Implementing the Foundations of Inclusion Training Curriculum: Online Discussion Board

Please use this space to share your experiences, resources, and dilemmas. In this space, we can all continue to support and learn from one another in conducting professional development particularly around implementing the Foundations of Inclusion training curriculum.

There are several ways to participate in the discussion:
1) You can click on "Add new comment" below to share your experiences and dilemmas or questions.
2) You can also click on  "reply" to respond to what other people have written.
3) If you have any electronic copies of resources you would like to share with others, please email us at so that we can help you post it here. As a start, we have posted a resource, An administrator's guide to preschool inclusion (Odom & Wolery, 2000). This resource was shared by one of your fellow participants, Susan Dean. Thank you Susan! 

ECRII_Administrators_Guide_2000.pdf3.34 MB
media_permisn_en.pdf95.38 KB
media_permisn_esp.pdf119.06 KB
Foundations_of_Inclusion_Facilitators_Guide_RevOct13.pdf1.33 MB
Foundations_of_Inclusion_Facilitators_Guide_Word_RevOct2013.doc4.56 MB
Foundations_of_Inclusion_Training_Curriculum_Facilitation_Slides.ppt13.55 MB


The training

I am in the process of now of putting together the training that we will deliver later this fall.  I am finding that the materials we were able to download are giving me more than enough information for a basic, introductory class.  I know that there are plenty of materials on the CONNECT site to go into more depth for follow up workshops, too.  The video will be a great starting  point for our participants, too.

The training

I am in the process of now of putting together the training that we will deliver later this fall.  I am finding that the materials we were able to download are giving me more than enough information for a basic, introductory class.  I know that there are plenty of materials on the CONNECT site to go into more depth for follow up workshops, too.  The video will be a great starting  point for our participants, too.

Inclusion training

There were four of us from our agency who attended the meeting in Greensboro.  We met on 8/26 to discuss the training we'll present in Union County in November.  We have some limited experience with inclusion through TA and training.  The  information we were given in Greensboro is a good starting place in putting together an initial workshop.  It was our feeling that we will probably (eventually, at least) do more indepth trainings in the future, and concentrate more on basics (policies, resources and offering quality inclusive programs) in our first session. 

Joan,  I agree with you that

 I agree with you that the training in Greensboro gave everyone some basic information on the background of Inclusion as a "starting point" for further trainings. As the Inclusion Specialist in Johnston County, I see how important it is to get back to the basics every once in a while and review the laws, rules and basic definitions surrounding inclsuon to make sure everyone fully understands the concept and why it is vital to our child care centers. This training is a great first step into further trainings on inlcusion for your centers.

Hi Joan Glad that

Hi Joan

Glad that the training curriculum is a good starting place even with limited experience with inclusion. Let us know what other information or resources you might need or if you all have additional questions along the way.


I've Completed My First Training!

I completed my first training on Monday, August 26th with a group of 15 teachers and assistant teachers in one of our NC-Pre-K sites. This site houses 18 children with special needs with disabilities as sever as a blind and autistic to things less sever as ADHD. During the trianing in Greensboro I began working on my agenda for this group teachers and TA's. I tailored my training to fit this group. They had lots of questions and were very disturbed that they are being "forced" to work with children with special needs without proper training and know how. As part of my training we read and re-read the LAWS concerning Inclusion in child care settings. My overall feeling about the trianing is that I need to offer it on my training calendar at least 4 times per year and bring in child care directors as they are the real decission makers in the programs. 

Cymie,  I think it is very

 I think it is very difficult for teachers who don't have the proper education or training to fully understand how important inclusion is. I wish these trainings were as mandatory as SIDS and Fire Safety! After discussing this traning with my program director, we have decided to make it into a training for director's only and specifying it on federal laws, state laws, rules and rights. I think it's important that the directors are informed on this process more so than the teachers.

I think that it is equally

I think that it is equally important that both the directors and teachers attend this training. The directors need to know the LAWS around this issue and so do the teachers as I have experienced many teachers stating, "I don't want that child in my class."

How did you tailor the training?

Hi Cymie. I know that you feel relieved to have finished the required training already! I  need plenty of ideas. When you said that you tailored the training, did you still use the resources that the FPG Trainers gave us? I know that some of the trainers at my table didn't particularly care for one of the activities. Did you use all of the activities and how long did the training run?

I used the video as my

I used the video as my opening and had them answer the questions from that sheet of How would you feel. I Then gave a "What do you know" test using some of the vocabulary words, IDEA, IEP and so on. Then we went through each of the forms and watched a few more videos. The class lasted 3.5 hours.

Good ideas.

Thanks for the reply. I have to do an "Instructional Design Form" for our Professional Development Career Center in order to complete the training and have it placed on our calendar. I wonder if anyone else has had to do that for their organization?

Instructional Design Form

Hi Carla
Would you like to share with everyone how the form looks like? That way, others who may have similar forms but they call it something else will be able to share their experiences with it. If you have a form to share, you can email it to me:


Will do! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The Social Factor Changing

The Social Factor Changing The Game For Parents of Children With Special Needs

Posted on August 23, 2013 by

Raising a child with special needs takes time, patience and resources. I often think about the resources parents had, or more accurately didn’t have 10 and 20 years ago. I think of my parents, who raised a child with special needs in the 70s and 80s when there were not the programs and support groups, websites and apps at their finger tips.
Today we have support groups, non-profits that focus on helping with advocacy, legal issues, and more, businesses geared toward special needs financial planning, special schools, schools with inclusion programs, online magazines, and of course social media.
Social media has done a number of things in the past several years to improve the support and information sharing for parents of children with special needs. There are more social platforms out there today than most of us would have ever imagined 10 years ago, two of the largest and most relevant to this discussion being Facebook and Pinterest.
Facebook, which remains the largest social network to date, has become common place in the lives of many families. What started for many as a way to catch up with old friends and share pictures of the kids with grandma has emerged into a means of daily communication and information sharing. Fan pages, public and private groups exist to show and provide support for causes of all kinds, children with special needs included.
Facebook has become a place for parents with children with special needs to share ideas and emotions, plan play dates, support each other when children are sick or having a rough time, as well as celebrate milestones together. After all, the video of your two-and-a-half-year-old taking his first step has very different meaning to ones friends and family than it does to a fellow mom or dad who has been in those same shoes with their child.
“It’s been life changing for me. Without Facebook this journey would be so much harder,” said Sara Weiss, who has a child with Down syndrome.
Lindsy Maners has a son with Down syndrome. “It also is a great, quick resource when I have a question whether medical, educational, behavioral.”
Facebook also allows parents with children with more rare diagnosis and medical conditions to network with more families with children with the same condition. A child with something rare might share that diagnosis with only one or two other children in Rowan County. Facebook allows parents to virtually meet, share ideas and information, and develop relationships with families around the world.
And then there is Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks to date. This social platform came on the scene in 2010 as a photo-sharing pinboard website used to create and manage theme-based image collections. It began as a network to share topics such as events, interests, and hobbies, but has grown into a visual idea sharing community where the sky might not even be the limit.
Today, moms have taken on Pinterest by storm, using it to share ideas, information and tricks of the trade. Therapists, teach and parents of children with special needs now have a world of information at their finger tips including educational ideas, therapy exercises and more.
Pinterest’s Mithya Srinivasan said she is constantly amazed and inspired by the creativity, compassion and love parents devote to their children, especially children with special needs. “We’re thrilled to hear stories about Pinterest playing a role in helping these families to discover new kid-friendly projects and recipe ideas, connect with other parents, and share great resources.”
Suzanne Perryman a blogger focusing on parenting a child with special needs says Pinterest is a great platform to get to know other parents better, research and share. “What Pinterest has done is help us connect on deeper levels and more interesting levels,” she said. “It allows us to know each other better. People you see more about your lifestyle. I think you get a whole picture.”
Perryman not only pins to share with others, but uses it as a tool for herself. “It’s my Google,” she said. “I use it as a research tool in may aspects of my life…I know the content I’ll find is based on people’s real life experiences.”
Here are just a few examples of boards focused on individuals with special needs:
Boards with special needs topics in general
Inspirational Quotes
Autism Awareness
Down syndrome Awareness
Therapy Activities
Spread the Word to End the Word Boards
As a parent I’m grateful for the resources and connections we have because of these virtual communities and look forward to what the future holds.

Jill Wagoner is Secretary of the Board of Directors at Partners In Learning and the parent of a son with Down syndrome.

Jill Wagoner is the mother of a child with Down syndrome. She serves as an advocate, writer, speaker, fundraiser, and grant writer for organizations that support children with special needs. A former journalist and current marketer and public relations specialist, Jill has been published in many publications and blogs, including The Salisbury PostModern Parent, and Rowan Magazine. She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors at Partners In Learning.
****This was a recent article in our newspaper. I have gone on facebook and looked up different sites and found several pages on inclusion that is helping me to plan my training. Jessica

social media

WOW! This is really helpful. I plan on getting a little more familiar with the resources listed in this article and possibly adapting some of this info for the Directors meeting we will be having. For the teacher training we hope to have in the future, I can see this info being very helpful/popular. About 60% of the teachers that come into our Resource Room are using Pinterest and other sites/blogs to get info about lesson planning, classroom mgmt, bulleting board and activities planning, etc. What a great way to network concerning issues/concerns/questions concerning inclusion, particularly if there is an overall comment being made that teachers feel inadequately trained to handle special needs/physical limitations in their classrooms.

Using social media to learn about inclusion

Hi Jessica,
Social media can be a good place to look for resources and ideas. I learned from faculty that teachers really love to use Pinterest. I think it helps that everything is visual and teachers can 'pin' ideas that they would like to try out in their own classrooms onto their own Pinterest boards. A wonderful resource on Pinterest that I particularly like is Tots n Tech. They have pinned many pictorial examples of assistive technology devices and strategies (mostly low-tech and easy to adapt / develop using everyday objects): 

Thank you for the Pinterest

Thank you for the Pinterest idea. It has some wonderful ideas on it for inclusion!! :)


I found a great quote on Pinterest: "Fair isn't everybody getting the same thing.  Fair is everybody getting what they need to be successful!"

I agree with you.  I have

I agree with you.  I have found that children with special needs have strengths but often they are not as highly valued in most settings, therefore a child with special needs is often defined by what they can't do as opposed to what they can do.  We should always focus on the positve with all children, but especially our children with special needs in our inclusive settings.

Is it possible for us to

Is it possible for us to video tape an inclusion classroom in our region and use it for our own training? Would be be a matter of getting paperwork signed by the center and paperwork signed by the parents to use the video?


Video demonstrations are a great way to promote learning.  They can provide exemplars or positive examples of evidence-based practices that support inclusion.  In addiition, video demonstrations can provide learners with a chance to identify ways that the practices on the video could be improved or enhanced.  Watching yourself on video is a great way to learn (sometimes a bit painful I have found).  You are correct Jessica that you would need signed permissions from teachers and parents of children in the video.

Good Idea

Now that is a good idea. I have a program where Inclusion works really well and some NOT so well and that would be a great way to show other that it can work. I hope that we can do this.


Hi Cymie,
I was thinking about you on Monday when you were doing your training.  You and others have mentioined administrators as being important.  In your view, what is the most essential information to share with them and what are the best ways to do that?
Related to the videotaping idea, would it be helpful to share the multimedia permission form that FPG uses for parent/teacher permission to video?  We could post that in the resources if it would help.

I think that a meeting of

I think that a meeting of Teachers and Directors, in the SAME room at the SAME time would be the best route to go. I would definitely begin the training with the LAWS! I was very surprised and disturbed to hear that they no so little about the laws and that they DON'T have to follow them!!!!!

The Laws

I agree.  Starting off with the laws pertaining to inclusion seems like the way to go.  So many Directors are overwhelmed and just not aware of their responsibilities when it comes to inclusion.  Breaking the laws down into understandable terms and taking the time to clearly explain the intent of the law is really important.

the laws

Thanks Cymie for this detail.  Was the information on the laws in the Foundations curriculum sufficient, or is more information needed for directors and teachers?  We could post additional information if that would be helpful.

Pam, Please post the media

Please post the media permission form from FPG for us to us.  I have used video observations in the past while working with certain facilities and would love to be able to do that with this training as well.

multimedia permission form is available in resources

Thanks Chih-Ing for posting the multimedia permission form for anyone who wants to use for videotaping examples of the inclusion practices.  Note that it is available in Spanish and English.  Both versions are now available in this discussion area under "resources"
To learn more about the research-based practices that support inclusion and to see video exemplars of the practices which can be shown to learners who want to go deeper, I recommend the CONNECT modules, particularly Modules 1 and 5.  Here is a link:
We are investigating now the issue brought up in the workshap about CEUs related to the NC EC Credential.  We are exploring a way to "bundle" modules so that CEU credit of .5 and above can be available to teachers who take the CONNECT courses.  More on that soon.

Getting the conversation started with a real life dilemma

One of you shared with us your dilemma after the workshop:

I don’t have experience or education on inclusion and feel uncertain about giving a workshop.  I felt like the Train the Trainer was for those with extensive coursework.  How can I learn more or get additional help?

Getting the Conversation Started

I have felt this way sometimes at trainings too.  I have found that you just have to jump right in and get started. Usually once I get started then I have too much information or activities for the 2 hour class!  :)  One thing usually leads to another once you have some undivided time to devote to the class.  Most of our providers that would attend are very basic and would need very basic definitions, activities, and the "starting level" of information.  That is where I start. I break it down to thier level which unfornately takes time.  I also give time for questions to clarify and explore how they are understanding and what they need.  I usually search for the basic milestones, signs & symptons, etc. online. Usually you can find a printer friendly version that is easy to use and very basic.  Someone has already put time and enerengy into it so why re-create the smae information.
We have a Lending Library here in our CCR &R. They have the Early Childhood textbooks and resource books that we can use and checkout.  If something is not available they can order resources for us too.  Do you have one in your county?
We have a good relationship with our Community College instructors.  They are a great resource and have even more books, magazines, and information on campus and the library.
Do you have inclusion classrooms that you can visit and tour? DO you have a relationship with a mentor teacher that could help you?
If I do a deeper level class or for the Directors I will have to dig a little deeper too!!  :)  I think sometimes we just have to get the directors and providers started and excited. SInce each facility will look different they need encouragement and maybe a list of suggestions and ideas, but they will be doing the work and it would be their vision for the facility.

re: Getting the conversation started

I feel like the information given to us in Greensboro is a good beginning...We'll need to do some on-line or in person investigation to add some depth to what we were given.  I found "Together We are Better:  Building Quality Inclusion" on-line when I was preparing to go to Greensboro.  (I think it was mentioned in some of the preliminary information we received.)  It was the keynote address at SCECA in January 2012, presented by Pam Winton from CONNECT.  There's lots of good invormation there, as well as thoughts from a teacher's perspective.  I think it could be very helpful as we put together our trainings.

A great way to get additional

A great way to get additional help is to visit a center or classroom that has inclusion built into their program. Also, emailing or calling an inclusion specialist in your region is another way to get additional information. 

a great way to get additional

You need to the websites for additonal information and view some of the connect modules that are on-line.