Testimonials and Partnerships

Testimonials and Partnerships
St. Albans School

“Each year our school focuses on a particular theme in DEI. Centering our attention on Disability Awareness this past year, we launched our theme with a dynamic professional development workshop facilitated by the b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide team. Interactive, engaging, and informative, the b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide team offered definitions and concepts that helped us develop new understandings of disability and individuals with disabilities. From the language we use, to the methods we employ in our teaching, to our engagement with the full community, Amrita and Kaya provided an eye-opening educational experience that invited us into self-reflection and positive action. Amrita and Kaya guided us through case studies with real-life examples and encouraged our team to think critically about how we might handle certain situations within school and in our personal lives.

With overwhelming positive feedback from our teachers, we invited Amrita and Kaya back to offer workshops to our Lower School students and to meet with our Lower School teaching teams, providing them with lesson plans to infuse disability awareness into our curriculum. Thanks to their involvement, our sixth grade classes engaged in a mobile accessibility analysis of our campus and developed a presentation for our Head of School and Governing Board with recommendations for ways we can make our campus more accessible. We are grateful for the work that the b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide team did with our school, and we look forward to inviting them back again at some point in the future.
–Rev. Kristin Elliott, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, St. Albans School, Washington, DC

Kathleen Geier

“This curriculum is a fluid and ever changing experience for me and for the children I teach. It is designed to be ready for any educator, whether they are new to teaching about disabilities or they’ve been on this road for a while. It is a standalone curriculum for those who are searching for an entry point into this work.

It can also support and challenge a seasoned teacher. I was able to find so many new ways to expand my thinking, notice and change my assumptions and language, make new discoveries and be inspired with new ideas about how I might help my students.

I have ‘met’ many people through this curriculum: artists, musicians, scientists and more, current and past. I have been introduced to new books, and new ideas to add to my ever growing collection, both expanding and fine tuning how and what I teach. Thank you!”
–Kathleen Geier, a PK teacher who has served two DC area independent schools for over 30 years.

Dr. Arielle Silverman

“The creators of the b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide curriculum are committed to accurately capturing the voices of people with disabilities in their content. They have sought input from consultants with disabilities, as well as Diversity and Inclusion specialists, to review all of their lesson plans, and they have revised the plans and included content directly contributed by people with lived experience of disability.”
–Dr. Arielle Silverman, Ph.D., a Disabilities Research and Training Consultant, and a Social Activist who is blind

Jaime Zindler with her son

“The disability community is too often overlooked. The b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide platform’s unique approach to disability awareness coupled with SEL engages teachers and students in robust dialogue, providing for a more empathetic and inclusive society. One of the key aspects of the b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide platform is its approach to measurement and assessing impact. Understanding what each student takes away from each lesson plan is critical in ensuring foundational knowledge and paves the way for greater impact.”
-Jaime Zindler, M. Ed, American University Adjunct Professor, School of Education

Kim Avarello

“As a special educator for more than 20 years, I am proud to have consulted with the creators of b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide on a curriculum that seeks to help children and educators understand, accept and appreciate inclusion. The collaborative approach used in creating this program and its subsequent plans have resulted in lessons that can be easily integrated within existing educational platforms in all content areas and adapted to varying ages and abilities.”
-Kim Avarello, MS Special Education, Autism Consultant and Behavior Specialist

Dr. Heather Haynes Smith

The b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide platform provides a unique approach to support purposeful focus on disability awareness, inclusion, and advocacy across K-12 classrooms. The units and lessons explore disability alongside academic content, building skills for developing social and emotional learning (SEL). b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide holds promise in creating a more empathetic and inclusive society, guiding educators in engaging students in robust strengths-focused dialogue which provides opportunities for surfacing and exploring assumptions and finding similarities for a more empathetic and inclusive society. The pacing of lessons is reasonable and flexible, reflecting developmentally appropriate activities and discussions that build from year to year. A particular strength of this curriculum is the integration of authentic children’s literature.”
-Dr. Heather Haynes Smith, Ph.D., Trinity University Associate Professor, Department of Education, identifies with dyslexia and a mother of a son with a disability