Inclusion Symposium

Inclusion Symposium 2017 

The 2017 Inclusion Symposium Partners in practice was all about collaboration and exploring innovative ways to improve inclusive practice in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI). The symposium had an interactive format with many opportunities for discussion and networking.


International Keynote presentation and workshop

Disrupting traditional approaches to inclusion through Design Thinking

How do we truly fulfil the promise of full access and participation of young children with disabilities in early childhood education and care services? In their keynote, Drs. Nash and Rous will discuss how design thinking can be used to engage children, families and professionals as co-creators of inclusive programs and services. An overview of design thinking will be presented, along with specific examples and tools that demonstrate how the challenges of inclusion can be addressed through a human centred approach.


John Nash is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky and the founding director of the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education, or dLab. John is a specialist in the application of human centered design in education. He teaches a range of courses on design thinking, school technology leadership, and school reform. His current research agenda focuses on the methods to design and prototype innovations in education. He has held faculty positions at Iowa State University and the University of Texas at El Paso. As a social research scientist at Stanford University, Nash held associate directorship positions in two laboratories: the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL), and the Stanford Learning Laboratory, where he managed interdisciplinary and international teams of research scientists examining the effects of innovative technologies on learning.

Beth Rous

Beth Rous is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies, College of Education, and Research and Policy Associate at Human Development Institute, at University of Kentucky. She is a former special education teacher at the preschool, elementary and middle school levels. Since 1990, she has secured over $97 million in federal and state grants/contracts to support the design and large-scale implementation of early care and education programs with a focus on children from vulnerable populations. Her areas of expertise include transition, inclusion, professional development and learning; early childhood accountability systems; and cross sector collaboration to support program quality and child outcomes across child care, Head Start and public pre-k programs. She is Past President of the National Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and regularly serves in an advisory capacity at the national and state levels.

PARTICIPANTS LearnT About......
  • Design thinking and how it can be used to co-create inclusive programs and services
  • Practical strategies to support inclusion
  • The importance of collaboration in improving referral pathways and inclusive practice
  • Examples of successful local collaborative initiatives.
  • Early childhood intervention professionals
  • Inclusion support professionals
  • Early childhood education and care professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Community organisations
  • Academics
  • Policy makers