December 2017 Newsletter: Creating Inclusive Environments – Environment and Interactions

When creating an inclusive environment, consider the physical and social/emotional environments, as well as the routines and pace of the day. The DEC provides the following recommendations when creating an inclusive environment:

• Utilize daily routines as learning opportunities as a way to promote children’s participation.
• Create accessible environments using Universal Design for Learning.
• Adapt aspects of the environment to meet the needs of children (rearrange furniture, shorten wait times, increase frequency of interactions, decrease visual stimuli, etc.).
• Incorporate assistive technology and adaptive equipment as needed to promote engagement participation and interactions.
• Incorporate ample opportunities for physical activity to promote fitness and engagement.
• Observe and respond to children’s emotions in a supportive manner.
• Encourage interactions between children during all elements of the daily routine as a way of providing models of skills and behaviors.
• Encourage children to express their needs and desires through communication (both verbal and nonverbal).
• Expand children’s communication skills and cognitive thinking through communication and interactions.
• Promote problem solving and the development of independence and self-regulation through supportive interactions.

Adapted from DEC Recommended Practices: 04/14/2014