International Day of People with Disability
I know that it can feel like every day of the year is the ‘day of something’, but today I feel is one that is particularly important: International Day of People with Disability.
As I reflect (yes, we do LOTS of reflection at EarlyWorks) on the enhancements we have made to EarlyWorks over the last few years, many have been to better support Educators in delivering an inclusive program.
These enhancements include:
- The ability to make Experiences visible only to families linked to Children Planned For.
Particularly helpful when you are planning experiences for one child, and don’t want other families to be able to see it in the program.
- The ability to link Observations to Experiences from previous Programs.
You might add some new equipment to the outdoor area, and months later, one of your children might pluck up the courage and/or develop the skills to play on that equipment (for example riding a tricycle or balancing on a beam). Linking a new Observation to an Experience from a previous Program, could in itself be evidence of persistence, commitment and confidence (Outcome 4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning).
- The ability to invite children into rooms and include them in Observations, Journals, Planned Experiences and Daily Communications.
Educators can use the invite function to include children from other rooms in their documentation. So if there is an activity going on in one room that would be appropriate for a child from a different room, they can be invited into the Observation/Journal, and then this can be shared with the family and importantly, any observed outcome comments form part of that child’s learning journey.
As well as being the right thing to do, being inclusive is a requirement under the National Quality Standard (3.2.1 Inclusive Environment). So today, or this week, might be an appropriate time to reflect on the wonderful initiatives your service has introduced ‘to support every child’s participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments’.