• Examine your attitude—practice saying, “How can this work?”, “How can this child be successful?”
• Question your stereotypes—how someone looks, walks, or talks does not tell you about how they think and feel.
• Use age appropriate talk—examine your tone of voice and topic.
• Support communication.
• Listen openly—work to shed judgments.
• Teach peers and others how to interpret potentially confusing behavior.
• Do not speak in front of someone as if they were not there.
• In conversation, refer to the person in a way that includes them in the conversation.
• Ask permission to share information with others.
• Be humble.
• If possible, always let the person explain for himself or herself and do not speak for them.
• Assume that every student will benefit from learning age appropriate academic curriculum.
• Look for evidence of understanding.
• Support students to show understanding using their strengths.
• Design adaptations and accommodations to support access to academics.
• Be sure to acknowledge the presence of a person with a disability in the same way you would acknowledge others.
“If you want to see competence, it helps if you look for it.”
Kasa-Hendrickson, C. & Buswell, W. 2007