The Haring Center has a long history of asking critical questions and conducting ground-breaking research to improve the learning of individuals with special needs. Many of the educational practices developed at the ARU have come to be considered best practice in the field of special education. As a result of this work and the dissemination of the ARU’s instructional practices and models, countless learners and families are thriving. Some of these innovative projects include:
- 1970’s: The UW Down Syndrome Project
- 1980’s: Fathers Network and Sibling Support Project
- 1990’s: Project DATA
- 2000’s: Building Blocks
First published in 2002, Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs quickly became known as a “lifeline” for every preschool teacher. The book was based on the research conducted at the Haring Center and clearly described effective strategies for teaching young children with disabilities in inclusive settings. It helped teachers and other professionals recognize and create high quality environments for all young children, and it gave them easy-to- use tools to modify their curricula to meet individual children’s needs. Through Building Blocks, teachers learned to embed learning opportunities into young children’s natural routines like snack, dressing, and play. They also learned how to use highly individualized child-focused instructional strategies. The Building Blocks text has been used widely as a textbook in college and university courses, and it is a must in every preschool teacher’s resource library.
- 2010’s: NCQTL