Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Issue 22: 09/28/10


SpecialQuest Birth–Five Newsletter

"SpecialQuest has become who we are. As long as there are children with special needs in the world, then SpecialQuest will live on!" -SpecialQuest Ambassador


Funding for the current SpecialQuest Birth-Five grant ends 9/29/10, but the SpecialQuest Community will remain active, vibrant, and focused!



The SpecialQuest Community Makes Inclusion Happen!


Young Children on Hike

We are grateful to so many people for supporting us and joining us in the SpecialQuest for inclusion!

Our gratitude extends from the initial seed of the idea in the mind of Vivian Weinstein in 1993 to the financial support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Office of Head Start (OHS) to the guidance of Jim O'Brien, our OHS project officer, and our advisory board members. Our thanks also goes to the SpecialQuest consultants who have been our link to many of you in the SpecialQuest Community: Coaches, Trainers, Ambassadors, Speakers, and Interpreters. And we appreciate Gary Christian and Joan Porter for bringing your stories to life on film.




We have had the pleasure of partnering with you for 13 wonderful years. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of joining you in the journey toward inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families in their chosen communities.


With appreciation,


Linda, Susan, Sandy, Cheryl, Cathy, Aracelly, Katy, Shelley, Trish, Elizabeth, Jeanne, Kathy, Rebecka, Cecilia, Ann, and Rob



Let's Multiply Our Assets and Capitalize on Our Joint Efforts!


As we look to the future, it is up to each of us individually to act on what we've learned together. It is also important to stay connected as individuals so that we can maintain a community that will continue to foster and support an ecosystem of inclusion.


Five ways to use Facebook to maintain the momentum we've generated for inclusion:


  1. "Like" the SpecialQuest Facebook page
  2. Post - what you are doing for inclusion, big or small - links to resources (blogs, videos, webinars, tools, etc.) - photos of your successes (trainings, adaptations, etc.)
  3. Ask for - suggestions for something you are are working on - help locating a resource
  4. Complete your profile (include a photo!)
  5. "Friend" others in the SpecialQuest Community


Join us on Facebook



SpecialQuest Websites


The web-based SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library will continue to be available for use after the grant ends. The main SpecialQuest website will be archived, but still accessible. (For example, you will be able to view and download items from the Resource Bank, but you will not be able to add resources to it.) The links to the impact pages and the web-based SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library will still be available on the main website homepage.



Behind the Scenes at SpecialQuest


Kathy WhitenerKathy Whitener joined the SpecialQuest staff in 2002. She has a Bachelor's Degree from the Hutchin's School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, and is the Logistics Coordinator for the ten State Leadership Teams and the SpecialQuest Coaches. Kathy is also an event coordinator and editor for our team.


Kathy has been a family member of a person with disabilities all of her life. Her background, combined with her interdisciplinary education and experience, keeps her grounded and passionate for the work we do.


"Working for SpecialQuest Birth-Five has been an amazing journey. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to work with so many amazing people across the country who are dedicated to improving the lives of children and families."


Kathy has two adult children and a two-year-old granddaughter! She enjoys organic gardening, quilting, sewing, running, swimming, kayaking, and touring with her husband on their tandem bicycle.


"It is my hope that this is just the beginning, and that the 'head, heart, and hands' of SpecialQuest will continue to touch families and dedicated professionals for many years to come."


Elizabeth Schroeder


Elizabeth Schroeder joined the SpecialQuest staff in 2002. She has her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Statistics which she has used over the last eight years to evaluate the effectiveness of the SpecialQuest training program. Over the last three years, she has had the pleasure of co-coordinating the Ambassador program and working with the SpecialQuest graduates to continue the Quest. "The Ambassadors are such an amazing and dynamic group of people. I am so inspired by all the work they are doing in their communities to promote inclusion for children with disabilities and their families."


Elizabeth is the proud momma of eighteen-month old Jane Elizabeth and lives in Petaluma, California with her husband, Chris, Jane and their two dogs, Princess Leah and Boston. When she is not chasing after Jane, she enjoys singing show tunes and golfing with her family.


"Being a part of SpecialQuest has helped me to grow not only as a professional, but as a mother and most of all, as a person."






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