EVERYONE is a toolkit to support special educators and help everyone in an inclusive environment to have a smooth transition when children with special needs join, by offering integration strategies and collaboration methods with a 3-stage plan.
Yuewen Yu
Beijing Ruizhi Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation Centre
Inclusive Environment Building for Children with Special Needs
For children with special needs (autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, intellectual development disorder and Down’s Syndrome…) in China, going to mainstream education is better for their development when they get to age of 3-8. But due to a lack of special educators and awareness of special needs, the pathway of inclusive education in China is being explored and led by pioneer special educators and leading organisations like my project partner Beijing Ruizhi. So how can Service Design thinking help with inclusive environment building?
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The Transition is Challenging for Everyone
Parents of children with special needs spend a lot of time and effort so they can have a better inclusive education. From the moment they get into kindergarten until they truly integrate, the transition can last several months. But if they fail, they'll have to leave and find another kindergarten. But for them, early years is the best timing for their development and frequent environmental changes are not helpful. That’s why we focus on the transition time. During the transition, because parents of children with special needs are under great pressure, special educators have to use all their spare time to communicate with them. Class teachers are often nervous at the beginning due to lack of special educational knowledge and experience. Parents of other kids are also worried about their children. The transition is challenging for everyone in the inclusive environment.

Concept of EVERYONE

During the interviews of inclusive education professionals, one of the most exciting things I heard is that “every child can integrate.” Not just high-functioning special needs, but every child. This is our vision, and EVERYONE toolkit helps solve the “HOW” by first, empathizing with all stakeholders, improving communication and encouraging collaboration. Second, strategic planning of the transition process and using workshops and other collaboration methods to solve the problems at each stage.


Let everyone's needs be heard. Let everyone participate. Let every shiny idea have the opportunity to be discussed, planned and tried.
EVERYONE Highlights: MiniPower to SuperPower
MiniPower to SuperPower is a two-month programme for Eve, a child with special needs to find her potential (MiniPower) and develop them into strengths (SuperPower). This is one of the projects in the toolkit that most teachers are interested in, and it’s also the one we are implementing now. We’ve already teamed up with Eve’s parents, teachers, agreed on the project and are preparing for the first workshop, to identify Eve’s MiniPower by brainstorming the methods of better observation and creating a detailed plan to try at home and school for 2 weeks. Then, we’ll have our second workshop of observation sharing, potential exploring and will come up with a development plan for teachers and parents to implement. After 4 weeks we’ll have our last workshop to share progress and keep developing with a monthly catch-up.
EVERYONE’s Theory of Change
The EVERYONE toolkit firstly gives teachers in kindergartens more empathy. This is crucial because class teachers connect everyone else in the inclusive environment. Secondly, it gives the parents of other children more understanding and reduces their pressure. The support from them is one of the key factors for a successful transition. Finally, parents of children with special needs will be less stressed and special educators will gain confidence.  Overall, the quality of integration will be improved which leads to a smooth transition and will potentially increase the access to an inclusive environment. So, everyone can integrate.
special thanks
Thanks to the teachers, special educators, parents and all the people who joined in the project. They trusted me, shared their stories and experiences with me, and also introduced their friends and colleagues for me to interview and collaborate with. Also thanks to all the tutors at the RCA, especially my project tutor Hannah for encouraging me to get through this pandemic and try new things for the whole journey!

students involved on the project

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