This conference is designed to light the way for Catholic schools who desire to welcome and support students with disabilities and learning differences. We believe that our Catholic faith calls all of us to be inclusive. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. And it’s always essential to continue learning and growing. Whether you’re considering the idea of formally offering inclusive education opportunities at your school for the very first time or you are seeking new information to strengthen and expand your existing inclusion program, this conference is for you! FIRE Foundation hosts and presents this conference on a biennial basis. In person conferences were held in 2017 and 2019 in Kansas City. In 2021 we hosted a virtual conference and we are excited to be offering a hybrid event in 2023, both in-person and virtual opportunities to participate will be available!
FIRE Foundation works to advocate for and fund inclusive Catholic education in the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph (MO). Since 1996, FIRE has invested over $7 million to support inclusive learning opportunities for hundreds of students K-12. FIRE funds make it possible for schools to hire special educators, para-educators, acquire technology, and provide professional development so learners with a range of intellectual and developmental disabilities can learn, grow, and thrive in Catholic schools. We believe that inclusive education fosters a culture of acceptance and compassion where ALL students grow together in faith, knowledge and friendship.
In addition to supporting inclusive education in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, FIRE is pleased to partner with our affiliates including FIRE Foundation of Northeast Iowa (Archdiocese of Dubuque), FIRE Foundation of Central Illinois (Diocese of Peoria), FIRE Foundation of New Hampshire (Diocese of Manchester), FIRE Foundation of Dallas (Diocese of Dallas), FIRE Foundation of Northwest Indiana (Diocese of Gary), FIRE Foundation of Northwest Iowa (Diocese of Sioux City), FIRE Foundation of Denver (Achdiocese of Denver) and the FIRE Foundation of Milwaukee (Diocese of Milwaukee).
Dr. Paula Kluth
Consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners.
Dr. Christie Bonfiglio
Directs the Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Matthew Braun
Speech-language pathologist and owner of Speech and Language Solutions, LLC.
Director of Education & Transition Team at Think College