Respecting Diversity

Definition: Schools welcome and respect all families and value their diversity (cultural, socioeconomic), thereby supporting families as active participants in the transition planning process.


  • Relationship-building practices
  • Issues of welcoming, especially across cultures

Online trainings about family engagement

Cover image for the Collaborating with Families courseOne choice is Collaborating with Families, from the Iris Center at Vanderbilt University. It highlights the diversity of families and addresses the factors that school personnel should understand about working with the families of children with disabilities. It’s an engaging training with a variety of delivery methods (videos, audios), especially at the beginning, and takes about an hour to complete.There’s good information and self-reflection, but not many tools. Module outlineman, woman and child

Another option is Mindful Engagement Modules, from the Louisiana SPDG project, based on the work of Joy Epstein, Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp. There are 10 different modules, each 20-30 minutes long. While not specific to special education and transition, the modules offer a lot of good tools in general for family engagement. The format is narrated PowerPoints, and the modules are well-paced and move along quickly. Modules overview

Articles on cultural and linguistic diversity

How can we prepare teachers to work with culturally diverse students and their families?, from the Harvard Family Research Project.Preparing for Cultural Diversity: Resources for Teachers from Practical classroom ideas.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Transition Personnel, article from NCSET. Statistical information and high-level view of the field.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth and Secondary Transition (MSWord, 14 pages, 2012) is an annotated bibliography from NSTTAC.

Videos on cultural and linguistic diversity

The Choate Student Diversity Association made this club video (2:48 min.) on improving conversations about diversity: Alberta school shares its inspiring model for inclusion and diversity (5:49 min.):