Haring Center staff are guided by the vision of an inclusive world in which all children are recognized for what they can do. In this world, children with a variety of developmental disabilities and other differences grow and learn alongside their typically developing peers, seeing barriers disappear as they reach their full potential.
Inclusion is an action, not a label. Inclusion isn't something that is achieved and sustained, but a practice that needs to be re-dedicated every day. To describe a community as inclusive is to point out that every member in it strives not only to feel valued and supported, but strives to help all other members feel the same way: in an inclusive community everyone should feel that they have the opportunity to contribute. Inclusion is about authentic community membership, ongoing relationships, and meaningful participation.
This commitment to helping people participate fully in inclusive communities drives program success across the Haring Center's three interconnected units.
The work conducted at the Applied Research Unit (ARU) fuels the Haring Center's commitment to inclusion. From our early research on educating children with Down syndrome, to current work on effective intervention for children with autism, and improvements to the quality of teaching and learning in Head Start classrooms, the Haring Center's ARU is a leader in conducting innovative research that will lead directly to groundbreaking educational practices.
The Professional Development Unit (PDU) is where we share the cutting edge, evidence-based practices developed and tested at the ARU. The PDU is an excellent resource for professionals, school districts, and other agencies seeking access to the latest evidence-based instructional practices for individuals with developmental disabilities and their peers. The PDU offers a comprehensive menu of service, including staff training, ongoing practice-based coaching, consultation, program review, curriculum development, and implementation of inclusive school and community programs. In addition to supporting current professionals, the PDU is training the next generation of professionals in special education, applied behavior analysis, and related disciplines, by providing hands-on student teaching and internship experiences in inclusive settings. The PDU is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to provide continuing education opportunities for Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and offers a monthly journal club, speaker series, and workshops designed to help working professionals stay up to date with current ABA research.
The Haring Center puts its innovative inclusion programs into practice in the classrooms of the Experimental Education Unit (EEU). The EEU provides positive, inclusive, educational experiences for children with diverse abilities to learn in a setting that enhances their strengths and supports the needs of every child. Throughout the school, children with and without disabilities learn side-by-side, enriching the education of both the children with special needs and their typically developing peers. Programs are designed to provide children with the opportunity to build friendships through participating in a classroom community: the EEU is a place where ability does not stand in the way of children making friends and enjoying school.