Everyday Arts for Special Education

Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE) is a professional development program designed to improve student achievement in the areas of communication, socialization, academic learning and arts proficiency through arts-integration strategies. Through a series of training workshops and extensive in-school co-teaching support, participating teachers strengthen their skills and knowledge on fostering social-emotional learning skills, developing game-based and engaging curriculum, differentiation, and culturally responsive and inclusive practices.

EASE serves students with a diverse range of moderate to severe disabilities and IEPs. Since its inception in 2010, EASE serves over 50,000 students, 1,700 educators and partners closely with underserved schools in New York City and Los Angeles. EASE also provides specialized training and support to education professionals through summer institutes, webinars, and school-based residencies.

The EASE methodology was first made possible through a partnership with District 75 (the largest special education district in the US, housed in NYC) and a Professional Development for Arts Educators grant from the US Department of Education (2008-2011) in support of EASE’s pilot incarnation for students with autism: Communication and Socialization Through the Arts(“CASTA”) . Following this funding cycle, the curriculum expanded to serve the needs of students with a broader range of disabilities and was renamed Everyday Arts for Special Education.

The US Department of Education recognized the significant impact of the program in NYC’s District 75 schools and awarded EASE a $4.6 million dollar Investing in Innovation (i3) Award matched with a $500,000 contribution from National Philanthropic Trust from 2010 through 2015. During this time frame, EASE received several contracts through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Very Special Arts division to provide professional development and school-based coaching sessions throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2012 through 2015. Following the culmination of the i3 iteration, EASE continues to provide programming to NYC’s District 75 and the LAUSD from 2015 through 2019, made possible by another PDAE grant with a focus on incorporating technology for both student and teacher learning.

“EASE has become an integral part of my teaching---EVERYDAY. The EASE activities are easy to modify and adapt according to my students' individual needs. EASE definitely encourages our students to develop their talents to the highest level!”

Elementary School Special Ed Teacher, Bronx, NYCDOE

Professional Development

EASE provides professional development workshops and in-school coaching in for educators working with elementary and middle school students with diverse learning and behavioral needs throughout our partnerships with the New York City Department of Education and the Los Angeles Unified School District. EASE also provides summer institutes and specialized district workshops for education networks in need of academic and behavioral support for educators working with students with special needs in self-contained or inclusion settings.
EASE targets key areas for academic success including communication and socialization skills, following directions, time on task, engagement, and arts proficiency. Click here for our impressive student and teacher outcomes (link back to the data on the landing page if possible!)
EASE supports the LAUSD with the provision of inclusive educational practices to strengthen educators’ understanding of a successful integration of special ed and general ed students in and outside of the classroom. Our methodology and curriculum fosters responsive, inclusive, and engaging teaching practices for all populations.

Meet The Team


Lindsay Tanner

Program Manager

Stefanie Singer

Program Director

Jennifer Raine

Curriculum Designer