The Inclusive Schools Network has declared this week to be Inclusive Schools Week, celebrating “progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students, and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.”
Inclusion is on the syllabus, from preschool to higher education. In inclusive schools, students with disabilities have the opportunity to learn with their peers and, perhaps most importantly, their fellow students and their parents learn the value of including everyone in society. Inclusion runs the gamut from accessible playgrounds for children with disabilities to college programs that include students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s about providing technology, services, and supports so everyone can learn together.
We’ve gathered together a sample of research and resources from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere on inclusive education:
Inclusion should start early. How can families and early childhood professionals provide quality, inclusive early childhood education for young children with and without disabilities? This issue of Impact (PDF) from the NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and the Institute for Community Integration has some answers.
Impact also looked at supporting the social well-being of students with disabilities and ways to foster inclusion for students with autism and emotional and behavioral disorders.
Think College: College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities has publications, videos, and events focused on higher education for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Among their resources you’ll find a database of college programs for student with ID, self-paced courses for students and disability specialists, and Rethinking College, a documentary about students with ID and their college experiences. Many of the materials were produced under a 2008-2011 NIDILRR grant.
Parents with disabilities should also be part of the inclusion equation. The NIDILRR-funded Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families at Through the Looking Glass published Parents with disabilities and their children: Promoting inclusion and awareness in the classroom. A guide for classroom teachers grades 1-6 (PDF) to help teachers bring parents into their child’s school.
More recent research from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere on inclusion from grade school to college and onward is available from our collection. If you’re interested in items from our collection, or if we can assist you in your literature search, please call our information specialists at 800/346-2742!