Thank you to those who joined us for this series. If you have questions about it, please contact [email protected]

“Starting with the End In Mind” a 4-part series on building an inclusive life for students with disabilities

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

Dan Habib is the Director and Producer of the nationally broadcast (public television) documentary films “Intelligent Lives,” “ Who Cares About Kelsey?,” “Mr. Connolly Has ALS” and “Including Samuel,” as well as many other short, disability-related films. His films have been featured in dozens of film festivals, translated into 17 languages, and used worldwide

to support inclusive education and disability rights. From 2014-2017, Dan served on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities under President Barack Obama. 

Dan has also screened and discussed his films hundreds of times in the United States and internationally, at universities, corporations, national conferences, and independent theaters for educators, families, students, employees, policy makers, and the general public. Dan delivered a widely viewed TEDx talk titled “Disabling Segregation” on the benefits of inclusion to students with and without disabilities. He is the Inclusive Communities Project Director at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and the founder of LikeRightNow Films

See filmography on IMDB.

Samuel Habib is an aspiring filmmaker and community college student, working towards an associate degree in liberal arts. In 2016, he made a film about disability rights leader Judith Heumann that was featured in the Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival in Moscow, Russia. His viral short film on his encounter with then-candidate Joe Biden was featured in Forbes Magazine and other publications. In 2022, he co-directed and co-produced with his father Dan Habib, the short film “My Disability Roadmap,” in which he interviews several disability activists.

Samuel has been a Concord Monitor newspaper columnist, and has presented nationally on disability rights, inclusive education, and his educational and social transition to adulthood. Samuel uses a wheelchair for mobility and a communication device (as well as his voice) to express himself. Samuel also navigates significant, chronic health challenges due to his underlying GNAO1 Neurodevelopmental Disorder. He is a multimedia production assistant and presenter at the Westchester Institute for Human Development.

SESSION DESCRIPTIONS

February 1, 2023 “Including Samuel” Virtual film screening and self-advocate panel discussion.

Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Dan Habib rarely thought about the inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day. Shot and produced over four years, Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film released in 2007 honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles, as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion.

The film has been screened at universities, national conferences, public television stations, and independent theaters across the country. Including Samuel has also been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” ABC’s  “Good Morning America,” as well as in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. The film won the Positive Images in Media award from TASH, an international group committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities. It has also screened at the Sprout Film Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston International Film Festival, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Moscow International Disability Film Festival, and won the “Excellence Award” from Superfest International Film Festival in Berkeley, CA.

Stick around after the movie for a panel discussion involving young adults, who have been through the special education system to talk about their experiences and reactions to Including Samuel. We will explore what has changed in special education since this film was released 15 years ago, and what has remained the same. 

February 8, 2023 Disabling Segregation and  screening of “My Disability Roadmap” and discussion on an Inclusive Life

During this session Dan will offer an extended and updated version of his popular TEDx talk titled “Disabling Segregation,” in which he makes a powerful case for ending the systemic segregation of people with disabilities. Dan will share how inclusive education and social life has prepared his 23-year old son, Samuel, for transition to higher education and employment, as well as, the powerful impact that inclusion has on students and adults without disabilities. 

Samuel, who is now a college student, will also offer a presentation. He will introduce the new film: “My Disability Roadmap”, a 23-minute documentary, which shows how he navigates the path to work, college, relationships, and moving out of his family home, while he seeks wisdom from a diverse mix of remarkable people across the country. 

Samuel and Dan will co-present and discuss key issues brought up in the film, such as how to communicate and interact with people with disabilities. Samuel, who is pursuing a career in multi-media storytelling, will also talk about his hopes and dreams for his own life. 

Dan will take audience questions at the end of the presentations. 

February 15, 2023 Starting Early: Creating a Roadmap for Inclusive IEPs and Transition Plans

During this highly interactive session, Dan will discuss how educators, families, and students can work together to envision an inclusive, collaborative roadmap for IEP development and postsecondary transition. Dan will take a deep dive into the IEP process. He will talk about how starting in elementary school, IEP teams can work collaboratively to create more useful IEP goals. He’ll also discuss how to open the lines of communication between families and school to ensure IEP goals are aligned with a student’s future goals. And he’ll talk about how teams can work toward creating student-led IEP meetings and how to engage students in the IEP process. 

Q&A format presentation focuses on:

  • Increasing student engagement in their education and IEP
  • Student-led IEPs
  • Building student strengths into the IEP
  • The nuts and bolts of daily family/student engagement
  • Focusing on communication
  • How the IEP process can support person-centered
  • Planning and transition

February 22, 2023 Action! Effective Practices in Transition to Adulthood

In this talk Dan will discuss what an effective transition plan should look like to support higher education and competitive, integrated employment.  He will provide resources and information on what elements of a school transition plan actually make sense and have evidence to back them up. He will also show video clips from several of his films, such as Intelligent Lives, as well as his most recent short films focusing on postsecondary transition. 

Topics covered include:

  • Promoting self-determination
  • Paid work and entrepreneurship development
  • Community-based experiences, such as, extended learning opportunities
  • Person-centered planning

What is the PA Inclusion Collective?

We’re a grassroots parent group, representing parent support organizations from seven school districts in suburban Philadelphia (Cheltenham, Lower Merion, Methacton, North Penn, Radnor, Tredyffrin Easttown, and Upper Dublin.)  The PA Inclusion Collective’s purpose is to pool resources to bring nationally known speakers on inclusive education to families, teachers, administrators and support staff within our schools. Our goal is to inspire families and educators to learn together and use that knowledge to advocate for individual students and create change in our classrooms, schools and throughout our communities. 

We’re always looking to grow our movement. Join our #InclusionRevolution on our PA Inclusion Collective Facebook page. You can follow our news, share resources, inquire about making your parent support group a member of the collective and keep the conversation about inclusive education going.

Who is this series for? Parents, educators, related service providers, school administrators, and community members across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and fellow inclusionists across the country).

Goal: To educate and inspire our audience to make systemic change in our state when it comes to including all students.

We hope this series will help parents, educators and administrators better understand that inclusion from preschool through secondary and post-secondary education is important for ensuring students have the skills, relationships and experiences necessary to prepare them to live and work in the community and to have full lives.