SENIA Connection 2018-2019 School Year Edition

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

Kathryn Balsamo, Board Chairperson

Hey ,

A new school year brings a clean slate and a rejuvenated mindset. This time of year, I typically find myself reflecting on my previous year’s class, my interactions with teachers/parents, and my professional development opportunities. I bring these reflections to the current year and challenge myself to strengthen at least one aspect of my teaching practice. I find myself keeping these questions in mind:

  • How will I help students to reach their potential?
  • How will I foster my students’ ability? What new opportunities will I create for my students in my classroom and school? At SENIA/EARCOS Norman Kunc talked about fostering a students ability by providing them with the opportunity.
  • How will I push my students ahead to their own next level of learning?
  • How will I raise awareness about disabilities and the fact that all individuals learn differently?
  • How will I move teachers to understand that fair is not always equal?
  • How will I advocate for inclusive education?

Perhaps a few of my reflections resonate with you.

All of us at SENIA would like to wish you a successful year ahead. Working together we can and will create a more inclusive world for the children and adolescents with whom we all work with and support!                   

Lori Boll, Conference & Associations Coordinator

We couldn’t be more excited to have our annual conference held at a school well-known throughout Asia for its inclusive practices; Hong Kong Academy.

At this year’s conference, we will have the opportunity to consider how we might contribute to inclusivity in our own educational context in a variety of ways. We will learn from experts in inclusion and hear from students, teachers, and parents as well.

One of the greatest benefits of any SENIA conference is the networking. If you’ve ever felt like you’re alone in your support role at your school, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet and learn from others in our region who are all at various spots on their journey of inclusion.

A comment I hear at many SENIA events is, “I’m learning a lot, but I wish my colleagues in other fields could hear this too.” Anyone is welcome to a SENIA conference. Encourage your friends or colleagues to join us.

Registration is now open, so tell a friend and sign up today!

Register Now

SENIA Student Award

The SENIA Student Award honors a student with a disability who excels. It celebrates the achievements of a child or youth with disabilities; encourages awareness of the abilities and aspirations of children/youth with disabilities; and advocates on behalf of exceptional children in Asia.

Do you know a student with a disability who excels and creates awareness/advocates for special needs in Asia? This is your opportunity to nominate a student who deserves some recognition for all they do.

Spread the word. Print the SENIA Student Award Poster.

Deadline for submission is December 1, 2018.


Nominate A Student

SENIA Advocacy Award

The  SENIA Advocacy Award aims to honor persons or institutions who advocate for people with special needs in their community in the Asian region.

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond when it comes to helping those with special needs? This is your opportunity to nominate someone who deserves some recognition for all they do for others.

Help us spread the word. Print the SENIA Advocacy Award Poster and hang it at your school or around your community.

Deadline for submission is December 1, 2018.


Tanya Farrol, Awards Coordinator

Nominate An Advocate


Are you looking for ways to help your teachers, parents, and administrators understand what learning can be like for students with learning needs and exceptionalities?

Check out “Misunderstood Minds” from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). It breaks down academic and attention concerns--what it is, what it could look like in the classroom, and what teachers can do to help. Best of all, there are “experience firsthand” activities available! Now parents, teachers, and administrators can have a better understanding of why it may be hard for children with attention concerns to listen to directions in class.

SENIA Local Chapters

Priscilla Leighton, Local Chapter Liaison

SENIA has 11 different local chapters representing

  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • The Philippines
  • Macau
  • Hong Kong
  • UAE
  • Taiwan
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Beijing
  • and Japan

Kick start your year by connecting with your local chapter.

If your country does not have a local chapter yet, please consider starting one.  

SENIB (Beijing chapter) is already planning their community event for students with special needs and parents. This fun and informational event will be hosted by Dulwich College Beijing in April 2019.

SENIA 2020: Calling for a Host School

Thank you to those schools that have hosted over the years.

Yokohama International School, The International School of Kuala Lumpur, United World College Singapore, Jakarta Intercultural School, Ruamrudee International School, ELG/Concordia International School, Brent International, & Western Academy Beijing.

Would your school like to be the next venue for SENIA in 2020?

SENIA 2020 proposal paperwork is due on December 1, 2018. 


My School is Interested

News from our SENIA Partners


The 11th Annual 21st Century Learning Conference (21CLHK) will take place on 8 & 9 March 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and registration is now open. There is an inclusion and diversity strand as well.


Our partners at NFI (Next Frontier Inclusion) have multiple opportunities for your schools to participate in important inclusive conversations.

Is your school a member of NFI? Talk with your administration about attending the next inclusive conversation. 


EARCOS has just announced their weekend workshops for 2018-2019. 

SENIA and EARCOS collaborate every three years. Our next SENIA/EARCOS conference will be in 2021.

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Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about SENIA. We can be reached at:

If you have a specific question, please direct your email to one of us.

Chairperson: Kathryn Balsamo

Awards Coordinator: Tanya Farrol

Web and Media Coordinator: Brenda Deen

Local Chapter Liasion: Priscilla Leighton

Conference and Associations Coordinator: Lori Boll

Finance Director: Uwe Maurer

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Kathryn Balsamo Chairperson


136-1 Shui Nan Road, Taichung