This session is essential to setting the tone for audiences who implementing inclusive services for young children with disabilities and their families in early care and education programs. As an initial session, it is important to create a safe climate for personal reflections and sharing.
This session will help participants consider their vision for including individuals with disabilities in their programs and communities and explore the importance of working collaboratively to enhance services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
The first time a group is together, introductions are particularly important for group members to get to know each other. The suggested opener may be modified to gather input or identify issues that may be of particular importance to the group. In the brief introduction suggested, participants briefly share their name, role and program. They also share one word or idea that comes to mind when they think about collaboration and teaming. Other options include sharing key issues that affect collaboration and teaming, effective strategies that build collaboration and teaming, the importance of collaboration and teaming, etc. Some of these openers may take longer than others. Facilitators may want to chart some of the ideas, issues, or strategies to refer to later in the session.
The wrap-up highlights the importance of having a vision for inclusive services. Participants are asked to consider developing or revisiting their own vision for services to children and families. The Including Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities volume, “Session 2: Developing Your Vision,” provides suggested activities for developing a common vision for inclusive services. This session provides opportunities to consider how collaboration and teaming are essential elements of a vision for including infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.