PROVIDE GUIDANCE & SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Respectful and inclusive words and actions are essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. You can support your students in their efforts to make their schools and communities inclusive for all.
CREATE INCLUSIVE SPACES: Be a role model for inclusion in your school.
- Help create a positive school climate: Model inclusive language, use multiple and diverse examples that speak to all students.
- Talk with students and other educators about how they can promote inclusion.
- Plan activities that can be easily adapted.
- Create opportunities for inclusion through group projects and activities.
- Teach your students the meaning of inclusion and why it is so important.
- Encourage your students to take action for inclusion.
BE A MENTOR: Support your students' efforts in promoting inclusion.
- Start a Special Olympics or Best Buddies club with your students or get involved with an already existing club as an advisor. Coach a Special Olympics Unified Sports team at your school.
- Help your students speak with other teachers and school administrators about their ideas and needs.
- Encourage students to reach out to sports teams, student government, service organizations, or other clubs focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as the Gay-Straight Alliance at your schools.
- Create a network of students, educators, and community members dedicated to fostering inclusion. Work with students to bring new people into the conversation.
- Challenge your students to learn more about inclusion. Lead the Inclusion Tiles activity from Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and encourage your students to do their own research.
HOST AN EVENT: Help your students plan an inclusion event at your school.
- Work with students at your school to host an assembly or pep rally for inclusion. You can host an event on Zoom, create a video, or use social media when in-person gatherings aren’t possible. View this guide from Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® for more ideas for virtual events.
- Unified Sports and Best Buddies Clubs are a great place to start but consider bringing other clubs in that focus on inclusive practices such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, culture, mental health, and more. Check out the video from Yorktown High School below to see how you can involve other clubs!
- Help students talk to school administrators about logistics and promoting the event using flyers and social media. Find Templates Here.
- Talk to your students about planning an Inclusion Week around Spread the Word Day in March. Create a theme or challenge for each day, use social media, and have students and community members sign the banner throughout the week.
- Share why it is important to Pledge to Include. Have students and community members sign the banner or take the pledge online at www.spreadtheword.global/pledge.
YORKTOWN HIGH SCHOOL'S 2020 INCLUSION ASSEMBLY
Students at Yorktown High School hosted an inclusion celebration on Spread the Word's global day of activation. Student-leaders from Yorktown's Best Buddies and Unified Sports clubs worked together and invited other clubs to join in promoting inclusion at their school. Please note, this event took place prior to COVID-19 restrictions. We look forward to a time where we can celebrate inclusion in person again, but until then, we encourage you to stay safe and adapt events for a virtual setting.
YEAR ROUND ACTIVATION IDEAS
Awareness days, holidays, and special times of year can be a great opportunity for activations at your school. Use the times to focus on specific areas of inclusion and to work together with your whole school community.
These awareness days are a great time to discuss intersectionality. For example, have conversations with your students during Pride Month about the intersections between the LGBTQ+ community and individuals with IDD.