There are two fundamental ideas I hold dear about education: 1) every student deserves to be fully included with his/her peers as much as possible as a basic civil right, and 2) when this is done properly and well, every student in the classroom benefits socially as well as academically.
I owe much of the credit for my current views on this subject to the work of Dr. Elise Frattura and Michael McSheehan, as well as Douglas Biklen’s 1992(!) book “Schooling Without Labels”.
I have collected a list of 30 videos that speak to some aspect of this challenge. Some are about inclusion in the classroom, some in extra-curriculars. Some are about inclusion at the elementary level, some in high school, some beyond high school. Some are about the civil rights aspect, some are about the academic benefits to all.
I have a “typical” six-year-old, and a four-year-old who has been diagnosed with Autism. I am hopeful that they are going to school at a time when they will never have to be separated from any of their peers on the basis of whether or not they have a disability. Any school that recommends a separate facility for my kids is not the right school for them.
If you are not already a believer in full inclusion for all, I hope you will be by the time you watch these videos.