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Sep 15

Inclusion: An Enshrined Human Right


This short video is a part of a project supported by Down syndrome organisations around the world, as well as other inclusive education groups. It’s less than three minutes long, and is beautifully produced.
Inclusion in education (and the rest of life!) is close to my heart, and this short video spells out why.
I understand why people choose segregated education settings, sometimes mainstream settings are simply not well supported, without specialist staff, large loud classrooms, poor resources, or teacher training, or the will to learn. But the best way for us to move forward as a society, is to *start* with inclusion.
Here’s what the website says: 

A Fully Inclusive Learning Environment
A system in which every student, regardless of disability or difference, is welcomed and supported in regular classrooms and where all students learn together and reach their full potential – academically, socially and emotionally. A place that respects and values diversity and prepares all students to be members of the rich communities in which they will work and live. That is the world of school to which all students, including students with Down syndrome and other disabilities, are entitled, as they prepare to be part of the world beyond it. 

When children are included from the start, they are given the best opportunity to develop mutual respect and understanding and the skills they need to live together in today’s diverse communities. 

But around the world, many children with Down syndrome and other disabilities continue to be excluded from regular classrooms, denied access to an inclusive education and diverted into an alternate separate “special” life-path with life-long consequences. 

Many countries still deny or limit the right of students with Down syndrome and other disabilities to be educated in regular classrooms. Or they allow students with disabilities to attend mainstream schools, but do not provide appropriate staff training, educational resources, curriculum adjustments and supports to genuinely welcome and accommodate them in regular classrooms. Even in Italy, which closed its separate “special” schools in the 1970s, the strong regulatory framework is not enough to guarantee an inclusive education for students with Down syndrome and other disabilities. 

Inclusive education is a fundamental human right of every child and it is backed by over 40 years of research evidence that overwhelmingly establishes better academic and social outcomes in general education school classrooms compared to separate “special” classrooms. 

It’s time to remove the barriers to inclusive education, challenge long-standing misconceptions about the potential of students with Down syndrome to thrive in inclusive classrooms and build a world – starting with the introductory and formative world to life – our schools – that responds to the diverse needs of all children and welcomes and includes every child for the individual that they are.” 

copyright The Growing Space 2018 

March 23 2018