Give to Lincoln Day is May 26th • Online giving starts May 1, 2022
When you support Down Syndrome Advocates in Action NE not only do your gifts help the Down syndrome community, but you also help us to earn a higher percentage of the Give to Lincoln Day matching funds
WAYS TO GIVE:
Thank you Oriental Trading Company for your donation to our Lincoln Buddy Walk Raffle. If your company would like to sponsor the Lincoln Buddy Walk, you can find out more
To register for the Lincoln Buddy Walk go to https://dsaane.ezeventsolutions.com//buddywalk. The t-shirt deadline is May 16th
Will the walk in full swing, sponsorships, donations and prizes are starting to roll in. We are so excited to announce an in kind donation from Let's Roam. This looks like a fun company that offers scavenger hunts and family adventures. This is one fun prize that will get you out in the community and building memories with your family. Learn more about Let's Roam at https://www.letsroam.com/ and their Adventure Book at https://www.adventurebook.com/
In all our years of advocating, we have learned, that we are stronger when we connect as families and learn from those who went before us. We also know that when we connect with organizations in the state, it makes our organizations stronger. We are stronger together. That is what we are celebrating this year with our Buddy Walks.
Join us at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 4th for an open house walk anytime from 9-12. Use this link to register:
Or join us at Yanney Park in Kearney, NE on June 12, with registration starting at noon and our walk around the lake at 1 pm. Use this link to register:
We can't wait to see you in Lincoln, Kearney or Both Locations!!!!
Today We Celebrate the Inclusion Champions
Today we celebrate the adult who are helping to pave the way for more inclusive classrooms in the state of Nebraska. These adults and peers know that Diversity is a fact, Equity is a choice, Inclusion is an acton and Belonging is an outcome.
Today is the first day of Inclusive Schools Week, 2021. We are beyond honored to have been able to recognize 11 Teachers at 7 schools for their efforts in Including students with Down syndrome in their school communities. While it is past the deadline to send a physical recognition, if there is any family who would like to have a teacher recognized with an electronic recognition, please complete this form and we will send one out as soon as possible. Be sure to include the email of the principal, so that we can send it to the correct place.
Congratulations to Mrs. Johnson, Wakefield, Mrs. Jenkins, CLJMS, Mrs. Mingus CLJMS, Mr. Wilson CLJMS, Mr. Edwards, Horizons Middle School, Mrs. Paulman, Watson Elementary, Ms. Jensby, Buffalo Hills Elementary, Mrs. Greeley Buffalo Hills Elementary, Mr. Kok, Walnut Middle School, Mrs. Bacon, Elmwood-Murdock and Mrs. Steffen Elmwood-Murdock for your efforts in including student with Down syndrome in your schools.
How can we include children with a disability in the general education classroom?
Now that we know what inclusion is and how all students benefit from learning in an inclusive environment, let's talk about some ways to do it well.
We need to talk about this because, sadly many schools think they do inclusion when they put a child in a general education classroom, but do not provide access and supports to allow the child to access the general education curriculum. To be very clear, this is not inclusion.
Peer support is one of the most valuable supports in the general education classroom. To be a good peer model the first thing to do is to allow your peers the opportunity to try and it is OK if they fail. Don't give support unless they ask, or you offer and they accept your offer to help. Be a good friend, find out what they like and aske them about it. Or just hang out with them.
On the side of the school, supports are often modification to general education curriculum, so that the student can access the material, and providing accommodations - changes to how the child learns and demonstrates their understanding of the material.
#dsam21 #dsaane #downsyndrome #dsadvocates
Will having a child with a disability in my typical child's classroom negatively impact their learning?
This is a valid question, asked by parents who likely never experienced inclusion in their own school careers even though IDEA was passed over 45 years ago. Well, here is what you need to know: the evidence based research that has been done since the passage of IDEA shows that in inclusive environment benefits ALL students. When a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model is used, the extra supports for put in place for those with significant disabilities actually help typical students who might struggle. High ability learners also can provide peer model support and gain a higher level of mastery, by helping to teach struggling students. Many schools are going to a co-teaching model where special ed teachers pair with general ed teachers to make sure learners at all levels are supported.
Why are we making this October about acceptance and inclusion? Because it benefits EVERYONE!
#dsam21 #dsaane #dsadvocate #downsyndrome
What Is Inclusion?
First let's talk about what inclusion is. Here is the definition we found online.
Inclusion- the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.
But to take that farther, Inclusion is a mindset, not a place. The mindset that everyone has value. It is recognizing the value in each person feeling like they belong. It is presuming competence, that each child can learn, even if they can't show that learning the way their typical peers do. It is about making the least dangerous assumptions instead of making the assumption that a child can't keep up. (FYI, They don't have to).
It is also a civil right. Segregating is never equal. Federal laws were passed over 45 years ago that require students with disabilities be educated with their typically developing peers with accommodations and modifications to help them access the curriculum.
Yet so many schools in our state convince parents that their child will learn more and get more support in a Segregated learning environment. As early as kindergarten, children are funneled into the segregated environments, and are never even given the chance to try a general education classroom, with supports. Parents who fight the system and hold their ground can often get schools to follow the law, but it takes a lot of advocacy. Sutudies show that kids who are included have a much smaller learning gap, than those who are segregated. So why is it still being done?
Down syndrome Acceptance and Inclusion month is about knocking down the systematic limitations our families face every day. Parent's should not have to spend so much time and efforts to get schools to follow the law. When you see injustice, segregation, inequality, please speak up.
Every child benefits from learning in an inclusive environment.
Down Syndrome Advocates in Action Nebraska, is a group for parents run by parents.