Friday, December 13, 2019

Apply now! Inclusion Academy for preschool parents (and allies) is recruiting

How do we make early learning more inclusive?

Are you interested in promoting inclusive early learning and disability equity? Are you a parent (or ally) of children ages 2 to 5? Consider applying to The Inclusion Academy, a program of The Arc of King County, funded by Best Starts for Kids. Classes start in early February and conclude in April.

Our philosophy? Disability is a type of diversity, and whether children with disabilities or developmental delay reach their potential is linked to how society responds to and nurtures them. ... So let's change society.


The Arc of King County's Inclusion Academy is designed for parents (and allies!) of young children ages 2 to 5 navigating early learning. It is a Best Starts for Kids Innovation Fund pilot and a portfolio project of Frontiers of Innovation, the research and development arm of Harvard's Center on the Developing Child. The academy is grounded in the science of early childhood development and the research and legal basis for inclusive learning opportunities.

OUR GOAL: Give you the information you need to support and advocate for your child and the skills to pursue disability activism.

  • Thriving: The developing brain and the role of stress, membership and belonging
  • Disability is diversity (longer class)
  • The legal and research basis for inclusion
  • The early learning landscape and your child's rights
  • Common barriers to inclusion
  • Family strategies: Setting a vision and mission (potluck lunch!)
  • School strategies: Differentiation, accommodations, and Universal Design for Learning
  • How change happens
  • Communication and negotiation (longer class)
  • Plus optional workshops on IEPs, collaborative problem solving, or other topics the class identifies
  • Phase 1 - Nine classes taken with fellow parents (and allies!) of young children who have disabilities or developmental delays.
  • Phase 2 - Projects to promote inclusion. You will be paired with a mentor and given a small stipend to apply what you learned by designing and implementing a project to promote inclusive early learning or disability equity.
  • Ongoing learning - At least 2 optional workshops to dive deeper into IEPs and collaborative problem solving, or other topics the cohort identifies

TIME COMMITMENT: Five to 8 months, depending on how long it takes to complete your project. Nine weeks will be spent in classes; the rest will be independent work.

COST: This class is free, thanks to a grant from King County's Best Starts for Kids. All participants will also get a small stipend to help offset costs for materials or travel related to their community projects.

Classes will launch in early February and wrap up in April. Three classes will run 9 am to 2:30 pm; the other six will run 9 am to noon. Child care will be available. Interpretation support available.

Classes for the winter cohort will be held at Ryther,