READ ON FOR NEW & EXCITING OPTIONS!
We do many different types of consulting to promote effective inclusive education and am always willing to customize my services to meet your needs. Skip down a little further on this page to see the most popular types of assistance we provide but keep reading right here to learn about a new and very exciting form of consultation that is available.
If we live within a few hours of your school, it is easy for us to provide in-person consulting or technical assistance or training. Often we do not have to stay over night and travel expenses are kept at a minimum.
If we live farther away, it can get expensive and just more cumbersome for us to find time for usto visit and then provide continued support to your team to help implement new practices.
So, with the "magic" of the Internet and some of the newest distance-based communication tools (plus one old fashioned one - the telephone!) we have begun to work with some schools "from a distance."
Here are a couple of ways that this mode of consultation can work for you.
Option #1: In person visit followed by period phone or video-conference calls during team meetings. In this option, we would conduct an in-person consultation visit like the one described below and then on a periodic basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly) join a team meeting by phone or using a technology such as SKYPE or Facetime to review student performance data with the team, look at student videos together, do problem-solving, or even participate in an IEP meeting. We charge an hourly fee for the phone/web-based meetings that is heavily discounted from a pro-rating of our day-long in-person fee.
Option #2: Everything from a distance! After a phone conference with a Case Manager or Administrator, we would ask for the following to be sent: student's IEP, team-generated priority questions, samples of student work, and several video clips of the student in a variety of classroom activities. we provide very specific information about what to video and smart phones or tablets work great - no need for expensive video cameras. Video files can be sent using a service called We Transfer which can handle large file sizes. I may follow-up with brief phone calls with particular team members. Then we generate a set of recommendations that we can e-mail you or present during a team meeting using PowerPoint, again via SKYPE or other similar technology. A summary written report is sent along with a PDF of the PPT. After the team reviews the recommendations, we can join a team meeting by phone, SKYPE, or Facetime, and facilitate the team through a process of rating their agreement with the recommendations, prioritizing the recommendations that have the highest agreement, and developing an action plan to put the recommendations into practice.
This and any other option can be combined with follow-up visits or participation in phone/SKYPE/Facetime meetings.
Our Perspective on Consulting
We see our role as technical assistance consultants as a “critical friend.” A critical friend can be defined as a trusted person who asks provocative questions, provides data to be examined through another lens, and offers critiques of a person’s work as a friend. A critical friend takes the time to fully understand the context of the [situation] and the outcomes that the person or group is working toward. The friend is an advocate for the success of that work (Heller, 1988). The questions we ask and the recommendations we make are are based on knowledge of over 40 years of research on inclusive education and school reform, informed by the work we have done in partnership with individuals with disabilities and families, with schools in over 25 states, as researchers, university faculty, and through extensive state and federal policy work.
Individual Student Consultation
The purpose of individual student consultation is to develop recommendations for improving students’ full membership, social relationships, participation, and learning of the general education curriculum in the general education classroom. Prior to a full day school visit, we have a phone conversation with the parent and/or case manager to learn about the team’s concerns and questions, and then review the student’s IEP, typical daily schedule, and samples of his/her work. On the day of the school visit we arrive when the student arrives and observe him/her in a variety of academic and social activities. At the end of the day we present a brief PowerPoint presentation summarizing our observations and recommendations. Within a week following the visit we submit that PowerPoint presentation and a narrative written report. We can suggest how the student's IEP can be written to maximize his or her learning of general education academics, development of social relationships, and transition to inclusive post-secondary education, employment, and inclusive community living. We are happy to continue working with the team to assist them in prioritizing and implementing the recommendations through regularly scheduled on-site visits or distance-based support.
IEP Team Building Consultation
The purpose of IEP team building consultation is to enhance the team’s professional knowledge, their effective use of team planning time, their understanding of each person’s role on the team, and their congenial and effective communication with one another and others who provide input to that team. Our work with teams can include: enhancing team members’ understanding of their roles in supporting a student’s inclusion; modeling effective team meeting structures, processes, and skills; and teaching special education staff to integrate their services into typical activities within the general education classroom.
School Improvement & Inclusive Education
We provide guidance and support to schools that are moving from including one student in a single general education classroom to adopting inclusion as part of the school’s core mission.
Cheryl's work in this area involves a comprehensive assessment of current attitudes, practices, infrastructures, and student outcome data; presentation of findings and recommendations that leads to the development of a plan for change; and facilitation of the work of an Inclusive Education Implementation Team that includes administrators, teachers, related service staff, parents, and students. Katherine is passionate about involving students with and without disabilities to advocate for equity and inclusion of all and she utilizes strategies from the I am Norm
campaign, futures planning, and creation of circles of support for individual students.
Fees and other information available on request.