Picture of 3 dancers, holding hands

Dance of Partnership

"More than ever, professionals and parents of children with disabilities are being asked to work in partnership."

Janice Fialka -- Bio
Publications
Workshops/Trainings
Micah's Writings
Emma's Writings
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Janice Fialka Janice Fialka, LMSW, ACSW is a nationally-recognized lecturer, author, and advocate on issues related to disability, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, raising a child with disabilities, sibling issues, and post-secondary education. She is also a parent, poet, a compelling storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for families and persons with disabilities.

A sought-after presenter, Janice has provided the keynote address and workshops at numerous renowned national, state, and local conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Janice also conducts workshops for schools, human service organizations, and parent and advocacy groups.

Twenty years ago, Janice established herself as a major contributor to the national conversation about parent-professional partnerships through her highly-regarded writings, keynote, and workshops titled, The Dance of Partnership: Why do my feet hurt? She reflects with sensitivity, humor, and compassion on the challenges facing parents and professionals as they seek to build successful working relationships on behalf of children with disabilities. Janice speaks and writes from both her unique vantage point as the mother of Micah, her adult son with an intellectual disability and as an experienced social worker of 40 years. Her writings are published widely in textbooks, journals, and family and professional publications. Janiceís trainings and writings are empowering, deeply engaging, and always practical.


Put on your dancing shoes and explore!
About Janice Fialka
Meet Janice and learn about her philosophy and how she creatively uses the dance metaphor to empower others to discover their courage to dream.

Bio >>
Workshops & Trainings
Janice presents workshops on numerous topics. Learn more about her trainings on parent professional partnerships. Contact her for your next event.

Workshops & Trainings >>
Publications & DVDs
Explore Janice's publications, books, poetry, and her award-winning DVD, co-produced with her husband Rich Feldman, Through the Same Door: Inclusion Includes College.

Publications >>

 

Janice's Newest Publication

Book

Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children With Disabilities: A Dance That Matters
By Janice M. Fialka, Arlene K. Feldman and Karen C. Mikus
Foreword by Ann P. Turnbull

Nominated for the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers!

Written from both the parentís and the professionalís points-of-view, this book is rich with stories, examples, and practical suggestions. Using dance as a metaphor, the authors provide a developmental approach to understanding and forging positive adult relationships while showing concrete ways to advocate for and with children.

Read what people are saying about the book.

To order the book, visit Publications.

"Rarely does a book hold such promise for promoting genuine partnerships between professionals and families of children with disabilities. The real-life passages, from the authors, seasoned parents and experienced professionals infuse this work with practical approaches and unparalleled authenticity."

—Susan Addison, Special Educator, Retired, Chattanooga, TN

"Using understandable, jargon-free language, the authors help professionals and parents understand each othersí viewpoints. I highly recommend his book for novice and veteran parents and professionals."

—Stephanie Smith Lee, Former Director, Office of Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

 

Poems by Janice:

From Puddles to Pride:
A motherís poems about her son, his disability, and her familyís transformation


Listen to Janice read two of her poems accompanied by original piano music and stunning photos.

Puddles to Pride: Marching at the First Disability Pride Parade

Advice to Professionals Who Must "Conference Cases"

 

What people say about Janice:

"She speaks with passion, wisdom, and heart. She is easily capable of moving you to tears, with her personal stories, while providing precious pearls of wisdom for parents and professionals."

--Joseph Manary, Counselor, Alpena, Michigan

 

"Janice, you were the star of Marylandís State Department of Education's Annual Conference! Our thanks goes to you for bringing your message to families and professionals in such a compassionate, humorous, and personal way. You moved an entire room of people to tears, and good tears, for it was through your story that we all made personal realizations necessary for transforming our work as partners."

--Valerie Von Behren, Maryland State Department of Education

More references

 

Family Photo