Is it enough to have a child with learning challenges in the classroom for that room to have the label of an inclusive class? What needs to happen in order for the distinction of inclusion to be applied to that class?
Successful authentic inclusion is measured by one’s level of appropriate participation. It is not being tolerated! It is not enough to simply be present in the classroom.
Successful authentic inclusion is about being a VALUED member of the community who is treated fairly and respectfully and has equal access to opportunities and resources.
Successful authentic inclusion secures opportunities to learn incidentally and contribute fully to the group’s success.
IT REQUIRES PLANNING AND DESIGNING of individualized accommodations and allowing for modifications.
The opposite of inclusion is not just exclusion it is APATHY.
INCLUSION IS NOT JUST PLACEMENT IN A REGULAR EDUCATION CLASS. BEING INCLUDED:
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Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children and a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant. She has assisted in developing thousands of IEPs nationally and consults on developing appropriately individualized IEPs that are outcome-based vs legally sufficient. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work and expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny, and she always inspires and informs.
MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher She has been honored with the recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate who teaches professional advocates, educators, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.
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