Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, inclusion documentaries and articles that were written…
Okay, that might not be how the song goes…but, if you are an inclusion nerd like me, you’ll enjoy this list of my favorite inclusive things from 2022!
Favorite Film on Inclusion - Forget Me Not documentary. This film documents the story of a young boy with Down Syndrome whose family must fight to have him placed in an inclusive setting. It is a heartbreakingly accurate portrayal of what families go through for a very basic right. The documentary is making headlines at numerous film festivals and is free for a limited time on Tubi. Watch it - you won’t be disappointed!
Favorite Piece of New Evidence - If 40 years of research supporting inclusive education wasn’t enough, there’s another study to add to the evidence. A longitudinal study that followed students with similar profiles in both inclusive and non-inclusive settings found significant positive effects for students receiving inclusive special education services. The study concluded, “For educators and parents who struggle with making the right decision, this study provides greater certainty that inclusion has a strong relationship to academic achievement for students with disabilities.” A summary of the study can be found here,
Favorite “Everything Old is New Again” Instructional Framework - Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, is nothing new. However, it is achieving renewed focus as a framework to support learners of diverse abilities and backgrounds. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating educational inequities, UDL offers strategies to reduce barriers to learning, embrace student variability, and offer multiple means of representation, engagement, action and expression for learning. Check out CAST, a national nonprofit on UDL for more information.
Favorite Inclusive Podcast - A shout out to my friend, Tim Villegas, for hosting my favorite podcast on inclusion, the Think Inclusive podcast, sponsored by the Maryland Coalition on Inclusive Education. Tim interviews leaders in the field of inclusive education and has a cult following of inclusionists! I had the awesome opportunity to be interviewed on Reimagining Special Education in 2021, but my favorite episode in 2022 was “Beyond Behavior Charts and Positive Reinforcement” with Dr. Mona Delahooke. If you’re not subscribed to Think Inclusive, be sure to do so!
Favorite Podcast Expose - I could not stop listening to Sold A Story by Emily Hanford, chronicling the misguided and non-research-based approach used to teach reading in thousands of schools across the country. I have always been a proponent of the science of reading, and this podcast further confirmed my position. How many generations of reading failure have we engendered through this type of instruction? You won’t believe that this is actually happening, and you won’t be disappointed with this podcast.
Favorite Article That Sums It All Up - Eleanor Bader ties everything together in her recent article, “Segregating Disabled Children From Their Peers Doesn’t Help Them, Advocates Say.” Bader cites the research on inclusion, shares stories from the Forget Me Not documentary, and interviews some powerhouses in the field of inclusive education for her article. She arrives at the same conclusion we’ve reached time and time again - segregation is not the answer. Inclusion for the win!
Because inclusion is definitely one of my favorite things, I have a new page on my site with inclusion merch! Check it out www.jennarufo.com/merch for inclusion attire and novelty items. Blog readers get $5 off $50 with code FAVE5 and $10 off $100 with code FAVE10 until January 3, 2023!