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Epic Celebrates “A World of Opportunities” This Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

by Kerry Knapp, National School Recruiter at Epic Special Education Staffing

As March comes to a close, we look back at another successful celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Slowly but surely, we are inching towards a more inclusive world wherein each individual can live to their fullest potential. Reflecting on the essence of this month, we examine how one simple change of perspective can open up a world of opportunities.

Perspective: Just Put on Your Glasses and You Will See

Today, just like every morning over the last 10 or so years, I put my glasses on to see. It’s part of how I start every day. I need my glasses to read a great book, look at photos of my family, drive my car, review my emails, and do my job. I need them for pretty much everything now. They have become a normal everyday accessory and no one seems to notice, especially me. In fact, lots of us wear them. It’s deemed normal. Yes, very normal. Still, my glasses serve as a modification to function in this world.  

Today, I tell this story as a result of conversations with “my people.” I am a proud Recruiter for Special Education Teachers and the therapists who collaborate with them in a school setting.  My job entails asking this one crucial question: “So, why did you choose this path?” This question often leads me to the most moving and inspiring reasons that tell stories of support, patience, and understanding. One story shared a special perspective that I believe can serve as a lesson to us all.  

Modifications in Learning

Kim B, a Special Educator in Pennsylvania and long-time Epic Special Education Staffing team member, had simply asked if I wore glasses. “Modifications in learning,” she said, “should be as normal as putting on glasses.” She went on to state that most of us who wear glasses do it to see the details.  

In Special Education, slowing down to explain and teach the steps that many of us take for granted is part of the modification needed for success; a filter, like putting on glasses. For instance, I would probably know the steps to make a sandwich. I would know how to get the ingredients and how to construct it, but not everyone does it that way.  

Special Education Teachers and other school therapists are trained that the specific “sandwich-making steps,” that many of us take for granted, each need to be explained and taught. This leads to modifications to the learning process; another lens to learn through.  

The creation of an environment that supports a variety of learning differences is what our Special Educators strive to achieve. This leads to a culture of inclusivity within the school community which will hopefully carry on to the outside world. 

A Change in Perspective Can Open Up a World of Opportunities

In 1987, March was nationally recognized as the month to increase “public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities and to provide the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.” As we near the end of this year’s celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month highlighting “A World of Opportunities,” Epic Special Education Staffing would like to challenge you to remember to put on your glasses, with a lens of inclusivity, as a reminder that we all can live to our fullest potential.  

Thank you, Kim, I will look at my glasses from a whole new perspective now.

Epic Special Education Staffing: Creating a World of Opportunities with You

As a premier Special Education talent and staffing solutions firm, Epic Special Education Staffing stands with you as you help students reach their fullest potential. We are your number one advocate throughout your contract, offering personalized support through our placement process as well as comprehensive benefits and competitive salaries. At Epic, our mission is to set up every school teacher for success and for every school system to have a great experienced teacher helping those with disabilities. Get in touch with us today!

About the Author

Kerry Knapp is a National School Recruiter for Epic Special Education Staffing with over 20 years of experience working in education and recruiting. Kerry’s approach is highly consultative, focusing on a deep understanding of professional and personal goals to target the best placement options. She encourages her therapists and teachers to “dream big” and realize that anything is possible when looking for a new state, city, or school. 

In her spare time, Kerry “dreams big” herself by spending time planning travel with her husband and two daughters and is a lover of anything French. Her attitude can be summed up in the words of Walt Disney: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”