Ron Rogers and The Universal Design for Learning Center at OCALI – Where the Heart Leads the Head


Ron Rogers, Program Director of the Universal Design for Learning Center at OCALI

By Angela Krile and Ron Rogers, OCALI

“For me, in my heart, what I do – it’s not about me. We are servants of servants – our job is to build relationships and speak and lead from the heart.”

When asked about the work he does leading the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Center at OCALI, Ron Rogers is all about the relationship – and how what he does impacts those relationships between students and those who work with them every day. Continue reading “Ron Rogers and The Universal Design for Learning Center at OCALI – Where the Heart Leads the Head”

Walking the Halls of Wilmington

By Angela Krile and Carly McVey, OCALI

How one high school program has come full circle through OCALICON

Tim* would just walk the halls alone…he wasn’t causing trouble, so people just let him walk.

Sydney was looking for a way to make a difference in her school….but she didn’t know exactly what she was looking for. Until she found it.

Continue reading “Walking the Halls of Wilmington”

History Lesson

By Kelli Yeagley, OCALI

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the concept of “autism” did not begin with glossy ad campaigns, blue light bulbs, and puzzle-themed bumper stickers. Though definitions have slowly adapted to become more inclusive in recent years, the vague outlines of terms like autism and schizophrenia can be traced back to the early 1900’s. Psychiatrist (and noted eugenicist), Paul Eugen Bleuler first used the term autism to describe states within schizophrenia itself. Decades later, Drs. Lorna Wing, Judith Gould, Hans Asperger, Leo Kanner changed things up — emphasizing the importance of social communication, social thinking, and social imagination and working to disconnect it’s previous link with schizophrenia.

They, along with many others, laid the groundwork for a diagnosis that would be considered unique unto itself. Though limited by the scientific knowledge and political climate of their time, this differentiation began dismantling the idea that parents were responsible for their children’s differences and instead attempted to shift the conversation toward natural (e.g. genetic) beginnings, awareness, and acceptance. Continue reading “History Lesson”