The Florida Inclusion Network (FIN) provides services to schools and districts to increase and improve inclusive practices for students with disabilities in general education classrooms and other natural settings. FIN services are provided by a number of facilitators who have experience and expertise in planning and implementing inclusive practices at the school and district levels.
FIN facilitators are organized into five regions and work in partnership with districts and schools within a specified geographic area: Region 1, Region 2, Region 3, Region 4 and Region 5. FIN facilitators serve districts and schools by developing and increasing opportunities for meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities. Services provided to schools and districts are identified through a collaborative, problem solving process focused on increasing outcomes for ALL students in inclusive environments.
When contacted for support and assistance, FIN can provide families with a variety of information and resources and may, upon request, contact the district’s exceptional student education (ESE) office or school to discuss concerns on behalf of the family. Family concerns and needs are always carefully considered as part of FIN’s planning and problem-solving with districts and/or schools.
While FIN facilitators do not attend IEP meetings, they can provide information about the following: effective inclusive practices, family-school collaboration and communication, opportunities for networking with other families, and ways to access local resources and support. For information about your child’s educational program or Individual Education Plan (IEP), please contact your child’s teacher or school administrator.
Following is a list of FIN resources that are available, at no cost, to families and educators. For more information, please click on the links provided or contact your local FIN facilitator at https://www.floridainclusionnetwork.com/.
Communication Tips for Families of Children with Disabilities
This resource, also provided in Spanish & Haitian Creole, provides communication tips on working and communicating positively with school staff for meaningful inclusion of your child/student. This resource is divided into four communication topics that include samples of what it may look like and sound like during positive discussions. The topics include:
- Know your child
- Know your child’s right to an inclusive education
- Working and communicating positively with your school staff
- Believing that your voice and your child’s voice are important!
Family FACT Folios
This resource is a series of colorful, four-page booklets with “Inclusion Tips” for families of students with disabilities. Each volume is available in both English and Spanish and provides families with information and strategies to form partnerships with school personnel and collaboratively plan, develop, implement, and enhance inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities. The series includes:
- Family FACT Folio, Volume 1: What it Means to be Inclusive (en español) (nan kreyòl ayisyen)
- Family FACT Folio, Volume 2: What is Means to be an Advocate (en español) (nan kreyòl ayisyen)
- Family FACT Folio, Volume 3: What it Means to have an Inclusive Classroom (en español) (nan kreyòl ayisyen)
- Family FACT Folio, Volume 4: What is Means to have an Inclusive School (en español) (nan kreyòl ayisyen)
TATS/FIN Talk About Universal Design for Learning
This resource has two informational, four page booklets focused on the topic of applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in pre-kindergarten inclusive environments. Classroom scenarios are used as examples to show how UDL can help with designing Pre-K learning environments that are accessible for all students, with or without disabilities.
- TATS & FIN Talk with Instructional Staff, Volume 1, Number 1
- TATS & FIN Talk with Instructional Staff, Volume 1, Number 2
7 Back-To-School-Tips for Parents: Start the Year Off Right
This resource, also provided in Spanish & Haitian Creole, has been adapted and reprinted with permission from PEAK Parent Center. It provides several tips for families of students with disabilities to begin a positive and collaborative partnership with your child’s school staff.
Best Practices for Inclusive Education (BPIE): Assessment Tool for Districts
The BPIE process for districts is a self-assessment tool and is designed to be used primarily as an improvement planning and technical assistance tool rather than an instrument to monitor compliance of district practices and programs. It is intended to identify and prioritize critical areas of need to facilitate inclusive practices in schools where all SWDs achieve to their highest potential and enjoy life of meaning and value. Sometimes a parent is invited to be part of the district team and participate in this process.
For strategies and tips on how you can support inclusive education, check out the following website resources:
Building Inclusive Schools: eLearning Module
Building Inclusive Schools is an on-demand, eLearning module that provides an overview of effective inclusive practices for students with disabilities. The module is comprised of five separate learning sessions that can be viewed or reviewed at any time that is convenient for you! (The eLearning module is best viewed using the Google Chrome web browser.)
- Session One: What is Inclusion?
- Session Two: Why is Inclusion Important?
- Session Three: Who Makes Inclusion Work?
- Session Four: What Makes Inclusion Work?
- Session Five: Laying the Foundation of Inclusion