Special Education Today Newsletter 2(31)
The week’s news and info for 9 January 2023
Dear Special Education Today readers (free and paid), did you miss the newsletter for 2 January 2023? Nobody told me that she did. No complaints. Ahh well. That no one reported that I didn’t generate a newsletter on that day must reflect the impact of Special Education Today. Sigh.
But regular readers will remember some posts from last week. And I’ll return to them in subsequent notes. First, though, here’s an overview of this week’s contents. I also have an updated status report for the site and the newsletter, a table of contents for the past week, and a bit of commentary at the end.
Over the past week, Special Education Today saw some growth in the number of e-mail subscribers. SET is now north of 490 subscribers. Though the number rises and falls (if we lost anyone this past week, it was one or two somebodies), this is progress. We started with those~150 loyal folks from “SpedTalk” in May 2021...and we’ve grown!
Anyway, your comments and likes are going to nearly 500 peeps. I’m happy that when you comment, you are talking with many others who are concerned about special education and individuals with disabilities and their families.
A lot of this growth can be attributed to you, e-mail members, who are telling others about SET. Thank you! From the data, I can tell some of you seem to be forwarding the newsletter to lots-a-dozen-or-two-dozen peeps regularly. Yay! Please encourage those friends and colleagues to sign up for free (or PAID) subcriptions now! Just add a little line of text at the top of your forward saying, “I recommend that you consider joining the SET e-mail list.” Thanks!
And, thanks to readers who’ve liked or commented recently: Clay K., Jane B., Patti P., Vince. W., Melanie, H., Suz-an, Sarah H., Jimmy the K., and others.
Thanks, too, to those readers who are sharing on other media: Twitter, metapoop, and others. Facebook, of all places, seems to be referring readers! (Might be because of Micheal K.?)
So, here is this week’s ToC
Please remember that you can find the latest SET posts by simply going to the main page at https://www.specialeducationtoday.com
So here we are. SET is about 18 months old. When I started, I wanted to provide news and information about special education and disabilities. I have wanted to make the content accessible to lots of interested folks. That is, I don’t want to provide the stuffy, academic content. I want SET to be accessible to the public.
Trustworthy information about special education and disabilities should be open to everyone who is concerned about those topics. It shouldn’t be clouded in jargon, technical terms, or academic language.
My concern about communicating clearly extends to academic writing, in fact. In my role as co-editor of Exceptional Children, I am very concerned about academic authors communicating clearly. Please allow me to edit the foregoing paragraph by removing adjectives and adverbs
Trustworthyinformation about special education and disabilities should be open to everyone who is concerned about those topics. It shouldn’t be clouded in jargon, technicalterms ,or academiclanguage.
So what do you think of my own text? Is the edit better?
Here’a an another quote. Could it be improved if it had fewer adverbs and adjectives?
In order to begin to understand what inclusion in Special Education (SPED) means, you need to take a look at inclusion in the classroom, and specifically in SPED classrooms. Special Education Guide explains that inclusion means making space for all types of students to learn side-by-side in school programs, from academics to extracurriculars. By valuing and embracing diversity, inclusive education welcomes the contributions of all students in the classroom through a sense of belonging and shared goals. In short, inclusion in special education welcomes all.
It’s not just adjectives and adverbs. Let’ start at the beginning. “In order to begin to understand what inclusion…” could be much simpler: “To understand what inclusion….” WTF? Why do we send 40-11 (I exaggerate, to be sure) words to do the job of two or three. Let’s be clearer (even if one disagrees with the thesis of the argument).
Try this “trick” on other quotes. Smply elimnate adjectives and adverbs from the quote, or expecially your own writing. Doing so will help you reveal what your are actuallly saying! Isn’t the edited version much clearer? Wouldn’t we wish academics (such as I) cut out the superfluous words?
So I hope readers will let me know how it’s going. Send me a DM via Twitter @JohnWillsLloyd or write to me directly (my name and e-mail addresses are plastered on many walls around the intertubes).
But, remember that how we talk about disability, special education, and our world matters. We need to watch our words
Let me close with the usual admonitions:
* Seatbelts: Remember to wear them.
* COVID: Get vaccinated, keep safe social distance, wash your hands, and use masks.
* And, I implore you, please, teach your children well.
SET Editor guy
SET should not be confused with a product with a similar name that is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades.