Go from wishing your child could be included to living your vision of the good things in life.
The Inclusion Academy: Our monthly membership where you gain group support and resources to help your child with disabilities reach their potential, be included in their communities, make friends and create support networks — far beyond your family.
Society believes that by creating special places for special children, they are doing the right thing.
However, the truth is this: When society separates children with disabilities from the general population by creating special places for them, these children are less likely to reach their potential.
Through this separation, children with disabilities miss out on building relationships, interacting with diverse role models and finding a place where they belong.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Studies show that all kids benefit from inclusive education and community participation, and no child is so disabled that you should change your expectations that they will have a life with friendships, growth potential and make a contribution.
Even children with behavior issues or complicated disabilities who need significant accommodations.
But here’s the critical part: Changing this narrative begins with us. The caregivers. The parents. Before we can demand change within our schools, communities or elsewhere, we must begin the process of inclusion by shifting our implicit beliefs about what it means to be disabled and how assumed helplessness hurts our children.
You’ve heard all the expert-recommended solutions that feel impossible to implement, are unsupported by evidence, or not worth your time or valuable energy. You’ve spent dozens of hours in early intervention, therapies and assessments.
You know all of those things. You’ve been there and done that. And your child still has a disability, still isn’t meaningfully included, still has no friends.
As a member of The Inclusion Academy you will learn different ways to think about inclusion, what it means for your family, and what it can look like when implemented appropriately within your community and beyond.
Plus, you’ll gain access to real inclusion experts, community, and resources to help you along the journey.
It’s time to learn a different way of seeing disability.
The point of The Inclusion Academy isn’t just to help you advocate more effectively for your children in school or in the community. The ultimate goal is to help you understand and embrace what it truly means for a child with disabilities to belong, how to craft valued social roles, and to celebrate their contributions to society.
Here’s how The Inclusion Academy helps you get there.
The 4 Steps on a Parents Journey Helping Their Child Build a Positive & Inclusive Life
Step 1: Uncover the Problem
You are a fiercely protective parent, discovering how discrimination, devaluation, and unconsciousness are the actual problems for kids with disabilities. You are part of the solution when you learn how to bring awareness to these problems within their community and within yourself. You will stop asking, “Why is this so hard?” or saying “My child’s disability makes it so hard.” You will start seeing that the problem lies in society (and us!) and that your child’s disability - though real - is not the problem.
Learn How to Address:
Step 2: Setting the Course
You are feeling cautiously hopeful, inspired and enthusiastic. Your idea of what is possible in your child's life expands every day as you imagine a beautiful life for your child in vivid detail. It’s now time to set a path to make this your child’s reality. You need a clear vision. A vision acts like the north star to keep our eye on the destination, a telescope to see far into the distance, a compass to help us make decisions that keep us going in the right direction and an anchor to keep us from drifting off course when times are turbulent.
Learn to Cultivate a New & Positive Path:
Create Your Vision
Write Your Vision
Share Your Vision
Step 3: Blooming & Becoming
You are ready to act, advocate and you are action-focused. Your vision is clear and you are committed to an inclusive life within the community. You are ready to gain forward momentum and live your values. Valued social roles help your child develop meaningful societal participation as a student in their natural neighbourhood class, make friends and develop community roles based on their interests.
Learn How Valued Social Roles Lead to Societal Participation and the Good Things In Life:
Recreation Roles (cub scout, teammate, artist, etc.
Step 4: Finessing & Future Planning
You are embedded in inclusion and community, and are confident about pursuing a life in community - not services. Your child is a student in an inclusive class, has friends and community involvement. You are now able to start anticipating your child’s needs for a good future by enriching what’s working and bolstering others along the way.
Learn How to Prepare for the Future:
Investing in Opportunities
Investing in Others
Investing in Finances
GOOD THINGS IN LIFE
The Inclusion Academy, Good Things In Life's monthly membership, provides effective, research-based strategies for parents supporting kids with disabilities to build well-rounded, inclusive lives so they can truly experience the Good Things in Life.
Whether you’re clear about what inclusion really is or you’re just learning, with The Inclusion Academy, you’ll gain the tools and support needed to help you become a more effective member of your child’s school team and help your child thrive at home, at school, and in the community.
(No teaching or special education degree required.)
Access to Experts
Knowledgeable leaders on inclusion to guide you and help you implement into your child’s life.
Support you need to transform your mindset and build the inclusive vision you have for your child.
Members Only Community
Connect with other parents who are on the journey with you while also getting 1:1 support.
Immediate access to exclusive video, audio, and print content to help you through the 4 stages of advocacy.
Become the Passionate Advocate and Inclusion Expert Your Child Needs When You Join Inclusion Academy
Effectively advocate for your child and help them build a life where inclusion is the norm by knowing:
What inclusive education is so you can clearly advocate for changes.
Why inclusion is important to developing your child’s potential so you can build the best vision for your child.
How to support the implementation of inclusion with your family, your local school and the community so you can have hard conversations more easily and focus only on what matters most in helping your child access the good things in life.
The Inclusion Academy has the effective strategies, supportive community, and hand-picked experts to support you in enriching your child’s life and helping to create a world where people of all abilities are supported.
Let’s create a world where people of all abilities are supported.
The Inclusion Academy has effective strategies, supportive community and hand-picked experts to support you in enriching your child’s life.
Each Month in Inclusion Academy
Exclusive workshops, presentations and Q&A with renowned experts & consultants.
Each month you'll have live access to the kind of world-class experts you would typically pay hundreds of dollars to hear speak at conferences.
Advocacy and direct support. Get your questions answered and support developing your strategy.
Monthly live calls so you can ask a question, receive support, or just hang with people who get it. Need help reviewing your child's IEP or figuring out what do about a challenging situation? We've got your back with opportunities for coaching during our calls. No pressure. Just support.
We've all been in disability Facebook groups where it is common to read posts like, "I just need to vent to people who understand about how awful it is to parent my child." That's not what we do here. The Inclusion Academy private members Facebook group is focused on empathy, self-discovery, critical analysis, mutual support and sharing ideas that breakdown ableism. Each month we'll host a group discussion on Meaning Seeking Monday where we deep dive into an important idea to help us in our journey.
Archives and private member-only podcasts.
You have a lot on your plate. But you can never fall behind in Inclusion Academy. You only need today what you need today. We can't learn it all at once and as an Inclusion Academy member you don't have to. You receive access to the members-only archives of all the expert presentations and workshops, members meetings, inclusive education meetings, and other resources. You have access to private member podcast feeds. And a monthly quick-guide to help you identify how that month's topic applies to you. Don't need it? It will be there for you when you do.
Free access to The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education - 7 module foundations course on inclusive education. (Currently $297 USD. If you have previously purchased the course we'll discount your membership by 10%)
Members Only Podcasts with all presentations, course lessons, members meetings and inclusive education discussions for your on-the-go convenience.
Tech Dependant Kids & Inclusion - supporting safety and inclusion workshop.
Creating Curriculum-Based IEP Goals with Erin Sheldon, MSc.
"My son is 26. His long term future weighs on my mind. I’m feeling a lot of pressure to figure it all out.
So much of what we did when he was younger was not worth our time.
The Inclusion Academy is a backstage pass to an incredible array of experts.
I’ve had lots of “help” over the years in the form of unimplementable tools without a solid foundation as to why. Good Things in Life goes deep on the “why’s” and helps me figure out what I think and that gave me a starting place and inspiration to move ahead.
One of the things we need to do is to help my son improve his ability to make and communicate decisions. Erin Sheldon from Integration Action For Inclusion presented [inside of The Inclusion Academy] on decision making. It helped me understand how I could be doing more in this area and come up with ideas about how to help him expand his choices. I started implementing them and we are seeing him express more varied requests about what he wants to do and what he wants us to do. I believe that this emerging capability has helped him particularly during a recent difficult time - he was able to identify his needs more specifically and make many requests of me that I think helped him be less frustrated.
I’m feeling more confident that I will create and implement a plan for my son that gives him a fulfilling and secure life for the long term."
KAREN HUNT, PARENT & INCLUSION ACADEMY MEMBER
"...ideas which inspire and help us all to support our family members with disabilities..."
Genia, founder of Good Things In Life, has always been a visionary leader and a strong advocate for people who are vulnerable and marginalized - especially people with disabilities. Genia has a big vision of a society where all people (including people with disabilities) will have access to the good things in life. I am delighted that Genia is offering this program through Good Things in Life. I know that she will offer many interesting ideas which inspire and help us all to support our family members with disabilities to have access to the things that make life good."
DARCY ELKS, INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT, SENIOR SRV TRAINER, MONTESSORI EDUCATOR,
"Genia has this amazing way of breaking down concepts to help me understand them better.
More times that I can count, Good Things in Life has given me inspiration, encouragement and concrete ideas on how to ensure my child has all the good things in life! I feel confident that this is enriching, not just to parents, but to anyone who wants to live in a world where people of all abilities are supported. If you are feeling stuck, if you are feeling like you know there must be more that you can do to help people with disabilities to have an inclusive life, take this program."
MEGHAN JARZYNA, PARENT
The Inclusion Academy isn’t for everyone.
There are some ideologies and beliefs that we challenge fiercely in The Inclusion Academy.
We believe that in order to disband the stigma, violence, oppression, and exclusion that many people with different abilities face, we must do the work to be:
>> Committed to an inclusive, rich experience for their loved one, no matter their disability.
>> Open to learning and growing as an individual and as an advocate by adopting a culture of inquiry, so that we minimize unintentional harm and develop an ever-deepening understanding and sense of action.
>> Devoted to embarking on a life-long commitment to build a better world and end oppression by unpacking our internalized and unconscious “-isms”.
>> Learn that therapies, treatments, interventions, and any other “fix-it” approaches are not the avenue toward friendships, acceptance, belonging, and making a contribution — but that building a life at the heart of the community does open that pathway.
The Inclusion Academy isn’t for you if …
>> You are grieving that you have a child with a disability, rather than seeing their amazing value beyond the disability label (if this is you then *HUGS!*. Subscribe to the Good Things In Life for Kids with Disabilities Podcast. Everything good and wonderful exists on the other side of grief. I promise!
>> You believe that your child needs special people to care for your child in special places, and that good services are the key to a good life for your child.
>> You are defensive when ideas, people, or situations respectfully challenge your decisions or your perception of the world or your place in it.
To be a member of The Inclusion Academy means to be committed to growth, expansion, and community. We look forward to supporting you in your inclusion journey inside the Academy.Join Inclusion Academy Today!
Partners & Publications
Want to know more about the journey to supporting someone build a positive inclusive life? Watch this short video from Founder Genia Stephen!
Burning Q's That Your Fellow Parents & Educators Asked Before Joining...
I have zero extra time in my life right now. How can I possibly fit this in?
Money is seriously tight. I know this is a great deal. Is there a payment plan?
I think that meeting people and learning in person is better than online communication. Online just isn’t the same. I’m not sure about an online program.
I can barely figure out email and Facebook. Am I going to be able to manage the technology of an online program?
I feel like I'm failing at everything already. Is this one more thing that will point out all the ways I'm not doing enough?
Is there support if I have questions or am struggling?
What if I find that I just don’t get anything out of this?
How long will it take to complete the program? What happens if I fall behind?
We want what most parents want for their children: Respect and a chance!
To be included. To not only feel that they belong, but to actually belong. We want invitations to parties. Friendships. For the world to know what we know — that our children are awesome.
The Inclusion Academy helps you to not only uncover the core challenges undermining your child’s life, but to develop solid strategies for helping them access the good things in life.
Are you ready to become a fiercer advocate, a stronger support and a more well-rounded model in your community?
Hi, I’m Genia Stephen, host of the Good Things In Life Podcast and founder of The Inclusion Academy.
Hi, I’m Genia Stephen. Sister, mom and Founder of Good Things In Life and host of the Good Things In Life podcast.
The podcast has been downloaded more than 19,000 times providing parents of kids with disabilities access to ideas and internationally renowned thought leaders on topics like inclusion, making friends, belonging and acceptance, advocacy and education.
Here’s the thing…
I grew up in a disability positive community of world leaders in the field of disability. My mom was (and is!) a fierce advocate for my sister with an intellectual disability and we became a family of learners. I was already facilitating, presenting, organizing, and travelling around North America to workshops, conferences and courses before my second son was born with disabilities and medical complexities.
I am a registered midwife in Ontario, Canada where midwives are part of the health system. After caring for more than a thousand birthing families I had lots of evidence that my experience of having a child with a disability was very different than most people.
Parents are often shocked and distressed when they learn that their child has a disability. The first thing that they do is Google the diagnosis and get a list of problems, limitations and complications.
The medical system and the therapy world offer treatments. School is often more about therapies and interventions than it is about helping your child have a happy childhood while growing into their potential and preparing for a full life after graduation.
This is where I’m a little different.
I won’t teach you how to behavior modify your child or provide good stretches to prevent contractures and I definitely won’t teach you how to teach them life skills. It isn’t that I think those things are unimportant. They are.
I will teach you core strategies to building a good life even if your child always struggles with behavior or develops more significant physical impairments or never learns to tie their shoes or brush their teeth.
I will teach you core strategies to help your child get the good things in life. Friendship, learning, contribution, acceptance, fulfilling potential, inclusion.