Step by Step

Promoting Child-Centered Inclusive Education Worldwide

CEC and Step by Step
Join World Bank Symposium


CEC and the International Step by Step Association joined the World Bank's Early Child Development Symposium, in Washington, DC from September 28-30, to make a panel presentation on "Reaching Young Children with Disabilities through ECD Interventions." CEC's Deb Ziegler (Associate Executive Director, Policy and Communications Services) facilitated a panel of three international presenters that included: Natalia Sofiy (Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation's Country Director, Ukraine), Ahmed Al Damrawy (General Director ECD Union, Eqypt), and Eneida Ferrer (National Secretary for the Social Integration of People with Disability SENADI, Panama). Presenters provided examples from their countries on the key features and benefits of an inclusive ECD program. CEC exhibited materials to promote the International Step by Step Association mission, membership, and products. CEC also attended the pre-symposium on September 27 that ECD evaluations in Latin America and the Caribbean, sponsored by the World Bank and held at the Inter-American Development Bank.

ImageSpecial Educators join with the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) conference in Budapest, Hungary from November 10-14, 2004 to celebrate ISSA's 10th Anniversary. Open Society Institute (OSI) Founder George Soros was present on Day One to join the celebration and meet the participants. CEC's Deborah Ziegler (pictured) was present to meet Soros and to listen to his address.

CEC Leads Successful Inclusive Education Training in Estonia

Nineteen countries joined together in Tallinn, Estonia during August 2004 for training in support of the Step by Step Disability Initiative, which promotes the worldwide inclusive education of children with disabilities.

What is the Step by Step Program?

Step by Step offers an innovative and comprehensive approach to international institutional reform of early childhood education systems by:

  • Developing in-country expert capacity in child-centered, parent focused approaches to early childhood development;

  • Providing professional development at the early childhood, preschool, primary, middle school, and university levels;

  • Promoting cooperative relations with local ministries;

  • Creating national associations for advocacy; and

  • Establishing an international forum (ISSA) for parents and teachers.

The Step by Step approach is child-centered and based on teaching methods adapted to fit each country's educational standards and needs. The program provides special provisions for the education of children who cannot benefit from a traditional education, including children who do not attend formal preschool and children with disabilities.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has teamed with the Open Society Institute (OSI) to provide vital training and technical assistance on inclusive education for children with disabilities to Step by Step Programs in all participating countries.

CEC will support the Step by Step Program, in collaboration with the International Step by Step Association (ISSA), through a grant from OSI. Learn more about ISSA.

About the Open Society Institute (back to top)

OSI sponsors programs worldwide that enhance the development of open societies by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women's rights, as well as social, legal, and economic reform. In 1994, OSI founded the Step by Step Program to promote equal access to quality education for children from birth through age 10.

Today, 29 countries have Step by Step parent education programs and preschool, primary, and middle school classrooms in which students, teachers, parents, and the community actively take part. Learn more about OSI.

Training and Technical Assistance Provided by CEC (back to top)

CEC will offer a variety of high-quality educational resources to assist all Step by Step professionals in building their knowledge of special education and disability issues. These resources will include:

  • Mentoring;

  • Professional development:

    • On-site training for preschool and primary levels in each country,
    • Web-based seminars,
    • Professional materials,
    • Online discussion forums, and
    • Preschool and primary disability training module