Include!, the SILC’s online curriculum that encourages tolerance and inclusion for students with disabilities, will undergo another augmentation. Our effort to achieve continuous improvement will focus on adding relevant content regarding Mental Health Awareness and Cultural Competence. New contentment will be added to existing chapters, reflecting the original intention of making the structure of the Curriculum expandable, without being cumbersome.
In early FY 15, we launched the 2nd Edition (of what was formerly entitled PRIDE) as an online application, hosted on the Vermont SILC website. At the close of FY 16 the SILC did indeed re-launch 3rd edition of IncludeVT.org. It should be noted that the SILC took extra care to make the website itself accessible as far as meeting 504 guidelines and even passing WCAG 2.0 standards. The SILC is also actively committed to getting feedback from a variety of users with specific disabilities, such as those that use screen readers and other assistive technology to access websites. The Education committee is considering a users group, that would advise us on how to make continuous improvements to the site’s accessibility. In FY 17, the SILC employed and intern that was a former peer, whose opinions were gathered and used while they were attending a VT school about discrimination and inclusion. The SILC is currently exploring relationships with schools by contacting school boards, curriculum directors, teachers, principals, parents and guidance counselors. The SILC also gave presentations to the Vermont legislature, testifying about Include in the House Education Committee and the Senate Education committee. At the close of FY 17 the SILC was working on another RFP to augment the curriculum with content relating to Cultural Competency and Mental Health Awareness. The SILC Education committee intends to coordinate this development with various State Departments, including the Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Our intention is to seek guidance and incorporate feedback on draft content.