Updated: Jul 7
I don’t know which side of the fence you are on regarding inclusive education. And for all intents and purposes…it does not matter. This post could just as easily have been called, No…Really…I’m Not Crazy…Inclusive Education Works! Usually, when I talk to people who are not familiar with the idea of having students with disabilities (including significant disabilities) in the general education setting, they say they are having a hard time “wrapping their head around it” or want to see “what it actually looks like.” So…just for those of you who need to see it to believe it, I have picked out five videos that will most definitely change your mind about whether inclusive education is really a good thing or not (or at least they should).
Including Issac is a 13-minute video about a boy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and his story of inclusion in a private Christian school in Michigan. It takes commitment from a school on all levels to make inclusive education work for students with significant disabilities and this a clear example of how coming together for the benefit of one student can benefit all students. Watch this beautifully filmed and powerful video.
Damian’s Inclusion Project
This video was made by the Georgia Department of Education (2011) to highlight a pilot inclusive education program for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in cooperation with Cobb County Schools. Check out the follow-up video to see how Damian progressed through his 4th-grade year (from 2014).
Thasya Lumingkewas, 8, has autism and thrives at Maple Wood Elementary School in Somersworth, NH. The school has implemented Response to Intervention (RtI), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This film highlights the power of presuming competence, differentiated instruction and augmentative and alternative communication.
Tana Vogele’s Story
Every year since Kindergarten, Tana Vogele has been included in general education classrooms despite her significant physical and intellectual disabilities. Watch this compelling video about the friendships that have been nurtured during her 4th grade year and what inclusion does to a classroom and school community.
This short film (16:39) focuses on Axel Cortes and the staff at Idelhurst Elementary School in Somersworth, NH. Axel is a fifth grader with autism who is non-verbal and exhibited significant behavioral challenges when he arrived at school. Axel came to Idelhurst during his 5th grade year from another school where he was exclusively in self-contained settings and was being taught preschool/ki