We originally learned of SENIA when one of the conference organizers from Hong Kong reached out to us in 2018. Finding an organization so in sync with the work we do was amazing, and participating in the 2018 conference was inspiring. Having spent a decade promoting inclusion and providing solutions for the special needs of families and schools worldwide, I found myself trying to ‘convince’ educators and administrators that it is possible to support all learners, even if they have special educational needs. I approached these conversations ready to jump in to explain the ‘why’ and ‘how’, oftentimes being sidelined as something ‘peripheral’ to the main objectives of international education. SENIA is different. With SENIA, inclusion and supporting the special needs of all learners is not peripheral, it is primary. SENIA provides both a platform for and a community of forward thinking inclusive educators, parents, and professionals, all working with the same objective in mind- success for ALL students.
Our team was invigorated after attending our first conference in 2018. We connected with so many providers and educators, we heard from families, and we saw grass roots efforts taking place all over the world. Not only did the educational sessions provide us with amazing new ideas, but we connected with people who could help us work to advance our overall vision for inclusion and providing resources to the international schools. We connected with people from countless countries, all finding inspiration in the educational content of the conference and value in the vast network of inclusion professionals.
IDS is a leader in online special education, with over a decade of experience working with schools and families to provide assessment services, direct therapy & consultation, educational support & coaching, and professional development. As the first ever online special education team, the IDS leadership has helped define online learning support and the role of telehealth in bringing expert resources to families and international schools worldwide. The IDS network includes therapy and assessment professionals of all languages and cultures. Whether a child needs an assessment in Arabic or counseling in Japanese, our team takes care to make sure that every child’s strengths are highlighted as part of their learning support plan, and that their needs are supported in a way that is culturally and linguistically appropriate. We know parents look to educators to provide the resources needed to help their child succeed. Working with IDS, educators have those expert resources at their fingertips.
The IDS team is so excited about the SENIA virtual conference. While everyone loves to attend conferences in person, to meet new colleagues, and to network with other attendees during breakout sessions, at IDS we know that virtual interactions have value. We’ve spent over a decade providing valuable resources and developing strong relationships with students, parents, and educators, all online. Our providers have enriched the lives of children through relationships developed online- in person, online. If we remind ourselves that we are not watching the SENIA conference, but we are ‘attending’ the SENIA conference, participating in an educational experience that fosters the exchange of new ideas and the development of new relationships, we will find that the spirit of SENIA is just as strong and valuable online. We can’t wait!