Down Syndrome Queensland (DSQ) has released a new information video entitled, “What is Inclusion?”. Produced in collaboration with students from the Griffith Film School and Pullenvale State School, the four minute clip showcases the difference between integration, perceived inclusion and true inclusion in a classroom environment.
The need for such a video became apparent after school visits, a service DSQ offers to support teaching staff, identified mixed understanding in the education community as to what inclusion looks like, feels like and is.
DSQ Education Consultant Lynsey Kennedy-Wood said, “A lot of schools feel that by having a child with a disability inside the classroom walls that this counts as inclusion. However, this is a long way from the truth.”
DSQ believes that in order to have a truly inclusive educational experience students need to be engaged in the age-appropriate curriculum with the same content as their peers.
Ms Kennedy-Wood added, “Most importantly this video illustrates that inclusion is a mindset, a cultural shift where students are welcomed into a classroom not because it is the ‘right thing to do’ but because it is their human right and because they can and will learn with their age-appropriate peers.”
Students may require adaptations and modifications to complete the same activities as their peers, but these need not be noticeable and/or require the student to be removed or assigned a specific teacher aide.
Research shows that using peer mentoring, peer tutoring, mixed ability grouping and even same ability grouping with the classroom teacher is more beneficial than anything else.
View the video below and for more information and resources from Down Syndrome Educational support, visit https://www.downsyndromeqld.org.au/education-support-1