagnosis. Blue for Angelman Syndrome & Down Syndrome. Green for Cerebral Palsy. Purple for Sanfilippo Syndrome. Black & White for rare diseases. And Rainbow colors for the autistic spectrum. Each day I have seen almost every child and staff member in the corresponding color. It has been a beautiful sight to see.
Wearing a color is a small step, but I am hopeful that families are having conversations and teachers are speaking with their students about why this week is important for everyone. And I hope that the staff is encouraged to make further steps to promote inclusion within their classrooms. It benefits ALL students.
"The vision is, first, that the school will be a community, a place full of adults and youngsters who care about, look after, and root for one another and who work together for the good of the whole, in times of need and times of celebrations. Every member of a community holds some responsibility for the welfare of every other and for the welfare of the community as a whole."