January 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest SENIA newsletter

Jane Christine Justine January 2021 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Jane Christine Justine, a student with a hearing impairment, was the leader of her school innovation team specializing in producing vegan food. Along with her team and their advisory teacher, they initiated a project called “Veganbond” which seeks to produce their own vegan food and raise public awareness on vegan lifestyle. In 2020, she led her team to win three innovation medals in a local innovation competition and two global innovation contests that were virtually hosted in the UK and in Southeast Asia. Veganbond was also a finalist in the 2020 Youth Solution Report produced by SDSN Youth. They presented their project in sign language and this led to major changes made by the event organizers in order to accommodate special needs individuals as only oral presentations were allowed in the past. Her efforts have successfully broken the barriers for special needs individuals especially those with hearing impairments.  Here is a link to their presentation: https://youtu.be/pE774orv8OI

Congratulations Jane!!

Get Talking w/ Spokle

Today I speak with two of the co-founders of Spokle Gia Kuek & Andrew Kendrick. Spokle empowers parents to support their child’s speech therapy with home-based exercises.

Edelson Dell Evaristus November 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Edelson Dell started as a track and field athlete in the early 2010s before transitioning to football. He played actively in the special needs football championship in 2014. He represented his state, Sabah, to play professionally in various national level matches across the country where his team often earned the top three spots including several victories. His incredible talent and efforts helped him become an exceptional player. He successfully made it to the national team and represented the country at regional and international level football championships in Taiwan, South Korea and Brazil. His remarkable feat in football has inspired many individuals with special needs especially those from his state, Sabah, and his former school, KVKEN, to participate in football and other sports tournaments. Due to this, many schools in the state have begun to invest more in sports for special needs students.

Congratulations to Edelson Dell Evaristus as the recipient of the SENIA World Changer Award November 2020!

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes

For over 20 years, Angelica Benson has worked for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes – a world leader in research and remediation for specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder

Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam November 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam is a special educator by profession in Malaysia.  She has dedicated her life to supporting and providing resources about special education and inclusion through her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/shyielathy81/featured. Her main focus is to incorporate inclusion into every aspect of life. She strongly believes that the value of diversity will not be achieved without inclusion. In efforts to ensure that every child has equal educational opportunities, she fights for inclusion everyday. One of the quotes she lives by is: “If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” 

Congratulations to Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam as the recipient of the November 2020 World Changers Award!

The Newbie Experience

In this month’s podcast, Lori Boll, Erin Madonna and Matt Barker explore the challenges of being a Newbie (starting at a new school).

Multi Language Learners & WIDA

Jon Nordmeyer is the international programs director for WIDA, and will be one of our speakers at our upcoming conference. WIDA provides language development resources to those who support the academic success of multilingual learners.

TIES Center: An Abundance of Resources

Dr. Deborah Taub & Dr. Elizabeth Reyes from the TIES Center. TIES Center is the national technical assistance center on inclusive practices and policies.

Zico Luck Elvister October 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Zico Luck Elvister is a 17-year-old student at Keningau Vocational College located in the interior region of Sabah, Malaysia. Zico is a student whose main means of communication is through sign language due to a hearing impairment. Despite this, Zico has inspired students of special needs and people from the rural communities in the state with his accomplishments in chess tournaments at the national and international level. He was the 1st runner up of Malaysian Lions International English Chess Competition for special needs category in 2019. He was also the 1st runner up for the same category in the national Malaysian Chess Tournament for the Disabled in 2019. He achieved this feat at such a young age despite coming from an economically disadvantaged and remote area. He has successfully paved the way for other students of special needs to venture into chess tournaments and has revived the community’s interest in the sport.