Supports for Inclusion

The “Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs” by the Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS),  states that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.  You can download the full document or an executive summary and explore other Inclusion news on the US Department of Education Site. (external link) 
Early Childhood Inclusion: A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) identifies the defining features of high quality early childhood programs as access, participation and supports.  Read the position statement to learn what is meant by each of these and discover recommendations for using the position statement to improve early childhood services.(this document will download to your computer)
This guide for Early Intervention is designed to give the reader information quickly and succinctly and includes multiple resources to secure further information and material. The guidelines include or refer the reader to legal requirements, suggest quality practices, and clarify activities related to inclusion. Download Inclusion Guidelines(external link)
The purpose of the self-evaluation tool is to provide a framework for discussion that promotes partnerships to benefit young children with special needs and their families. As your team considers each item, you should reflect on past experiences working together to provide services to young children and families.  This will provide you with insights to help focus your efforts on specific areas to improve the quality of inclusive services in your community.Download Self-Evaluation Tool (this document will download to your computer).(external link)
 The OCDEL Inclusion and Suspension/Expulsion Announcements became effective July 1, 2017.  These announcements connect with the shared values and vision across all OCDEL initiatives and programs.  This timeline can help you plan how to support the families, children and staff in your program. Download Inclusion and Suspension/Expulsion Announcement (external link)
 This “Getting Started” document provides guidance to early care and education programs for implementing the next steps outlined in the OCDEL Announcement, Inclusion of All Children in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania. It also supports the core principles of “inclusion, equity, and respect for all children” of the Keystone STARS System and OCDEL programs in general. (external link)
A new infographic, The Benefits of Inclusion in Early Childhood, from the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning demonstrates how all children, families and communities can benefit from the inclusion of all children. It easily prints on legal sized paper, and can be shared on social media, websites, in newsletters and other formats to spread the word and educate on the importance of including all children. (external link)

 

 

Access to Services

 Universal design is a framework that supports all learners by providing a variety of ways to access and process information and demonstrate what is learned. Universal Design of Early Education: Moving Forward for All Children describes the guiding principles and provides helpful examples.

Watch Universal Design for Learning Video from Building Inclusive Child Care to see universal design principles in action. Download or print the UDL Checklist (PDF) to guide the expansion and strengthening of UDL. (external link)

 Visit the Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center website to view 15 Minute Inservice Suites which include resources and short videos on topics including individualized instruction, adaptations and embedded learning.

While there be sure to check out

Tots ‘n Tech provides information and resources about adaptations, including assistive technology, to use with infants and toddlers.  Using Visual Supports with Infants and Toddlers describes how to choose a visual support and provides photos, steps and tips for making them. (external link)

Resources:

Foundations of Inclusion is a CONNECT Course offered through the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.  It is intended to introduce the basics of inclusion and the rights and supports for children and teachers in early childhood education.(external link)
The Special Quest Multimedia Training Library supports the inclusion of young children with disabilities birth-five and their families in early care and education settings.  You can search the volumes by selecting a topic from the dropdown menu.  Volume topics include Building Relationships with Families, Including Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities, Collaboration and Teaming, and Preschool Inclusion Series (external link)
The Desired Results Access Project established a Digital Video Initiative to support early childhood practitioners’ use of video in their work. All videos can be viewed online and may be downloaded at no cost for use in educational development activities.  Access the Video Library here and then click on the General Interest tab to see videos such as “Getty’s Window To Inclusion: The Chance To Be Just Like Any Other Kid”, “A Parent’s Perspective on Inclusion in Early Childhood”, and “Win-Win: Inclusion Preschool Settings”(external link)

Planning for Participation

The Inclusion Planning Checklist is a tool for providing collaborative services for infants, toddlers or preschoolers with disabilities and their families.  It provides suggestions for activities that should take place to create responsive and effective inclusive environments.  The checklist is available for both home-visiting programs and center-based programs.  Both checklists are available in English and Spanish.(external link)
 Connect Modules include videos and activities to help you learn about serving children with disabilities effectively.  Be sure to check out Module 3: Communication for Collaboration and Module 4: Family-Professional Partnerships.(external link)