Donnie Welch (he/him/his) is a poet and educator who has worked with students with intellectual, developmental, and multiple disabilities since 2014. He began work as a teaching assistant at the Kennedy Day School in Brighton, MA before moving to New York City and starting at the Rebecca School where he developed an individualized creative writing curriculum for students there over the course of three years. Along with his education work, Welch is a published poet and children’s author. When not teaching or writing, he can most likely be found hiking in Inwood Hill Park, the Hudson Valley, or along the Appalachian Trail.
Recently, Donnie presented a poetry workshop for Inclusion Festival ONLINE. This led him to further develop a relationship with Accessible Festivals, and to embark on a new project with the support of our fiscal sponsorship program, which allows others to carry out projects that further Accessible Festival’s mission to make recreation and leisure accessible to all abilities.
Donnie’s web series Let’s Write About… provides a free, accessible show for children ages two to ten of all abilities and their families. Inspired by the shows Donnie grew up on like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Gullah Gullah Island, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Pappyland, Let’s Write About… teaches poetry through fun, craft-based activities. The show explores complex, social-emotional topics and inspires inquiry-based learning through song, simple set design, and activities that are readily adaptable for kids of all abilities to be successful at home as independent learners.
The show takes a born accessible approach to media, meaning accessibility is an integral part of production. Because inclusion and accessibility benefit everyone, each episode is mindfully presented with American Sign language, captions, visual descriptions, visuals of key concepts and ideas, downloadable episode transcripts, and more.
Pulling from Donnie’s work as a teaching artist, each episode also has multi-sensory writing prompts and uses rhythm and movement as an entryway to literacy. Let’s Write About… is aligned with English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum standards so educators can choose to include the program in virtual and hybrid learning settings.
To learn more about the program, visit the Let’s Write About… Current Projects page on our website, where you’ll find clickable links to the most recent episodes, pitch deck, Donnie’s website, and more.