STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

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Colin Gasamis

Seattle, WA

Doctoral Student in Special Education, University of Washington at Seattle

Colin Gasamis, doctoral student in special education at the University of Washington, Seattle visited Sofia, Bulgaria from February 19, 2016 to February 27, 2015 to collaborate with the Center for Inclusion Education (CIE) on The One School for All Project, a partnership with The University of Washington. The purpose of the trip was to collaborate with staff on the development of a measure for inclusion, to participate in press to promote the activities of the project and center, to visit schools to engage staff and students in an effort to meet the goals of the project. During his visit to Bulgaria, Colin participated in discussions about early identification of learning difficulties at school, visited the school “Vasil Levski” in Pravets, and conducted a full-day workshop focusing challenging behavior of children. Participants from five schools in the “One School for All Project” discussed the cycle of challenging behavior, ways to support appropriate behavior, and how to developed individual plans to support children with challenging behavior.

Kelly_Clark

Kelly Clark

Charlotte, NC

Ph.D Student in Special Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

kallen15@uncc.edu

I am a first year doc student at UNC-Charlotte. I also work as a graduate assistant with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). I have had the privilege of traveling to Zanzibar, Tanzania through the non-profit Chara to provide training for administrators for one of the four school districts on the island of Zanzibar. I am returning this summer to provide training for the additional school districts.

On my previous visit, I assisted in handing out Toms shoes, distributing Personal Energy Transportation carts to individuals with physical disabilities, taught a lesson at the only school on the island that serves students with disabilities, and provided a two-day training for administrators on many topics including why they should educate children with special needs and how they can include them in their schools. The principals were very receptive and since the training they have identified at least one student with Down Syndrome who was not in school but is now attending the special school through the financial support of Chara. I am very excited to return and hope to inspire change in this area of East Africa. I hope to conduct research in the future to continue to advance special education in that area. I also hope to help educators there see that children with disabilities can learn and deserve the same opportunity as their typically developing peers to attend school in a mainstream setting.

Chara is a non-profit on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. They provide a variety of services to the island and partner with Toms shoes. www.chara.org