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
  • 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 outline
  • 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

An Alberta school shares its inspiring model for inclusion and diversity (5:49 min.):

Hassan Samantar, a parent advocate serves Minnesota’s Somali population, discusses in a 6:00-minute video how Somali culture impacts families and their experience with having a child with a disability. It’s a reminder of the need to check assumptions and keep an open mind when dealing with someone from a culture different from yours.

The Choate Student Diversity Association made this club video (2:48 min.) on improving conversations about diversity:

link check 5-8-19, content added 5-8-19