Lizabeth and Sabrina: A Story of Inclusion
Liz Swantack isn’t your typical mom, and her daughter Sabrina isn’t your typical teenager. What stands out about both of them isn’t their intelligence, their passion, or the way either one can light up a room, but rather the way they each work tirelessly to improve the lives of people with special needs.
Unlike some of the physicians and people around her, Liz and her husband Mike took Sabrina’s Down syndrome diagnosis as a chance to show people what could be done, rather than as an excuse to accept what couldn’t or shouldn’t be possible. Never using the condition or the challenges they faced as an excuse, Liz has supported Sabrina every step of the way, while encouraging her to pursue things that were supposedly ‘off limits’ to children with Down syndrome.
Her journey to becoming an advocate for inclusion based education began by collaborating with Anthony Wayne school district, to promote inclusion based education for all special needs students in the district. Liz, along with the teachers and administrators of Anthony Wayne, were able to see the power and influence that being included in traditional educational programs has had on her daughter and the dozens of students that have benefited from the creative inclusion ideas.
Anthony Wayne has since been recognized for being an outstanding school system for children with special needs, particularly Down syndrome, and Liz continues to work hand in hand with the district to promote inclusion education for special needs students. Liz has since set out to help other young people struggling with disabilities and special needs get the education, support and nurturing that they need to be successful. By working in conjunction with school systems, teachers and parents, she has helped students across Northwest Ohio get access to inclusion based education.
CEO: Lizabeth J Swantack
Registered Nurse for 30 years
CCRN and TNCC Certified
Specializes in Pediatric/Special needs post-op care
Bachelor of Arts degree 1992
Married for 25 years with 3 wonderful children – 2 in college and 1 teenager and a grown step-daughter. Her amazing teenage daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth, but hasn’t let it keep her from achieving anything in life thus far.
Active member in the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo
Active planner and presenter in the First Steps Baby Group geared toward educating new Down syndrome families
Volunteer Coordinator for community members to become interactive with special needs individuals
Consistent collaboration with area school systems to promote and implement more inclusive educational environments
Former Girl Scout Leader (2004-2016)
Current Vice- President of Business Development for Stark Industries
Volunteer Special Needs Coordinator with Anthony Wayne School District
Member of National Down Syndrome Congress
Member of Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo
Personal 1:1 consultation regarding unique inclusion strategies
Creative inclusion ideas based on individual needs
Conflict management/resolution solutions
Directional assistance in the educational process
Review of the ETR document
Review of the IEP document
Attendance at IEP meetings as needed
Referral database for other needed services i.e. doctors, lawyers and therapists