world-class ideas & thought leaders
About Good Things In Life
We need each other. Good Things In Life brings us together.
VALUED SOCIAL ROLES, OPPORTUNITIES & PARTICIPATION
that all kids have potential and deserve to grow up together with equal opportunities for growth, relationship and contribution.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCHOOL INCLUSION EVALUATION GUIDE
We aren't for everyone.
There are some ideologies and beliefs that we challenge fiercely.
We believe that in order to disband the stigma, violence, oppression, and exclusion that many people with different abilities face, we must do the work to be:
>> Committed to an inclusive, rich experience for their loved one, no matter their disability.
>> Open to learning and growing as an individual and as an advocate by adopting a culture of inquiry, so that we minimize unintentional harm and develop an ever-deepening understanding and sense of action.
>> Devoted to embarking on a life-long commitment to build a better world and end oppression by unpacking our internalized and unconscious “-isms”.
>> Learn that therapies, treatments, interventions, and any other “fix-it” approaches are not the avenue toward friendships, acceptance, belonging, and making a contribution — but that building a life at the heart of the community does open that pathway.
>> Take personal responsibility to be anti-racism, anti-homophobia, and anti- all the other forms of oppression that individually and systemically keep citizens from reaching and contributing their full potential in our communities. For example, all lives can't matter until black lives matter. And matter is the minimum. We shoot much higher.
Our courses and membership aren't for you if …
>> You are grieving that you have a child with a disability, rather than seeing their amazing value beyond the disability label (if this is you then *HUGS!*. Subscribe to the Good Things In Life for Kids with Disabilities Podcast. Everything good and wonderful exists on the other side of grief. I promise!)
>> You believe that your child needs special people to care for your child in special places, and that good services are the key to a good life for your child.
>> You are defensive when ideas, people, or situations respectfully challenge your decisions or your perception of the world or your place in it.
To be a member of The Inclusion Academy means to be committed to growth, expansion, and community. We look forward to supporting you in your inclusion journey inside the Academy.
The genesis of Good Things In Life
When my mom found out more than 40 years ago that my sister had a disability she had never met anyone with a disability.
She was worried and afraid. Luckily, she was introduced to another parent further along the journey. This opened up a network of mentors and thought leaders in the field of disability.
I grew up in a disability positive community. When I had my son who has disabilities, I started my parenting journey at a much different place than my mother had.
Yet I noticed that most parents, even today, experience their child's diagnosis much like my mother had.
Parents are often shocked and distressed when they learn that their child has a disability.
The first thing that they do is Google the diagnosis and get a list of problems, limitations and complications.
The medical system and the therapy world offer treatments.
School is often more about therapies and interventions than it is about helping your child have a happy childhood while growing into their potential and preparing for a full life after graduation.
This is where Good Things In Life a little different.
We won’t teach you how to behavior modify your child or provide good stretches to prevent contractures and I definitely won’t teach you how to teach them life skills.
It isn’t that I think those things are unimportant. They are.
We will teach you core strategies to building a good life even if your child always struggles with behavior or develops more significant physical impairments or never learns to tie their shoes or brush their teeth.
We will teach you how to help your child get the good things in life. Friendship, learning, contribution, acceptance, fulfilling potential, inclusion.
I started Good Things In Life to bring the world-class voices, ideas, concepts and conversations that made up my disability education to other parents and educators so that we are all well equipped to support our kids to build positive inclusive lives at the heart of community.
Good Things In Life offers a podcast, free expert presentations, a course on inclusive education and a monthly membership that supports parents along their advocacy journey.
Genia Stephen helps kids with intellectual disabilities build inclusive lives at home, at school and in the community. She is the founder and host of the Good Things In Life For Kids With Disabilities Podcast and manages a community of parents of children with disabilities.
Having a younger sister and son with disabilities and medical complexities led her to a lifetime of training in the disability field under premier thought leaders and mentors. With more than 25,000 downloads, her podcast now gives other parents access to her world-class disability parenting education, complete with courses and membership. She is a practicing midwife and medical advocate currently completing her MSc. in Evidence-Based Health Care at the University of Oxford.
Featured by Travel Without Limits Magazine, Community Living Ontario, Inclusive Education Canada, The Citizen Network and many others, Genia speaks about creating a positive vision for kids with disabilities, getting the good things in life through valued social roles and social capital, and medical safeguarding.