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Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.

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Thursday, December 1 • 9:20am - 10:10am
Creating an Inclusive Environment LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

The SWIFT Center, a National Technical Assistance Center for Inclusive School Reform, provides academic and behavioral supports to promote achievement for all students, including students with disabilities and those with the most extensive needs. Participants attending this session will understand research of successful inclusive schools, learn about tools created by SWIFT, and can immediately apply the information provided in this session to improve inclusive practices. All of the resources that will be shared are free and accessible via the SWIFT website (www.swiftschools.org). The SWIFT-Fidelity Integrity Assessment (FIA) is a tool school leadership teams can use to collect progress-monitoring data on implementation of the SWIFT domains and features. The SWIFT Field Guide provides access to tools and resources, such as videos, discussion guides, parent & family resources, and implementation examples. This topic is important because it facilitates the implementation of inclusive practices. The mission of the SWIFT Center is to improve outcomes for diverse groups of learners, including "struggling readers, gifted, living in poverty, students with disabilities, high achievers, culturally and ethnically diverse students, and those with the most extensive needs" (www.swiftschools.org). The SWIFT Center works with schools, districts, and states to transform systems so that all students receive the supports they need to fully participate in the general curriculum. Research shows that students with and without disabilities make greater academic progress when served in inclusive settings (Cole, Waldron, Majd, 2004; Dessemontet, Bless, & Morin, 2012; Cosier, Causton-Theoharis, 2013). The resources developed by the SWIFT Center and shared in this presentation are tools that schools and districts use to support diverse learners within a fully integrated educational framework, where specialized and general educators work together in collaboration with families within inclusive settings to benefit all students. The SWIFT framework is composed of research-based domains that are essential for inclusive school reform. For example, developing strong and engaged site leadership is necessary for sustaining inclusive school practices (Waldron & McLeskey, 2010). Furthermore, forming a multi-tiered system of supports is needed to match resources to student needs identified through data (Sailor, 2009). Integrating organizational structures allows resources to be distributed as needed by students in more inclusive settings (Sailor, 2009). Developing trusting family and community partnerships is related to improved academic outcomes (Bryan & Henry, 2012). Establishing inclusive policy structures helps remove barriers and ensure sustainability of inclusive reform efforts (Kozleski & Smith, 2009). The SWIFT-FIA and SWIFT Field Guide tools are free, in-depth, and intended to be used by school leadership teams to promote the practices of inclusion. This presentation will include school-based examples and ways in which leadership teams can apply the tools to their schools to support all students in the general education classroom. Examples of how schools can work collaboratively with families will also be discussed. 1. Participants will understand research of successful inclusive schools. 2. Participants will learn how to use free tools and resources from the SWIFT Center to improve inclusive school practices and collaborative relationships with families. 3. Participants will experience school-based examples and ways in which leadership teams can apply SWIFT tools to their schools to support all students in the general education classroom. 4. Participants will learn how to use SWIFT resources to engage families in the process of including all students in the general education classroom.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica M Meisenheimer

Jessica M Meisenheimer

Research Project Coordinator, SWIFT - University of Kansas
Jessica Meisenheimer, Ph.D. has worn many hats in her years as an educator. She has taught first grade students to graduate students, worked in urban to suburban settings, and served as a general and special educator. Jessica’s current work as a Research Project Coordinator for Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center applies her knowledge and experience for the benefit of diverse students across the U.S. She is... Read More →


Thursday December 1, 2016 9:20am - 10:10am
Regency B 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

Attendees (28)