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SPEAKout Blog

For Teachers: A Note of Appreciation

In preschool, it was Miss Patti. In elementary school, it was Elizabeth Patrick, Kathy Samuels, and Marlene Fisher. My secondary schooling provided fewer educators that positively impacted me, but Burnham Whittington, my Advanced English teacher from junior year comes to mind. Miss Patti - I don’t remember much about her - if that was her first name or her last, or what she looked like, but I know she made me feel safe, welcomed, and loved. Ms. Patrick made meRead more
This week the nation seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when on Tuesday a Minnesota jury delivered the verdict declaring Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd. After a year of unrest and a number of other deaths suffered in the Black community, this verdict is a glimmer of hope for reform and needed change within our systems. At PEAK, we work for inclusion, equity, and social justice, not just for those with disabilities,Read more
Each day I look out my office window the grass is a little greener, there are buds on the trees and warm weather has begun to tease its way through early spring. Welcome to April, the month where aside from Earth Day, Child Abuse Prevention Month, International Children’s Book Day, and Tax Day, we have Autism Awareness Month. Autism awareness brings with it some heated dialogue. Most people are already aware of autism. Some have opted to replace the wordRead more
By Anna Marcus & Leann Springer Around the world, children are excluded from schools where they belong because of disability, race, language, religion, gender, and poverty. PEAK’s mission, as you probably already know, is to provide training, information, and technical assistance to equip families with strategies to advocate successfully for their children. As a result of these services children and adults will live rich, active lives participating as full members of their schools and communities. We know that an inclusiveRead more
“When your formative years include people with disabilities, as an adult you make decisions to include people with disabilities.” “Every student needs to hear, ‘We do not see you as a problem. We see you as an opportunity.’” “Membership in the regular class is directly tied to reading...Kids are not retained because of math scores.” “Focus on the solution, not the problem.” Above are some of the words from Doug Fisher that I jotted down at the 2018 PEAK ParentRead more

All We Need To Do Is Change Our Aim

Shelley Moore’s research is rooted in one fundamental question: how can we find the value in the day-to-day practices in our classrooms in terms of inclusive education? The answer, Shelley argues, lies in the science of bowling. Yes, you read correctly, bowling. Who knew an understanding of bowling strategies could provide solutions to the limits of our existing education systems? First, here’s a little background on Shelley. Originally from Edmonton, and now based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Shelley Moore isRead more

“So You Wanna Be a Hope Dealer?"

“Someone is waiting for you to be their ‘Hope Dealer,’ an audacious and fearless champion for children.” - Hasan Davis, Written Off. Are you a hope dealer? Do you hand out life chances for the kids you encounter, the kids in your classroom, or your own kids at home? You may be wondering what a hope dealer is or what it even means to be a hope dealer. If you want to learn more about ways you can make aRead more