They will host various experts in the field of early childhood special education and early intervention in disrupting the pervasive inequities of our systems. Topics will include troubling notions of “at risk,” challenging biases about families in home based services, suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings, counteracting racism and ableism in early childhood systems, and engaging in systems change in pursuit of equity. Sessions will be offered live as well as recorded and available on the DEC website for future viewing.
Register for the first session with Dr. Sheresa Boone Blanchard and Dr. Jen Newton, chairs of the DEC Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee.
Sheresa Boone Blanchard, Ph.D. is an associate professor at East Carolina University in the department of Human Development and Family Science. She primarily teaches courses in the birth through kindergarten teacher education program, a blended licensure area in North Carolina. Her research and teaching focus on family/community engagement, inclusion, families of color, assessment, and improving teacher preparation competencies through lenses of intersectionality, equity, and social justice. Her scholarly interests emerged from over 20 years of experience as a teacher, practitioner and consultant in early childhood, special education, and early intervention. Dr. Blanchard currently serves as co-chair of the Division for Early Childhood’s Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee and serves as a commissioner for the North Carolina Child Care Commission as well as other state and local level initiatives and boards.
Jen Newton, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at OHIO University. Dr. Newton’s research interests include strengths-based approaches to families, early childhood inclusion, and inclusive teacher preparation through a lens of anti-ableism and anti-racism. She served as an early interventionist and an inclusive prekindergarten teacher prior to pursuing doctoral studies. Dr. Newton earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas and spent four years as an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., then three years at Saint Louis University before finding her home at Ohio University. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @teachingisintellectual.