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 partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Maryland State Arts Council, 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 5-9, 2022) 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 “Unity Within Our Community.” This can be celebrated through various activities including those offered through the TWB program. From ancient civilizations to the present time, unity and connection have been essential in order for communities to not only survive but thrive. United together communities remain strong even in the face of danger, threats, or peril. The ancient and wise proverb, “Together We Stand, Divided We Fall,” dates back to the sixth century BC when it appears in one of Aesop’s fables.
Let us stand together to address the challenges of this time as we continue to address the needs of our children for schools where all children belong, thrive, and are supported by their teachers, peers, family members, and neighbors. Let’s learn more about the work of other organizations and groups in our community and share ideas, resources, and support. Let’s teach our children by our actions how to treat others, how to communicate and build relationships, and how to work in harmony to address our common needs.
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 Natalie Dohner 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 is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,201,464 with 100% funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.