Inclusive education means that all students learn together in classrooms that support different learning styles, abilities and experiences. Many children who have disabilities are still placed in segregated “special” programs. We know that when we create special places for special people, away from their peers, people are less likely to reach their potential, to build relationships and find a place of belonging.
Are you wondering if your child’s school is inclusive? Download this free guide so you can grade schools on their inclusion, identify areas for advocacy and work on what would make the most impact for students who have disabilities.
Inclusion depends on teamwork. Parents, educators, paraprofessionals and consultants work together to support student success.
Sometimes, parents or educators might find that they need to advocate for inclusion in a system that is resistant to change. In some areas, inclusive education might be a radical shift from the way that students who have disabilities are currently educated.
Universal design for learning is an approach that supports inclusion. Instead of modifying lessons to accommodate students, teachers create lessons that allow students with different strengths and challenges to engage with the curriculum together.
Watch this excellent video by BC educator, Shelley Moore on universally designed lesson plans.
There are two important aspects to advocating for inclusion.
In this video, Andy Willemsen explains how parents can gain and use their knowledge to advocate for inclusion in schools.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are used in Ontario to determine the goals, supports and accommodations for a student who has a disability. Once an IEP is in place a school is required to follow it.
You can access a free video series on inclusive IEPs here.
The Good Things In Life for Kids with Disabilities Podcast has dozens of podcast episodes to help you become knowledgeable and empowered to advocate for inclusive education. Listen to inclusive education podcast episodes below.
Or visit the website for a full list of podcast episodes on supporting kids who have disabilities to build a positive and inclusive life at home, at school and in the community.
You can connect with other parents and educators who are advocating for inclusion by contacting your local Community Living, Integration Action for Inclusion, or join Inclusion Academy for access to inclusive education courses, resources and a community dedicated to inclusion.