Inclusive education is promoted internationally as the most effective way of educating all children. Concurring with this, parents increasingly seek out inclusive schooling for their child with disability, rather than placement in a special segregated facility. There is, nonetheless, enormous diversity between countries and regions in the form that this takes, depending upon local policies, contexts and government and school commitment to an inclusive approach. Listening to the voices of parents and self-advocates from different regions about their personal experiences when endeavouring to access an inclusive schooling option can provide greater clarity about the process and how easy it is for families to take this route. The following stories are told by four parents from different countries and one self-advocate about their journey to access an inclusive education for a child with a disability.
An enormous thank you to all the parents , Sarah and Yanna who gave time to share their journeys. The openness and honesty with which they reviewed their experiences and were prepared to discuss the challenges and successes, provided an incredible insight into what inclusive education really means in practice and how important it is for families and educators to realize this. Most importantly, the role that social inclusion as a conduit to ensure a child and their family feel they belong to a school was an insight only obtainable from these storytellers.
Forlin, C., Scorgie, K., Strikwerda, H., Walker, J., Donnelly, M., Jane, S. and Aragon, A.B. (2019), "‘He seemed a little lost soul’: Family Insights into the Reality of Realizing Inclusive Education for a Child with a Disability", Promoting Social Inclusion (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 93-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-363620190000013008
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