Special Education in Beijing, Coming together

The Special Education Network in Beijing (SENIB) held its 6th conference on November 17th. The conference was hosted by Beijing City School at its Early Childhood Center. The participants represented several schools and organizations who provide services to children and adults with special education needs. Please read the SENIB Newsletter for a  full recap of the event –  SENIB Newsletter.

[Conference] Call for Workshop Proposals for ETC 2018 (SENIA 2018) now open!

We are now accepting workshop proposals for the upcoming EARCOS Teacher’s Conference (SENIA 2018)!

To submit a workshop proposal, download and submit the SENIA Workshop Proposal Form

[Conference] Opportunities for the 10th Annual 21st Century Learning Conference

The Mission of 21st Century Learning is “Building Communities of Learners”, and for the first time this year, they have introduced a conference strand covering Diversity & Inclusion. This will be looking at how current pedagogy and tools can be leveraged to enhance the educational experience for learners with diverse learning needs.
 
Partnership with SENIA
We have partnered with the Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA) to help select presenters and to spread the word in the community so as to ensure this is an event worth attending if your focus is special needs, diversity or inclusion.
 
Present at the Conference?
It’s not too late to submit a presentation. If you would like the opportunity to present on your area of expertise or experience at the conference then please submit here.
 
Diversity, Inclusion & SEN Schools Tour (Tour Partner TextHelp)
The tour will visit five Hong Kong schools to see a variety of approaches to diversity, inclusion and SEN provision in action.
 
Extended Workshop
Erin Madonna, a Learning Support Specialist at Shekou International School (China), will run a three hour workshop on Day 1 of the conference that explores what it means to be an inclusive educator.
 
One Hour Workshops
Here is a sample of some of the one hour workshops:
 
Maximizing the Power of Teacher Collaboration in Inclusive Classrooms: Co-Teaching For Success
Savanna Flakes
International Educational Consultant and Learning Disabilities Specialist, USA
 
Creative & Divergent Thinking Through Storytelling
Chris Gadbury
English Teacher
Victoria Shanghai Academy
 
Empowering Students Through Inclusive Practices and Self-Advocacy
Christine Arnold
Learning Support Coordinator
ISS International School Singapore
 
Finding your voice: Using Digital Storytelling to Amplify the Writing Process
Nicola Foote
Educational Coach
 

Contributor: Justin Hardman of 21st Century Learning

 

[Conference] SENIA 2018 Details and Website

It is our pleasure to announce the conference dates for SENIA 2018.

The upcoming annual conference will be a joint conference with the EARCOS Teacher’s Conference. The conference shall be on shall be held on March 28-31 at the Shangrila Hotel Bangkok, Thailand. The theme is “50 Years of Voices: United in Purpose”. 

Download the ETC 2018 Conference Flyer and visit the ETC 2018 Website 

Submit a workshop proposal! Visit the ETC 2018 Workshop Proposal page for details. Here is the SENIA Workshop Proposal Form

Like the SENIA Facebook page for more updates. 

See you there!

[Conference] SENIA Singapore holds Spring Conference 2017

On April 22nd 2017, SENIA Singapore held its second successful full day conference at the Stamford American International School.

The theme of the day was ‘Cultivating Collective Responsibility’. Over one hundred attendees were present from a variety of local and international institutions. The day started with a keynote address from Dr Eric Sands about creating inclusive cultures. Following this was two rounds of workshops, followed by panel discussions in the afternoon. The sessions were presented from a wide variety of people representing various centres and schools in Singapore and covered a range of relevant, pertinent topics. At the completion of the day, SENIA Singapore presented its inaugural Advocacy Award to Dr Roby Marcou. Dr Marcou has been actively involved in supporting students with special educational needs in Asia for many years. Stamford American International School hosted the event and the facilities and staff there enabled the attendees to have an enjoyable, smoothly run day. We would like to thank everyone for making the day a success and we look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Story and Photos by Contributor: Karli Koning

[Call for Presenters] EduTECH 2017 Singapore

EduTECH 2017 will be held in Suntec Convention Center, Singapore on November 8-10, 2017. The organizers are looking for speakers in the area of special education and inclusion. Submit your proposals for one or more of the following speaking formats: 7 minute lighting talk, 20 minute presentation, 30 minute panel, 30 minute interview, 45 minute roundtable or 2 hour workshop. Download the Spark Something Presenter Proposal Form and submit your idea today.

The deadline for submission is on May 19, 2017. 

For more information about EduTECH 2017, click here

[Course] Executive Functioning and the Teenage Brain

Great news! One of SENIA’s Board Members Lori Boll has successfully designed an online class entitled “Executive Functioning and the Teenage Brain” through 21st Century Learning.  

Click the video below for an overview of Lori’s class. 

 

For those interested in taking this online class, visit “Executive Functioning and the Teenage Brain” at the 21st Century Learning website. 

[News] Benilde Lights It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Month

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, an inclusive college in Manila Philippines, held a Light It Up Blue (LIUB) event on April 3, 2017 at their iconic School of Design and Arts building at P. Ocampo St., Manila. 

The event was organized by Benilde’s Center for Inclusive Education (CIE). A short program started at 645PM with welcoming remarks from Dr. Catherine Deen, CIE Director followed by an inspiring message by Br. Dennis Magbanua, FSC, Benilde President. The LIUB ceremony was launched by a Benilde Bachelor of Arts in Animation student Mr. Ramon Tan. An excerpt of his speech is quoted below:

“As a student of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, it warms my heart that we are one with the world tonight in celebrating this event. Truly, we are on our way to a more inclusive community. It is with great gratitude that I stand here before you as a student who has experienced the passion and dedication of Benilde in creating an inclusive learning environment. May this gesture of lighting up our school’s facade not just serve as a decoration but a way of instilling in our hearts awareness and empathy for all those people living with autism everywhere.”

The President of the Autism Society of the Philippines Ms. Mona Magno Veluz graced the event and she mentioned that Benilde is the first school in the Philippines to hold a Light It Up Blue event. 

 

[News] Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for ISB’s Intensive Learning Needs Program

 

On Tuesday, February 28th, honored guest Khun Ploypailin Jensen, granddaughter of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, presided over a ribbon cutting ceremony for ISB’s new Intensive Learning Needs Classroom. Students enrolled in this program will begin school in August of 2017.

The first intensive learning needs classroom will be taught by special educator Lori Boll, and will cater to six elementary-school aged students. In coming years, we will open a Middle School and High School classroom, taking students from PreK through graduation at ISB. The program is designed for students with developmental or intellectual disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down’s Syndrome, or global developmental delays.

Mr. Andrew Davies, Head of School, International School of Bangkok

ISB has been working towards becoming a more inclusive school for more than 5 years. In January 2016, the Board of Trustees approved the founding of an Intensive Learning Needs program at ISB, based on the belief that families that wish to work abroad should have access to an education that meets the needs of all of their children, and that siblings should be able to attend school together as often as possible. We believe that our community will be enriched by the inclusion of more diverse learners.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by over 100 guests including foreign dignitaries, officials and representatives from various schools and agencies in the area. The food was catered by Steps With Theera, a coffee shop and vocational training center which supports young adults with special education needs transition to sustainable employment opportunities.

This event would not have happened without the hard work of many people. We wish to extend a thank you everyone who helped with the event. The Thai PTA team, ISB PTA, and ISB Building and Grounds were instrumental in planning the event. Khun Rarin Punjarungroj donated cut-outs to explain the learning that will take place. ISB students from the HS Graphic Design club created informational signs and Middle School Best Buddies helped welcome the visitors.

Students, staff, and families at ISB are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new students. Natalia Yepes, a grade 7 student is particularly excited, “ I think that both the students with special needs and the other kids from ISB will benefit from this. The kids coming won’t be isolated and they will interact with the ISB community and be with students from ISB for friends and help. Students from ISB will learn about them. They will learn about acceptance…”.

In the next several months, multiple awareness campaigns will take place at school to help current students learn about their new schoolmates. Tips on how to introduce this with your own children will be provided to parents as well.

ISB is proud to join the ranks of just a few international schools in the world with such a program, and excited about the options it will provide for families of students with special needs.

Article contributed by Lori Boll

[News] Best Buddies launch at International School Bangkok

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.“

                                                                                                          ― Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh understands the importance of friendship. Everyone needs a friend,  and that is why a new club was formed in the International School Bangkok (ISB) middle school this year. ISB Best Buddies started in October. It’s mission: to spread awareness of students with special needs, advocate for their rights, and to form everlasting friendships between students with needs and those without.

Best Buddies International was originally started by Anthony K. Shriver in 1989 to foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Their website, www.bestbuddies.org boasts that “Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD.” International chapters of Best Buddies have popped up around the world as more and more people connect to the importance of such an organization.

ISB Best Buddies have worked to accomplish many things this year. The first is to spread awareness. The group has started a campaign to end the “R-word” (retarded) when used to describe silly or goofy actions by others. This word is used by many and it is offensive to people who have intellectual disabilities and their families. The culminating event for this campaign will be in late March at a middle school assembly. ISB Middle School students will be encouraged to take a pledge to end the “R-word” and signify that pledge by wearing a wrist-band. The next major project is to spread the word about Autism Awareness month, which is coming up in April.

The Best Buddies group has a major role in opening up the new Intensive Needs classroom at ISB, opening in August of 2017. They helped put together work tasks, cut out piles of visuals, and created sensory calming bottles for the new students. There is much more work to be done and the buddies are up for the task.

Many of our Best Buddies also helped with the Special Olympics event that was held here in November. Several others participated in the ServICE convention and three of our members presented about our club in front of an audience of over 300 students and teachers.

Next school year, Best Buddies will open up to the entire school. We will have six new students in our intensive needs program, and our current students are excited to interact and forge new friendships with the incredible students coming our way. Hannah Merritt, one of our 7th grade Buddies exclaims, “I can’t wait to meet these kids!”

Neither can the rest of us.

Article Contributed by Lori Boll

Initially Published in “Mission.” Best Buddies International. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.