Dr. Jackie Joseph's education and work brought her expertise in inclusion research, policy, and practice. However, when her daughter Juniper was born and she received her unexpected rare genetic syndrome diagnosis, Jackie realized that so much of what she had learned was incomplete. Juniper's family began observing her experiences of systemic ableism, and as Juniper’s mom, Jackie came face-to-face with her own implicit biases. Before Juniper, Jackie was sure that if we scientifically prove that certain practices are effective, then their use will become a reality. Now, she's seen first-hand the importance of promoting high quality inclusive practices through teaching and evidence-based professional development, but she's also learned that these supports are not enough. By sharing her family's story, Jackie will illustrate how we may never get to where we need to be, as a field and as a society, until we can put inclusion into people’s hearts, not just their minds.
Dr. Jackie Joseph-Buzek is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Denver Positive Early Learning Experiences Center, where her work promotes high quality inclusion across the early childhood care and education system. She specifically focuses on family partnerships and evidence-based strategies for fostering each and every young child’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. Jackie’s experience working in child care administration offers her an applied understanding of implementing and scaling high quality inclusion. Jackie has two young children herself, one of whom has a rare genetic syndrome. Her anti-ableist work is strongly influenced by her family’s experiences, and Jackie strives to co-create opportunities and spaces that ensure that all young children, disabled and nondisabled, and their families experience meaningful inclusion and belonging.