Inclusion Matters

Written by Dr. Betty Patten

Inclusion refers to the practice of including individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life, including education, employment, and community activities. This means that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities and access to resources as their non-disabled peers.

In the context of education, inclusion means that students with disabilities are educated alongside their non-disabled peers in regular classrooms and have access to the same curriculum and instruction. This is in contrast to the traditional model of special education, where students with disabilities were often separated from their non-disabled peers and received specialized instruction in separate classrooms or schools.

Inclusion promotes a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and social skills among students with disabilities, providing them with opportunities to learn from and interact with their peers. It also helps to promote understanding and acceptance of diversity among all students.

Inclusion is not only about physical presence, but it also involves creating an inclusive culture, where everyone is valued and respected, accommodations and support are provided to ensure equal participation and where everyone has a sense of belonging.

It's important to note that inclusion is not a one-size-fits-all approach and it needs to be tailored to the individual's needs, it also requires the collaboration of different stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and support staff to be successful.

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