Every day 40,000 children spend most or all of their day outside the traditional classroom in Ontario.
The reason – their intellectual ability.
February is Inclusive Education Month in Canada. Western University’s Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education is raising awareness about how inclusive schools help provide quality education to students with an intellectual disability. Based in Western’s Faculty of Education, researchers at the Centre are also stressing that more work needs to be done to ensure inclusion takes place in the school system.
“Disability is the last bastion of human rights that we need to ensure,” says Western Education professor Jacqueline Specht, who serves as the Director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education. “Inclusion is about getting kids what they need in the regular classroom. If they’re not getting what they need, it’s not inclusion.”
As part of raising awareness, the Faculty and Centre are hosting a film screening of Intelligent Lives on Wednesday, February 13 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The film stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college and the workforce.
After the screening, Specht will lead a Q&A session about how teachers and school administrators can enhance inclusion in schools.
“When developing inclusive schools, it has to be done properly,” says Specht. “As other stakeholders have pointed out, inclusion is easy to do poorly. When it’s done poorly, we reinforce the belief that it cannot work. However, inclusion works when done properly. The research supports that.”
Intelligent Lives was directed by documentary filmmaker Dan Habib. Nominated for Emmy Awards in 2010 and 2013, Habib has been featured by ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘The Washington Post’ and ‘Exceptional Parent Magazine.’
Media are invited to attend the event and interviews are available before and after the screening.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 13 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Faculty of Education, Room 1139 (1137 Western Road), Western University
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org, @jeffrenaud99
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