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2. How I Became an Inclusionist Featuring Tim Villegas

Tim Villegas, B.A.
Director of Communications at Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE)

Tim Villegas joined MCIE’s communications team in 2020, implementing MCIE’s communications and marketing plan, and leading MCIE communications through blogs, podcasts, social media, webinars, and product development. Throughout his prior sixteen-year career as a special education teacher, Tim advocated for the inclusion of learners with significant disabilities in general education classrooms and systems change in schools and districts; and spent three years as a district-level program specialist supporting learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional and behavioral needs, and intellectual disabilities. He founded Think Inclusive, now MCIE’s official blog.

In this episode of Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters, Tim Villegas discusses his transformation from a staunch self-contained, special education classroom teacher to an "inclusionist." He provides some recommendations for teacher support, and the value of spreading our stories of inclusion.


Links Mentioned in Show

Email Tim: [email protected]

Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE)

Think Inclusive Blog & Podcast

Julie Causton - The Inclusion Podcast

Shelley Moore Video

Jenna Rufo & Julie Causton - Reimagining Special Education

Jennifer Kurth & Megan Gross- The Inclusion Toolbox

Emily Ladau - Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally


Stay Connected with Diana

Diana's Website

Free Resource - 5 Keys to Going Beyond Awareness 

Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity in K-12 Schools & Communities - Diana's Book

Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights - Diana's Children's Book

"Beyond Awareness" Digital Course

Diana's TEDx Talk

Beyond Awareness Facebook Page

Diana on Instagram


Credits and Image Description

Intro and outro music courtesy of Emmanuel Castro.

Podcast cover photo by Rachel Schlesinger Photography.

Podcast cover image description: Black and white photograph of Diana, a Spanish-American woman with long, wavy, brown hair. She is wearing a flowy, white blouse and smiles at camera as she leans against wooden building. Photo is colorfully framed with gold and orange rays of seeming sunshine on top half, and with solid sage green color on bottom half. Text reads "Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters, Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed."