No Excuses

These three commercials make a strong case for full inclusion. From their perspective, there are no excuses for educating students with intellectual disabilities in a separate classroom. From the Canadian Association for Community Living.

Over 70% of parents, whose children with intellectual disabilities are in regular classrooms, report that their children are doing average or better:

Inclusive education is better for all children. Children learn what they experience.

Inclusive education settings enable children without disabilities to learn about diversity as well as respecting and valuing all people.

When children with disabilities learn alongside their peers, they are more likely to: continue in education, get a job, and be included and valued in their communities.

– See more at: http://www.cacl.ca/action/campaigns/no-excuses

Authentic Inclusion

Above all, we have maintained that authentic inclusion gives students with disabilities the best chance at living, working, and playing in their community. That is why we applaud commercials like these that take a strong stance. We understand that not everyone agrees.

At the same time, something critical to highlight is that some families don’t want their children educated in the general education. As inclusion advocates, we should listen to the concerns of families and not berate those that have made a different choice.

For some families, full inclusion is simply not an option. Families who have had challenging experiences with a school district’s inclusion model will often move to another area (sometimes a different state) to find the program that is best for their child. Unfortunately, families who move do it at considerable expense.

When we are thinking inclusively, our goal is for inclusion to be first and foremost in our own context.

Editor’s note: We updated this post to reflect a more nuanced view of inclusive education. Some readers felt confused by the hard line that the title of this post took regarding inclusion. Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback. We always hope to model what inclusive thinking is in our publishing.

Do you think it is ever a good idea to teach students with intellectual disabilities in separate classrooms? Tell us about it in the comments section below!