First Annual ECI Conference was a Success!

November 17, 2022

On October 19th, South Carolina Partnerships for Inclusion (SCPI) hosted its first annual Early Childhood Inclusion Conference at Richland Two Institute of Technology in Columbia, SC. The conference saw participation from over 160 attendees and representation from over 30 school districts across South Carolina.


The keynote address was given by Dr. Jen Newton, associate professor of special education at Ohio University and co-leader of Teaching is Intellectual, an online community that strives to make the work of preparing and supporting inclusive teachers visible. Dr. Newton discussed dismantling barriers to early childhood inclusion, creating a sense of belonging for all students, and unlearning the rigid idea of what school “should” look like for children with disabilities. 96% of attendees responded that this keynote address was relevant and useful in their current work life.


The conference featured 12 breakout session options covering a variety of topics including: effective teaming processes, itinerant services, the Building Blocks framework, the Pyramid Model, and more.

The closing address was presented by representatives from Able South Carolina, a disability-led organization focused on transforming systems, communities, and individuals. Able SC’s closing address focused on strategies and practices that were shared throughout the conference to promote inclusive early childhood education and engage in collaborative conversation about our next steps.


Overall, the conference was a success! 91% of participants shared they would likely attend this conference next year and 94% would recommend this conference to a colleague. Teachers and administrators from across the state shared their appreciation for the “opportunity to network with others.” Participants also shared that “the conference was very informative” and “the event was organized and engaging!”


The SCPI team is so thankful for everyone’s thoughtful participation and feedback, and is already looking forward to next year’s conference!