For the past two months, hundreds of providers at SEIU Local 99 have participated in a series of workshops hosted by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) called the Inclusion Collaborative. The Inclusion Collaborative is a three-part series discussing challenging behaviors, inclusion & disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The workshops in September were conducted in English and the workshops in October were conducted in Spanish so all providers were able to participate. In the sessions, providers learned tools and strategies to effectively include children with disabilities. Communication skills, prevention techniques, replacement strategies, positive behavioral strategies, and support plans were shared by SCCOE for providers to utilize to help care for all children.

“I relearned what normal means. There is NO normal! I will also begin to use a new strategy I learned at the workshop. When speaking, we must implement “All” children, regardless of disability. A child’s disability does not define them,” said Tonia Miller, a Child Care Provider from Los Angeles.

Today nearly 1 in 5 people in the United States has a disability. These trainings will help providers care for a growing sector of our population living with disabilities and help ensure our child care system treats all children fairly. Throughout the workshops, providers learned inclusion means valuing difference, diversity, and promoting everyone to reach their full developmental and learning potential.

“The training provided was invaluable. I plan to immediately implement the resource phone numbers and continue to provide positive inclusion programming to meet a child’s needs as well as those of their peers. As a dedicated family daycare provider, I consider myself a first responder for families and our surrounding community. I left the workshop knowing I will now be able to direct a parent to much-needed answers and resources for their child with disabilities. This is priceless,” said Adrianne M Moore, LMFT, Family Child Care Provider and Early Education Advocate.

Couldn’t make it to one of our workshops? Use these free online resources: