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Be Inclusive: A Week in the Life of PEAK

Be Inclusive: A Week in the Life of PEAK

Meet Barbara Buswell. Co-Founder of PEAK Parent Center and Executive Director across the past 30 years! 

“Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.” - Desmond Tutu

Barb's History

When Barb’s middle son was born in 1979 with significant physical challenges, she and her family struggled to find positive information and support. She and her husband felt overwhelmed and isolated. But, they loved their son and they were hungry to learn how to build a bright future for their family.

While Barb and her husband found few answers, they did find other families - lots of them - asking similar questions. When they found information, they shared it. Barbara realized that the information they were learning could help other families, so they started a parent support group in Colorado Springs, CO for any family who had a child with a disability. And, from this support group, along with another parent leader, PEAK Parent Center was born!

Barb holds an unwavering belief that ALL children can learn and have the right to participate in their school and community.

Some of Barb’s Favorite Things: 

  • Knitting
  • Traveling (especially to Japan)
  • Reading
  • Big dogs
  • Spending time with her family

What you can find Barb doing at PEAK on a typical day (to name a just a few things)?

  • Working with PEAK’s parent driven Board of Directors.
  • Making sure PEAK’s vision to serve all children with disabilities across the entire State of Colorado is being met by working with key program staff and ensure programmatic excellence.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Providing technical assistance to Parent Centers in Region 5 and nationally.
  • Community outreach and engaging with Colorado’s diverse population.
  • Collaborating with community partner agencies.
  • Ensuring PEAK has the resources needed to continue helping families and youth, and continue to keep most of PEAK’s services free to families and youth.

PEAK is well known in Colorado and the nation for its leadership in creating inclusive schools andGraphic that quotes the ruling in Oberti v Board of Ed Inclusion is a right, not a special privilege communities. The reason?

Because of Barb Buswell’s vision for and steadfast commitment to ensuring that people with all types of disabilities are fully included in their neighborhood schools, their communities, and in all walks of life.

How can you get involved with PEAK Parent Center?

Be Inclusive: From a play date, to school, general education classrooms, and the workplace, everyone can be included. We all have something to add. Inclusion of everyone in our society and honoring an individual’s right to make their own choices is more than a disability issue - it is a civil rights issue. Speak up for equality, respect, and inclusion for all.

Check Out what Doug Fisher had to say about Barb at PEAK's 2016 Conference on Inclusive Education!