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Change can come in small steps.

What’s one thing you can do to further a culture of belonging?

The following video from Rob Pennington, Director of the Center of Excellence on Inclusive Practice introduces who we are and shares our mission.

Video: Welcome Video

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Our Mission:

To support educational professionals in engaging high leverage and evidence-based practices that enable all learners to construct their own enviable lives as members of their self-selected communities.

Click each of the following boxes (or press return on the following headings) to understand the intentional language of our mission.

Educational Professionals

Teacher talking to a group of children

Teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, administrators, and teacher educators save lives. Therefore, they should be supported in continuous professional growth to better navigate increasingly complex school environments and implement the programs their students deserve.


Professionals gathered around a table, working

There are well-established practices that can and need to be implemented in ways that facilitate increased inclusion and belonging.

Enviable Lives

Two people laying in the grass, laughing

All the people, regardless of their support needs, have the potential to construct lives that lift for others the expectations of what comprises a wonderful life.

Self-selected Communities

A few children painting

Inclusion is beyond the amount of time spent in a particular environment. It involves a sense of belonging achieved when people access and become members in the communities of their choice.

Our Staff:

Rob Pennington, PhD has over 30 years of experience in supporting individuals with a range of support needs, their families, and the professionals charged with serving them. He has served in a range of capacities including teacher, inclusion specialist, teacher educator, researcher, and in leadership roles across multiple organizations. In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with wife and rescue dogs, playing loud music, and sampling all the vegan restaurants. See Rob's Vita

Rachel Schultz, MA is the Project Coordinator for Inclusive Practice and Accessibility at OCALI. With over 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities, she is passionate about breaking down barriers and ensuring every student has the opportunity to learn, contribute and belong. In her free time, Rachel enjoys exploring historic mansions, going to the theater, playing board and video games, and swimming – all with family and friends.

When you help a teacher become their best, they're able to impact the lives of all those generations of students that will come through the door.

Hear Rob's Full Story

We need everybody at the table. We need everybody's voice...Seeing that in others really helps to understand and develop that empathy in order to personally and professionally care about people.

Hear Rachel's Full Story

You're not in this alone. Neither are we.

We continuously solicit feedback from our many connected communities.

We will be building an Advisory Board and network of compassionate and critical friends.

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Let us hear your voice

Answer Some Questions

Large megaphone in background