As some of you know, I attended the The National Inclusion Project’s Annual Power of Play Inclusion Conference this past week.
The conference was held March 20 -22 at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh.
According to the National Inclusion Project:
The conference will include training on serving families effectively, building lifelong friendships for children, achieving positive behaviors, preventing and handling bullying, and creating accessible activities among other topics. This inspiring event is for all people who desire to ensure no child sits on the sidelines.
I am so glad that I got to be a part of this event. I learned so much and met many friends, both old and new!
Aron Hall is the Director of Programs at The National Inclusion Project. He coordinates the Let’s ALL Play partnership programs and trainings. Aron was very busy at this conference since this event is one of his most important projects of the year. Aron has an excellent background and educational history, but more important to me is how good he is when teaching a session. His laid back personality and wealth of knowledge makes the time fly. I always leave one of his workshops with a smile and the realization that I really learned so much from Aron.
According to the National Inclusion Project:
Our goal with the Power of Play Conference is to provide youth-serving organizations with the framework and resources they need to become fully inclusive and serve ALL children in their communities.
The conference is designed for and beneficial to:
- Recreational professionals
- Specialists (Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, etc.)
- Managers of play-based facilities (museums, zoos, etc.)
- Community Leaders
Through hands-on training, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, presentations and—of course—plenty of play, attendees have ample opportunity for professional development and personal growth.
No matter where you are on your inclusion journey, the Power of Play is your chance to make your move to the next level.
There were so many wonderful speakers from all over the United States who shared their knowledge with us. It was an exciting experience.
Kathie Snow was one of the Keynote speakers. Kathie has become a fierce advocate for the fact that disability is as natural as gender expression, ethnicity and and the many other traits that make us all human. Her interest in disability issues began in 1987 following the birth of her son, Benjamin, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at four months. She shared the wonderful things about her son and the good and the bad about the help she was able to get from institutions, doctors, and teachers.
If you ever get a chance to hear Kathie, be there. She had a lot to share with us!
Kat Holmes was the closing key speaker. She had so much to share and it all came from a different prospective. Kat’s extensive background includes advising companies on inclusive design methods–which she pioneered while in her role as Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft.
Kat presented some information about why and when some very useful things were changed…when did the bendable straw become the norm and why? She taught us that many things are being designed to help everyone!
Besides working hard during the day, we had great times both evenings.
On Tuesday, we visited the Boxcar Bar and Arcade. If we showed our name tag from the conference, they gave us some free tokens to play some games. I admit…I haven’t been in a place like this for many years, but it was fun. I even tried an old fashioned Teteris game!! They have over 100 arcade games, but I stuck to the old ones…I guess because I’m old!!
On Wednesday night, we played Clue at the Marbles Museum. We were divided into teams and we went throughout the museum to find the weapon, the room, and the murderer. We really had a good time.
And…many thanks to Frances Wilson who provided all the food for sandwiches, salad, and good cookies for the evening…oh yes… we had sweet tea too!
The 3 day event was amazing…each speaker added so much knowledge for all of us and the idea that we were all there to support inclusion was amazing. I hope you will join us next year!
The following tweets and pictures are from the 2018 Power of Play Conference.
@includingkids 3 core beliefs: Every child can make a friend. Every child can participate. Every child can be successful. Your #inclusion attitudes and beliefs matter from the very beginning. #powerofplay2018
Have A Wonderful Weekend!!!