Firstly, I want to express my gratitude for your presence here. This creative pursuit is personal and close to my heart, as it focuses on tackling some of education’s most vital yet often overlooked issues, while serving up solutions that champion equity and inclusivity. Your curiosity and engagement on this journey mean the world to me. So, as we begin, grab your favorite mug, fill it with something that soothes your spirit, and join me on this trip. Although we may not be sitting side by side, I can sense your presence, and it brings great comfort.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with countless children, and here’s the truth: they’ve taught me invaluable lessons. Patience, comfort, and genuine care can work wonders. Children have a unique ability to humble you rather quickly, and that’s a beautiful thing. Often, adults need a reality check. The point is, children often outshine adults in terms of intelligence and joy because they are not confined to a single way of thinking or doing things, and they aren’t concerned with boosting your ego. Kids, especially when we let them be, are the brightest minds in the room, brimming with brilliant ideas and a diverse perspective on the world. Given the right tools, environments, appropriate accommodations, and a platform to explore, critique, and engage, they ignite their curiosity and the unique aspects of their genius.  

About the Founder/CEO of Sensational Inclusion

Hey, I’m Tyana, your trusty guide through this educational adventure. When I’m not navigating the ins and outs of the education world, I’m happily married to my life partner and best friend and the proud mom of two gigantic fur babies. I love my life, it is full of play, love and joy!

Before we get any further in this relationship, I have to share with you my non-negotiables. They are as follows: 

  1. Play is a human right
  2. ALL behavior is communication
  3. Joy is the essential ingredient for effective learning
  4. Providing inaccessible education is illegal
  5. Queen Beyoncé reigns supreme

 If you vibe with these principles, then I wholeheartedly welcome you to stick around. 

Now that you have some insight into who I am, let’s delve into the reasons behind my journey. Understanding the “why” often sheds light on the “who.”

A Neurodivergent Black Girl’s Educational Journey

My life has been an extraordinary journey, marked by my identity as a neurodivergent Black girl. I’ve navigated through the highs and lows, first as a student entangled in the intricate web of the educational system, and later as a teacher, sometimes unintentionally contributing to the very challenges I once faced.

Growing up as a young Black girl in a predominantly white school was undeniably challenging. It stirred a whirlwind of emotions within me, ranging from deep frustration to sheer exhaustion. There were moments when I couldn’t help but question how people perceived and treated me. I often felt like I stood out, as if there was something inherently wrong with the way my brain operated, and the color of my skin added an extra layer of complexity to my experiences.

My journey of self-discovery began in kindergarten, where I had a teacher who treated me terribly. He would constantly yell at me, telling me I wasn’t doing things correctly. I vividly remember his face turning beet red whenever I exhibited a behavior that he didn’t like (eg., laughing too loud, mixing paint, lining up my crayons). In the end, I failed kindergarten, because my teacher told my parents that I could not read. Ya’ll, it was the 90’s where kindergarten was just a land of nap time, coloring, juice boxes and counting up to 10.However, despite this, the school, where I was the only Black girl, decided that I needed to repeat kindergarten because I couldn’t read…. It’s also worth noting that my parents received this news in March, with the school deeming me “unreadable” and failure to progress to 1st grade…(Ugh I promise I will unpack this further!) There were numerous issues with this decision, but I ended up repeating kindergarten, not due to any fault of my own, but because the school failed to recognize my genius.

It wasn’t until 2nd grade that I fully realized the world would continue to view me as a problem, an inconvenience, simply because I was a Black girl. My 2nd-grade teacher told my mom that she couldn’t teach me because there was no curriculum designed for Black girls…(Yup, we are going to talk about this later too!). 

Throughout that year, it felt like she did everything in her power to avoid making eye contact with me. I felt like an outcast in her classroom. I distinctly remember a moment during recess as I often sat alone, pretending to read. She informed me that another Black girl would be joining our class the following week, and I would finally have someone to play with. My heart swelled with emotions. In truth, I wanted to confront my teacher, even resort to physical violence or shouting, but I sat there alone, wordless, wiping away my own tears. All I truly wanted was to learn, particularly how to read. I adored the book covers and the lively illustrations that adorned the pages of our classroom books. Yet, I couldn’t comprehend why reading was such a struggle for me. I genuinely yearned for someone to teach me, to care for me, and to advocate on my behalf.

After high school, where I was fortunate to encounter amazing teachers who recognized my potential and rekindled my passion for learning, I decided that I would become s teacher (Big shout-outs to Ms. Carl, Ms. Manslanka, Ms. Kristiansen, and Ms. Maher) these four women made it impossible for me to fail and held so much space for my genius to grow. 

Unmasking Education: My Journey from the Classroom to the PhD

In 2015, I proudly graduated with a degree in childhood/special education and Spanish from St. John Fisher University. The subsequent seven years were a remarkable journey as a kindergarten teacher. Working with beautiful children and their families brought me immense joy and allowed me to heal my inner child in numerous ways. However, as any educator will attest, the education industry complex is riddled with myriad issues.

During my seven years in the classroom, I found that the joy I created was self-cultivated, the accommodations I devised for students were self-developed, and the culturally responsive environment in my classroom was self-initiated and implemented. Despite schools incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion in their mission statements, there remained a profound disconnect between the stated values and their practical application.  

Overwhelmed with the issues within the field, I left my kindergarten classroom in 2019 to pursue a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum. I was convinced that by acquiring more knowledge, I could uncover solutions, do more, and advocate for change. My Ph.D. journey led me to a stark realization—our education system operates as an industrial complex, leaving little room for the assessment of power, oppression, inaccessibility, and equity. This complex adheres to a uniform, regimented, and inflexible structure.

While I acknowledge that there are exceptional community schools, private institutions (although often inaccessible), and other educational spaces doing commendable work, I choose to focus on challenging the overarching system. This system fails to provide adequate space for neurodivergent children (including my own autism diagnosis in my 30s, a story we’ll explore together), it remains unyielding to the needs of Black, Indigenous, Latinx students of color, and it neglects the brilliance of students who speak multiple languages and are learning English as a new language. Furthermore, it falls short in supporting dyslexic and autistic students, disabled students (Oh yea, we use identity-first language over here, I’ll explain later!), and more critically, it doesn’t sufficiently prioritize the voices of parents and caregivers, especially those at the margins, in conversations related to student needs. My Ph.D. equipped me with critical theory and illuminated a path toward a brighter future.

While finishing my PhD, I spent two years as the Assistant Vice-President for Education at the Strong National Museum of Play. There I gained invaluable insights. One of the key lessons was that educators and institutions continue to grapple with making education and experiences truly inclusive, equitable, and accessible. Engaging in countless discussions, I realized that inclusion and equity remain pervasive issues that organizations, non-profits, schools and those sitting in the C-Suite continue to develop haphazard solutions or ignore DEIJ issues altogether. More importantly, this work ends up falling on the shoulders of those who are impacted by rampant inequity and the maintenance of the status quo. We have got to be better people…

Championing Inclusivity: The Birth of Sensational Inclusion

This realization prompted me to embark on a new path. I wanted to create something reflective of my vision of inclusivity in education, firmly rooted in addressing the gaps where I once felt unsupported, unseen, or unheard. And…DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!! Sensational Inclusion emerged as the solution, positioning accessibility and inclusivity at the core of professional development for educators, K-12 curriculum design, educational consulting, tutoring support, and as a comprehensive resource center for parents, caregivers, and our community to better support all children.

Sensational Inclusion’s mission encapsulates our commitment to: “Empower Equitable Educational Ecosystems.” Our commitment is to revolutionize educational landscapes by championing equitable educational ecosystems. We specialize in providing professional learning for educators, offering extensive support to school districts, and optimizing curricula to ensure every student’s innate genius and potential are fully realized. Our approach is rooted in creating sensational learning experiences where education transcends being a mere encounter and becomes a celebration of the inherent genius residing within all children.

Our dedication extends to creating sensory-rich, inclusive environments tailored to diverse learning needs. We empower educators and caregivers, elevate curriculum standards, and celebrate the unique abilities of each child. Our ultimate goal is to nurture and cultivate every student’s genius within a supportive community, fostering a lifelong journey of learning and discovery.

Embracing a Future of Love, Learning, and Radical Change

As we come to the close of this inaugural blog, I want you to know that you’re not just a visitor here; you’re a cherished member of our ever-growing family. Your presence, curiosity, and commitment to change mean more than words can express.

Our journey ahead is filled with love, audacious dreams, and a radical commitment to making the education world a better place. Together, we’re not just challenging the norms; we’re flipping the script, tearing down barriers, and championing inclusivity, equity, and accessibility with all our hearts.

Let’s celebrate the extraordinary potential within each and every child, and let’s do it together. Our dedication extends to crafting sensory-rich, inclusive environments tailored to diverse learning needs, nurturing every student’s genius, and embarking on a lifelong journey of exploration and growth.

Thank you, from the depths of our hearts, for embarking on this remarkable adventure with us. Here’s to a future where education radiates love, empowers all, and welcomes everyone with open arms.

To learn more about Sensational Inclusion, connect with us on Instagram: @sensational_inclusion or visit our website at If you’re interested in a tour of our office or wish to explore partnership opportunities, please reach out to us at

I eagerly anticipate embarking on this journey together. If you have suggestions for blog topics or would like to delve deeper into Sensational Inclusion and potential partnerships, please don’t hesitate to reach out to