It’s hard to believe that three years has passed since we launched Think Inclusive. It all started because, in all honestly, I was feeling a little lost. At the time, I was in my eighth year of teaching special education, and though I felt like I knew a lot about my field, there was so much more I wanted to learn. I had recently discovered other educators on Twitter and Facebook and realized that a vibrant community of people with and without disabilities were committed to sharing their experiences of inclusion in the classroom and community. I thought that if I could create a place where people from different backgrounds and abilities could have a voice… we could make a bigger impact by coming together than any of us could alone. So, I started writing and asking other people to contribute to the site, and before we knew it, people were finding us on the web and engaging in life-changing conversations about disability and authentic inclusion.
So here comes the exciting (and scary) part for me. We have grown enough for me to turn over some of the responsibilities of managing the site to other people. Here is what that means for you—our dedicated readers!
- When you sign up for our newsletter, every month you will receive a round-up of content you might have missed at Think Inclusive. (I know this, because I won’t be in charge of it anymore!)
- For our members, our relationship with Kids Included Together (KIT) will become official, and we’ll add even more new content to our members-only section. Expect that to roll out sometime this year.
- In addition, our podcast is slated to come back by the end of March 2015. We recently upgraded our sound and recording equipment and we have a shorter/leaner format that should be better for everyone. Our podcast episodes typically lasted more than one hour. We will edit those down for the public and leave the unedited versions for our members.
- I’ll be writing less and giving more people the opportunity to give their voices to the discussion surrounding disability and inclusion. It has always been important to me to let people share their stories. As I ease back on the writing responsibilities, more people will have the chance to shape the tone and stance of Think Inclusive moving forward.
Just to give you a little perspective… here are some numbers to think about:
- We now boast close to 100 paying members!
- We reach nearly 900 readers via email with our monthly newsletter.
- We have over 10K followers across our social media outlets (Twitter/Facebook/Google+).
- We consistently rank in the top 50 of education blogs (in the world).
- We had 250K page views in 2014, which exceeds our 2013 total by more than 100K.
- …and we aren’t even finished! We’ll keep spreading the word about inclusion and disability rights.
So… what have we learned in the last three years? (Glad you asked!) The secret ingredient in our recipe for success is YOU! You give this site fresh perspective. As you share our posts with your friends and colleagues, you continue the conversation about inclusion in your own context. Now that is pretty exciting.
Thank you for supporting our efforts. We would not be able to provide the content you deserve without your investment in us. We believe that our fourth year will be the best yet. Here’s to the Think Inclusive community and all the good things in the year ahead!
Thanks for your time and attention.
Founder of Think Inclusive
Photo Credit: Adam Melancon/Flickr