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Thursday, January 26, 2012

More On Inclusion

A follow up to my post Inclusion vs Segregation.

The following video A Vision For Abby is from the Possibilities video series. The videos "focus on the lives and accomplishments of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. ...Each video shows the myriad possibilities and options that all people have as they grow up, become independent, and pursue their life's dreams and goals." There are 4 videos, including one with a young girl with Down syndrome just starting out in school.

Meet Abby, a 21-yr old adult with Down syndrome and is an assistant in a preschool classroom. She was never placed in a special-education curriculum, and graduated in 2009.

Then there is this article, Inclusion: The Right Thing For All Students. It is written by Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Ph.D., a member of the affiliate faculty with the National Center on Inclusive Education at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.

(Words in bold are my own highlights) "The largest study of educational outcomes of 11,000 students with disabilities, the National Longitudinal Transition Study, showed that when students with disabilities spent more time in a general education classroom they were more likely to score higher on standardized tests of reading and math; have fewer absences from school; experience fewer referrals for disruptive behavior; and achieve more positive post-school outcomes such as a paying job, not living in segregated housing, and with having a broad and supportive social network. These results were true regardless of students’ disability, severity of disability, gender or socioeconomic status.

Furthermore, as the recent WNYC story states, the achievement of students without disabilities is not compromised by the presence of students with disabilities in their classrooms. Some studies even show that implementing inclusion on a school wide basis improves achievement for all students.

And just as important as academic outcomes are the attitudes and values that all students learn when they are educated together."

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Tooner said...

They said the same thing to me. I'm a person with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair. When I was in school they told me that I wouldn't be able to go to university (I went for 2 years. I proved them wrong. It sounds like Abby has a good time at the Preschool. I think she is a valuable part of society.

Kathleen said...

What a great video...says it all :) Inclusion is so important. In NE they included the kids as much as possible. Some went to spec ed classes for part of the day, others had an aid assist them in the regular classroom. Here is SD - the schools are just low standard all the way around... Sad to say. I know your daughter will do very well in school... Keeping you all in prayer :)

Cindy said...

Great video. To be honest it was hard for me to watch. Beth doesn't function as well as Abby. I sometimes wonder if education played a bigger role than Chuck and I first thought.

When Beth was in preschool she was so different than she is today. She was bright, intelligent, and had a lot of friends. When we moved to another state we found the school system was far behind the schools we had just left. If I had a chance to do it all again, I would definitely do it differently.

Abby is a great inspiration!

Laura said...

You've made me think hard about complete inclusion. Our county doesn't offer complete inclusion but a unit in a regular school. I'm hoping there will be more options by the time Ben goes to school.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I loved that video. I know that inclusion isn't for every person or every disability, but being open to possibilities is what is important in the education system.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this video! I'm reading back through your blog and so glad I found this! :) My husband and I are in the process of adopting two girls from Eastern Europe, who both have down syndrome. Emilie is 1 and Abigail is 5. We know our girls can be world changers someday - just like your Kayla already is, and Abby already is!! Your blog is such an encouragement to this future-mama's heart! (The girls we are adopting will be our first children) Thank you!!!

Emilie & Abigail's Mama-to-be!