At BDACI we value inclusive education. Meaning we want to see people with an intellectual or developmental disability fully included with their peers in regular education, with appropriate support from early childhood through to post-secondary and adult life-long learning. We also know that learning doesn’t only take place in school classrooms. This is why BDACI supports people in every phase of their learning journey including school-age learning; learning while in transition; and lifelong learning. (See more about what we mean by those terms here.)
Every day is an opportunity to learn more about something or to learn something completely new. There are many kinds of ways to learn and we can learn things throughout our whole and entire lives. Learning can take place not only in schools but also in our homes, in workplaces or companies, in churches or local faith groups, in community centres, even in a park on a nice summer day. The possibilities for lifelong learning are endless.
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60% of children and youth with intellectual disabilities are denied the right to inclusive quality education, resulting in negative impacts on quality of life, health status, income and employment outcomes.
Research in Canada and around the world shows us that all students learn better in inclusive classrooms. An inclusive education system teaches students the benefits of diversity, cooperation, and consideration of others, whereas separate programs create barriers to opportunities for children to learn from, support, and develop relationships with one another.
Canada has made significant progress in making schools inclusive in the last few decades – in fact, our country is seen globally as one of the most advanced in this effort. However, the progress has not been uniform and many parts of the country remain entrenched in the traditional models of special education. Thousands of children with an intellectual disability face discrimination and segregation in schools every day, unable to participate in the common learning environment with their siblings and peers. Their schools and classrooms have not been structured or supported to make inclusion a reality for them.
Segregated, special classrooms, limited access to teams, and lowered expectations are just some of the ways that children with an intellectual disability are excluded in Canadian schools. We can do better.
Remember: The BDACI facilitation team is here to help you plan the life you want. Our facilitators are here to explore and review the questions below with you. There is support available and you don’t have to do this alone. Connect with us at email@example.com or call 613-345-4092.