Please note, public enrollment in this course is currently closed. You can still enroll in this course, but it is not being actively managed, so learning is purely self-directed.

Build a strong foundation in inclusive education.

Advocate with confidence for the quality education and opportunities that children with disabilities deserve.

Receive support and guidance from inclusive education experts who are also parents and have been there.










Does this sound familiar?

  • You are a special needs parent  or educator making important school placement decisions.
  • Your child needs support to be successful in a classroom.
  • You feel like everyone around the table at school meetings knows what they are doing except you. 
  • You are passionately advocating for your child’s inclusion but secretly wishing you had more direct knowledge of how to make inclusion work.

You are committed to supporting students with disabilities to reach their potential and succeed in life. You already know that what happens during the school years is key to belonging in community as an adult. 

We know that when we create special places for special people, away from the general society, people are less likely to reach their potential, to build relationships and find a place of belonging. But we also know that navigating the school system can be confusing. Everyone has an opinion and there are many pressures. 



that can make this journey easier.

  • Research supports inclusive education as the absolutely best education for all students.

    If someone is suggesting that your child might benefit from special programming outside of a regular class in their neighbourhood school then there is a problem. The research has been around for decades and consistently shows that all kids benefit from inclusive education. 
  • No student is too disabled for inclusive education.

    You might be thinking, "Yes, but my child/student has behaviour issues or is severely disabled and needs special services. While that can be true, both of these issues are reasons why kids should have every opportunity to have diverse role models, access to curriculum and the opportunity for friendships with all the kids in their community. 
  • Being clear about what inclusive education is can help you be an effective member of the school team.

    When you are crystal clear on what inclusion looks like and what it doesn't, then you are able to contribute to the school team, advocate for your child, and creatively explore helpful and innovative solutions that support your vision of an inclusive life. 
  • You don't have to get a teaching degree. But you do need to know what you are talking about. 

    Most schools are full of qualified dedicated educators with many years of higher education. You don't need to become one of them. But most teachers did not get a high quality education in what inclusive education is, why it is the absolute best form of education and how to implement it in their classrooms. That is where you come in. You will have to understand all of these things in order to effectively advocate for your child and support the efforts of the school to maximize student success. Maybe someday this won't be required. But that day is not today. 
  • Children develop over time and so can you.

    Here I am telling you that things might not go so well at school all the time and that you will need to know your stuff. You might be feeling a little like throwing up your arms. Does anyone seriously expect that you can become some kind of inclusive education expert? Yes. You totally can. Think of ALL of the things about parenting and teaching your child with a disability that you have already figured out. It didn't happen overnight. You are still growing as a parent and educator and advocate. It is easiest when someone walks you through it. That is exactly what this is all about. Effective, efficient learning within a community of supportive parents and experts who can help you get from point A to B with as little time, frustration, worry and angst as possible. 

Even though the benefits of inclusion are clear, the path to achieving it is anything but…

Inclusive education. Awesome!

But, where do I start?


“Inclusive placements aren’t an option in my community.”

“I’ve tried and it didn’t work.”

“We’re in an “inclusive” school but my child spends a lot of time pulled out of class.”

“There aren’t enough resources for a one-to-one aide.”

Friend, I hear you. The education system is not designed to make it easy for you. You don't have a PhD in inclusion. Nobody taught you what you need to know to advocate for change.

Most parents of kids with special needs are not experts in education. They expect teachers to be experts in teaching. Fair assumption.

Unfortunately, most teachers weren't taught how to adapt and accommodate to teach all learners.

Most school officials are still working with outdated, oppressive limiting beliefs about the potential of kids with disabilities. It shows up in school programming, supports and services.

Many special needs parents flounder in their advocacy due to lack of clarity and confidence. Their children flounder at school year after year with little progress, no friends and no prospects for after graduation.

Don’t let that be your story.

Your knowledge is powerful.

Parents and educators who have a basic solid understanding about the what, why and how of inclusive education are empowered to:

  • Shape their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to build on strengths, participate in the curriculum and learn to their potential.
  • Advocate for the supports and services their child needs to succeed.
  • Confidently offer valuable contributions as a respected member of the school team.
  • Evaluate whether recommendations are a step in the right direction, a creative experiment, a difficult trade off or downright discrimination.

Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get a quality inclusive education for your child with a disability?

Reason #1

People with disabilities have been devalued, segregated and their potential underestimated.

You are part of a powerful and radical shift: 

  • away from an old picture of people with disabilities living lives separate from their communities. 
  • towards a vision of a positive and inclusive life. 
Reason #2

Just placing a student into their neighbourhood class is not enough.

Physical presence is not inclusion. It is not inclusion if the right supports are not in place. It is not inclusion if all students are not considered in the planning process. It is not inclusion to teach to the “average” and pull kids from the class for all individual instruction. It is not inclusion if all students are not contributing.

Inclusion requires work. So does dealing with the impacts of segregation. Inclusion is not more work. Inclusion is different work. Like all work, we need to learn how to do the job before we can be expected to excel.

Reason #3

Your child’s school doesn’t always make it easy and you feel alone.

Bureaucracy. Outdated beliefs. Lack of capacity. Lack of confidence. Inexperience. And frankly, just bad attitudes.

As a parent of a student with special needs, you will see it all regardless of your child’s school placement. You have probably already experienced many of these things long before your child is ready for school.

We cannot assume or take it for granted that the world wants what is best for our kids.

We need to be prepared to deal with some degree of conflict, resistance and “othering.” Perhaps you have already been accused of being “that parent.” (I have.)

How are we to maintain our sanity, well-being and determination through all of this?

  • Clarity.

When we know the facts, research, rules & laws and strategies we gain confidence and conviction that keeps us going and protects us from uncertainty and self-doubt.

  • Community.

People who “get it” and who understand what we are going through and who share our vision of a positive life for our children are essential. They encourage us. They protect us and help us heal. They hold us accountable. You need those people in your life. You really don’t have to do it alone.

Let me tell you a little secret…

Even though decades of research has proven that inclusive education is best for all children, the promise of inclusion is often left unfulfilled.

The spectre of our history of segregation and discrimination still shadow children’s opportunities.

Parents fight to get their children in the door and are disappointed to discover that their child’s experience is mediocre…or worse.

Advocacy is always required and often parents are sitting at the table alone.

But if you focus on what matters the most, secure a solid understanding of best practices in inclusion, and connect with other parents who get it,

Your child can experience the growth, development, opportunities and relationships created by inclusive education.

With your permission, let me tell you how to fast track to your informed, prepared and confident advocate self.


Build a strong foundation in inclusive education so you can advocate with confidence for the quality education and opportunities that your child deserves.

Taught by inclusive education expert, Marilyn Dolmage and facilitated by Genia Stephen.

We’ve distilled decades of research, teaching, and personal advocacy experience into the “must-know” fundamental building blocks of inclusive education for parents including concepts and practical strategies.

The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education isn’t so much an online course as it is a short cut to confidence and effective advocacy for parents.

It is the only online, accessible program...

1. Developed and delivered by inclusive education experts who are also parents who have advocated for, and whose children have experienced, the benefits of inclusion.

2. Focuses on building the momentum of a radical shift towards a better, more inclusive reality for kids with disabilities. 

3. Where parents gain clarity and confidence while learning together. 

4. Helping you work smarter, not longer, on education strategies that move the needle towards a good life for kids with disabilities. 

Here's how we'll help you get there:

Module 1

Understand what inclusion really means and how to know when it isn't inclusion.

Available immediately when you join.

We can't achieve inclusive education unless we know ALL that it really means.

Schools are not inclusive unless they embrace ALL differences among their students.

There are no prerequisite skills.

ALL students – no exceptions – learn better together, as members of regular classrooms in their own neighbourhood schools.

Knowing our definition can make your advocacy more effective.

It is rooted in decades of research and experience about good education.


You can attend live or watch later when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Gold standard definitions of inclusive education and what they really mean.
  • How to incorporate those definitions into your advocacy. 
  • Refine your vision of inclusive education for every student.

Module 2

Understand why inclusion matters so much and what is at stake when it doesn't happen.

Available as soon as you complete Module 1.

The information we share will motivate and strengthen your advocacy.

We don’t want people with (developmental) disabilities to continue to suffer from low expectations and segregation.

Find out how education and human rights laws support inclusive education.

Research shows why change is necessary and that better lifetime outcomes are achievable.

Inclusive education supports your vision of a better future.


You can attend live or watch later when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Why inclusive education is actually better for all students.
  • How inclusive education leads to greater competency, more friends and a brighter future. 
  • The evidence and facts you can use to advocate for inclusive education. 

Module 3

The How of IEPs.

Available one week after you join. 

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) has the power to run towards inclusion and quality education or run towards meaningless, repetitive and demeaning tasks that exclude students from the class community.

A parent’s leadership during the IEP process can make the difference between inclusion and a student wasting their school year on goals that don’t matter and won’t make a positive difference in their life.


You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Identify red flags, warning signs and learn what to avoid.
  • Build on strengths and create a constructive learning profile.
  • Set goals that matter.
  • Provide accommodations and supports to facilitate success.

Module 4

The How of Lesson Adaptation.


Available one week after Module 3.

Adapting the curriculum and teacher’s lesson plans is easily one of the most common stumbling blocks in inclusive education. Few teachers were trained to create lesson plans that are inclusive from the start and admit that they don’t know how to retrofit their plans to work for kids with different abilities and learning needs.

Parents and teachers can work together for the success of all students with using the Students Learning Together Framework.

You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Adapt and accommodate so that students with disabilities are learning the core curriculum with their peers.
  • Fit “alternative” goals like physio and occupational therapy needs into the inclusive classroom schedule.

Module 5

The How of Relationships.

Available one week after module 4.

Research shows that friendships make us happier, healthier, wealthier and safer. Research also tells us that people with disabilities have less than one fifth the number of relationships as people without disabilities. We can help create opportunities and foster friendships for our kids.


You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Learn how to create opportunities for friendships to develop in the classroom.
  • Know the common pitfalls and mistakes that undermine peer friendships.
  • Embed relationship building into your child’s IEP so that it is a priority for everyone.

Module 6

The How of Educational Assistants and Para-Professionals.

Available one week after module 5.

Did you know that Educational Assistants (EA) are one of the most important resources for successful inclusion and

Did you know that the presence of a one-to-one EA with a student with a disability is associated with lower academic achievement, fewer peer friendships and interactions, poorer social skills and behaviour?


You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed when you have the time and can focus on understanding:

  • Learn how to use an EA to improve inclusion and positively impact the whole class.
  • How an EA can help or hinder your child’s success at school.
  • What to advocate for instead of one-to-one EA support throughout the day.


Behaviour & Communication.

Bonus lesson on understanding difficult behaviours as a form of communication. Marilyn Dolmage covers the challenges of supporting students with disabilities who have behaviours that add an extra layer of struggle for themselves and those around them.


You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed whenever it is helpful:

  • Understanding that all behaviour is communication.
  • Respecting the autonomy of students and responding accordingly.
  • Strategies for support and intervention.


Program app and podcast stream.

Sometimes sitting at the computer at home is just not a great option for you! You are busy and have a long list of responsibilities. Plus, sometimes you wish you could show someone what you are talking about instead of trying to explain it.

When you join The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education you will have mobile access to all of the content on a dedicated app and a private podcast feed.


You can watch or listen on the dedicated podcast feed whenever it is helpful:

  • Listen as you drive, take care of the kids or get ready in the morning.
  • Share videos and resources during school meetings right from your smart phone.
  • Trying to remember something you learned? No need to wait until you can carve out time in front of your computer.

Only invest your time and money where it will make a positive difference.

The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education is the only program of its kind, created by parents (and inclusive education experts!) for parents to ensure that you have the solid foundation you need to be a confident and effective advocate.

When you join, you will immediately get access to the first two modules: The What of Inclusive Education and The Why of Inclusive Education.

One week after you join, The How of IEPs module will be released. If you have watched those first three modules by one week after that and decide that this program will not benefit you, email me directly at [email protected] and we will refund your investment.

Life Time Access


One time payment

  • Full course
  • All Bonuses

Burning Q's that your fellow parents asked before joining...

Life Time Access


One time payment

  • Full course
  • All Bonuses

The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education is PERFECT for you if…

  • You are making decisions about school placements for the very first time and you want to make sure your child is safe and receives excellent support and services.

  • You are unhappy, upset, dissatisfied or downright freaking out about what is happening for your child at school and how you are being treated and it needs to change.

  • You are done with letting the school lead the conversation and prepared to put in the work to become a leader in your child’s education.

  • Your child is spending hours every month on therapy appointments and SMART goals but it doesn’t seem to be making a positive difference in their life.

  • You know that inclusive education is the absolute best choice and leads to more achievement, friendships and future opportunities for kids with disabilities but you aren’t clear about how to make inclusion work.

  • You are excited to walk into your next school meeting feeling confident and prepared to help your school team improve the quality of your daughter or son’s education and make it more fully inclusive.


If you said “yes” to any of the above, I can’t wait to meet you inside The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education.

Life Time Access


One time payment

  • Full course
  • All Bonuses

Having a younger sister and son with disabilities and medical complexities led me to a lifetime of training in the disability field under premier thought leaders and mentors. With more than 11,000 downloads, my podcast, courses and membership now give other parents access to the world-class disability parenting education that I had. I'm a practicing midwife and medical advocate currently completing my MSc. in Evidence-Based Health Care at the University of Oxford. I am so excited to be hosting The What, Why & How of Inclusive Education and look forward to getting to know you and your awesome kids!

~ Genia Stephen, Founder of Good Things In Life, Parent
Program Facilitator

Hi, I'm Marilyn. I've worked alongside people with disabilities, their families and communities to end segregation and create new supports and relationships for over 50 years.

My family struggled to ensure that all three of our kids attended school together and to assist my oldest son who had significant disabilities to have the education, medical treatment, employment, and community life that he wanted. Matthew’s sudden death in 2004 at the age of 29 has heightened my resolve to improve policy, promote effective inclusion, and strengthened families, schools, and communities.

I wrote and recorded this program for you and I'm looking forward to sharing everything I have learned in my career, my research and my parent advocacy.

~ Marilyn Dolmage, MSW., Parent
Author & Presenter