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Voices of Inclusion

by Vianne Timmons and S Anthony Thompson

This research study from the University of Regina examines the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in educational and employment settings in Saskatchewan. While the Canadian education system has, in recent decades, shifted away from placing children with differing abilities in segregated rooms/schools to placing them into the classroom and including children of all abilities meaningfully as part of the school culture, there is still much work to be done. Individuals with disabilities are still often not meaningfully included in typical classroom settings or having difficulties securing employment once their formal education is complete. Effective inclusion involves a certain degree of flexibility in teaching and learning that allows for improved educational and employment outcomes for all individuals. Researchers have identified many perceived obstacles to authentic inclusion, including a lack of understanding of disability and differentiation, and a lack of time, resources and preparation to accommodate a diverse array of needs. Also important is looking at factors that enable successful employment and education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In an attempt to do this, the Voices of Inclusion project has turned to Saskatchewan teachers, students, parents, assistants, employers and employees to help identify the enabling practices that support authentic inclusion.

Full study available for download below.