Natural Supports

Contact Us!

Colleen Kurkowski Moss
Natural Supports Project Coordinator
Waisman Center, A107
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Phone: (608) 890-1687
Fax: (608) 265-3441


Welcome! Here we’ll be posting resources and presentations, and links to practical strategies you can use to support students.

new iconFostering Self-Determination
Fostering Self-Determination Among Children and Youth with Disabilities - Ideas from Parents for Parents

new iconCommunity Conversations
Launching Inclusive Efforts Through Community Conversations: A practical guide for families, services providers, and communities

new iconYouth Employment
On the job: Stories from youth with disabilities - pdf document

Community Conversation Resources

Here are some resources you can use to plan and host your own community conversation. More to come this fall!


Promoting Inclusion and Relationships for Students With Significant Disabilities - handouts pdf

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The above articles were first printed in TASH Connections. Connections is a quarterly publication of TASH (, an international grassroots leader in advancing inclusive communities through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1975, TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with the most significant disabilities and support needs -- those most vulnerable to segregation and institutionalization. The inclusive practices TASH promotes have been proven through research to improve outcomes for all people.

Research Briefs


Tip Sheets


Shared Activities (PDF) - Participation in shared activities is one of the building blocks for creating natural supports. School is one setting in which students with and without disabilities have the opportunity to engage in shared activities, whether it is in the classroom or in extracurricular activities. Use this activity to determine if shared activities are occurring in your school.

Valued Roles(PDF) - It is important that we are all given the opportunity to have a valued role in an activity and in life and see that we all have something of value to offer. Youth and adults may differ on their opinion of what is a valued role. Come up with roles that are important for your activity and write them down on cards.

Work Plans
Here, you can find a blank work plan (PDF) that you can use to further your project goals. You can also look at an example of a completed work plan (PDF) to help give you ideas for your own project.