Inclusive Education Campaign
The Arc Maryland, with its statewide partners, provides a school inclusion program called “Together We’re Better” (TWB). The objective of the program is to raise awareness of the value and importance of inclusion of students with disabilities. The program involves a 4-way partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, and The Arc Maryland. Inclusive education significantly contributes to the educational experience of all students and enriches the diversity in classroom learning, providing all students expanded opportunities for a better understanding of the world, those around them, and themselves.
There are multiple components to the program (broken up for elementary, middle, & high school students):
- Diversity Celebration Toolkit
- This toolkit contains virtual activity ideas, sample lesson plans for teachers, videos, books, and other resources – to promote inclusion/participation, increase awareness of disabilities, etc.
- Online (or in-person) school disability awareness assemblies/presentations
- These presentations are offered free to schools through the TWB YouTube channel and also through interactive, e-learning virtual workshops.
- Artwork Contest for elementary and middle school students
- Create a piece of art based upon the theme “Rebuilding Our Inclusive Community Together.”
- Drawing Contest for high school students
- Submit your artwork through your sketch drawings or any other means of art about how inclusion of people with and without disabilities benefits us all. Drawings will be used to create a coloring book for younger children.
- Public & virtual displays of the artwork throughout Maryland
- Displays of student artwork will be shared throughout public libraries, websites, and other areas.
For details about the specific components of the TWB program, click each link below:
The goals of the TWB program align with National Inclusive Schools Week (December 6-10, 2021) which provides an important opportunity for educators, students, and parents to come together to celebrate students with all needs, build empathy and understanding, and work toward the common goal of successfully educating and including children with a range of abilities.
The theme this year is “Rebuilding Our Inclusive Community Together.” This can be celebrated through various activities including those offered through the TWB program. During the past eighteen months, the world has experienced an extraordinary degree of separation. We have been separated from our classmates, friends, family, colleagues, and community. The force that created the separation is silent and unseen but nevertheless has upended our sense of progress and security.
Throughout history, great trials have always resulted in unprecedented responses. Albert Einstein once described the phenomenon, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Today’s challenges present us with the unique opportunity of rebuilding our inclusive community, the focus of our theme for Inclusive Schools Week 2021. We have recognized the individual and organizational necessity of inclusive beliefs and practices and find that we are committed to restoring and rebuilding a shared community of learners, educators, and leaders.
For questions or additional information about the “Together We’re Better” program or to schedule a virtual (or in-person) school/classroom workshop,
please contact Sharon Dols at firstname.lastname@example.org. All disability awareness workshops are co-facilitated by a member of The Arc Maryland and a person with disabilities.
This project was supported, in part by grant number CFDA 93.630, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.