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We believe all children deserve access to meaningful Jewish experiences regardless of their background, developmental profile, or learning differences. INCLUDE Special Needs partners with Bay Area Jewish organizations to create an inclusive community where families with kids with special needs are welcomed into Jewish life and learning.
INCLUDE works by partnering with YOU to:
Provide professional development and tools for educators;
Consult with and coach institutional leaders;
Observe in the classroom and create personalized support for educators.
Each institution is at a different step on the journey towards total inclusion and needs to proceed at its own pace. To accommodate everyone, we’ve created three packages, priced according to the size of your school/institution.
Kick Start It
You want to be a more inclusive institution, but you don’t know where to begin. The process feels overwhelming, and you need a helping hand. We’ll schedule a 2-hour meeting in July or August to go over your needs. Together we will assess strengths, places for growth, and the best ways for us to support you. We’ll create a plan and go from there.
You Chart It
You know your institution better than anyone, and you know what you need to become a more inclusive place—you just need some help to DO it. We will provide you with two phone consultations over the summer to learn about your needs and make a plan to help you along your journey to full inclusion.
Keep On It
For organizations that have made significant strides towards inclusion, this is our “go-to” package for maintaining your inclusion work. We provide you with two site observations (one per semester), and either one professional development workshop or assistance with one community event.
For new INCLUDE partners, all packages come with an INCLUDE Sensory Toolkit!
Description of Offerings
School Site Visits and Observations (Supplemental and Day schools):
Dr. David Neufeld will come to your site and observe classrooms and educators, focusing on particular teachers or students at the request of the education director. He will provide feedback (which can take the form of oral communication, written report, or a combination) to the educators, clergy, and/or teachers about what he observed, and offer tools for reaching all types of learners.
A site visit can also include attendance at formal or informal gatherings of staff for problem-solving sessions where specific concerns about specific students and/or situations can be addressed in depth.
There are many ways to make an institution more inclusive and welcoming for families who have children with special needs. Dr. David Neufeld is available to assist institutions on their road to inclusivity. We can assist with:
> Creating inclusion committees (or task forces)
> Setting up a Special Needs chavurah
> Strategies and tools for creating inclusive environments in the classroom, at events, and at religious services (if applicable)
> Increasing awareness and acceptance of special needs in the congregation at large
Early Childhood Education Consultation / Observation:
A child’s years in preschool are often the time that educational and developmental concerns begin to emerge. Parents and teachers alike often struggle to identify red flags and make recommendations. Dr. David Neufeld is available to come to your school and observe specific students, classrooms, outdoor environments, or any other area of concern. Based on those observations, he will make recommendations to teachers, directors, or parents to improve educational and social outcomes and when necessary, suggest next steps for evaluation and/or services. (NOTE: Recommendations are for informational and educational purposes only. Dr. Neufeld cannot make diagnoses, nor are his recommendations legally binding for IFSP or IEP purposes, though they can inform both.)
He is also available to conduct workshops, advise teachers about how to speak to parents about concerns, or simply sit with teachers to problem-solve classroom challenges which may be coming up.
Many families with children with special needs would like to attend institutional events, but do not because the events are not created with their needs in mind. They worry that their kids will become upset, that other community members will judge them, or that the activities planned are not designed to reach different types of learners. As a result, they may feel alienated and no longer express serious interest in attending. Working in conjunction with your staff, we will help you add accommodations to community and holiday events which will allow you to welcome all kinds of learners through your doors. Examples include: Sensory-friendly Purim Carvinal, Chocolate Seder, Community Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration.
INCLUDE’s Sensory Toolkit is a big box of sensory materials such as wiggle cushions, fidgets, adaptive scissors and crayons, chosen for their simplicity and effectiveness in helping children with sensory and motor challenges to regulate their bodies, minds, and attention. Materials without training, though, can do more harm than good. Along with the toolkit, your staff will receive training on how (and how not to) use it.
Packages are priced based on the size of your school/institution.
Small / 100 students / $250
Medium / 100-300 students / $500
Large / 300-500 students / $750
XL / 500+ students / $1,000
Contact Dr. David Neufeld - DNeufeld@JewishLearningWorks.org for more information and/or to secure support.
Special Needs 101
An introduction to special needs for Jewish educators. By focusing on three of the most common diagnoses seen in Jewish education today (Autism Spectrum Disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and dyslexia), with workshop gives educators skills, knowledge, and concrete strategies for including students with diverse learning needs which will be immediately applicable to their classrooms.
Special Needs 201
An in-depth look at one or two specific diagnoses for Jewish educators serves as a follow-up to Special Needs 101 (although attendance at a Special Needs 101 workshop is not a prerequisite for attending). By focussing on one or two specific diagnoses (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, cerebral palsy), this workshop will deepen attendees’ knowledge base, covering specific strategies, community resources, and common scenarios which arise in the school environment.
Educators will leave Special Needs 201 with a deeper understanding of the chosen diagnoses and concrete strategies for including students who have them.
The Power of Observation: Tools and Tricks for Classroom Management
Learn how to use observation to maximize success in the classroom. Gain the skills and knowledge to identify which of your students’ behaviors result from a disability and which are acting out. Learn concrete, usable skills and strategies for addressing behavioral challenges that arise in the classroom. Learn how to use observational tools, including video, for self-reflection and incorporating best practices into the classroom.
Supporting Families with Children With Special Needs
Educators and community members will learn how to provide support for families who have children with special needs. We will discuss parents’ emotional state at the time of diagnosis and throughout their child’s life, identify ways of offering support, review common myths, misconceptions, and assumptions held about and by families who have children with special needs, and cover the complicated topic of language—using person-first language, things that are helpful and not helpful to say around families of children with special needs, and more. This presentation includes video clips and role play.
Creating A Culture of Inclusion
A. For professionals, teachers, and board members of Jewish institutions
B. For students (6th grade+)
Delve into the many ways of creating a culture of inclusion at your institution, raising awareness and offering concrete strategies to make your organization a more welcoming place. The presentation includes some background information about common disabilities (Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, dyslexia) as well as practical discussion of what adults and kids can do to raise awareness and help families feel truly welcomed.
Recognizing and Responding to Sensory Challenges in the Classroom
Learn about sensory challenges associated with various disabilities (e.g., over- or under-sensitivity to visual, auditory, or tactile stimulation; over- or under-regulation of the body’s sensory system) and receive training on how to address them. This unique, hands-on workshop will be conducted with select items from our INCLUDE Sensory Toolkit.
In Their Own Words
"As we expand our nature-based youth programs, we encounter growing numbers of special needs participants, and with them new challenges. INCLUDE provided exceptional training and field support to our entire youth programs staff, and as a result, we provide much better support for our participants with special needs. I am grateful for the excellent support we received from Jewish LearningWorks."
~ Zelig Golden, Founding Director, Wilderness Torah