Best Practices for Inclusion PISP District Partner Meeting October 2013 What is Inclusive Education? British Columbia promotes an inclusive education system in which students with special needs are fully participating members of a community of learners. Inclusion describes the principle that all students are entitled to equitable access to learning, achievement and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their educational programs. The practice of inclusion is not necessarily synonymous with full integration in regular classrooms, and goes beyond placement to include meaningful participation and the promotion of interaction with others. BC Ministry of Education Policy Site A Guiding Quote from a Famous Thinker Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein Philosophical Orientation The philosophical orientation we bring to this meeting is grounded in striving to provide an education for students that will result in an enhanced quality of life now and in the future This philosophy has been articulated by John O’Brien as the foundation for designing inclusive educational programs Quality of Life Indicators Five broad indicators are suggested as the foundation for designing inclusive educational programs to achieve Quality of Life outcomes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Community Presence Choice Competence Respect Inclusion Adapted from O’Brien, J. (2005) 1. Community Presence • The sharing of ordinary places that define community life • Without intentionality to this goal students are at risk of being separated from everyday settings by “special” activities, and different schedules • Presence increases both the number of ordinary places students know and the number of people who know them Community Presence 2. Choice • The experience of autonomy in small everyday matters (e.g. what activity to choose) and in large matters that define your life (e.g. with whom you live) • Without intentionality students will be passive and without voice • Valued activities increase the variety and significance of the choices students will make Choice 3. Competence • • • The opportunity to perform functional and meaningful activities with whatever level of support is required Without intentionality students will be deprived of the expectations and opportunities that lead to the development of greater competence Valued activities provide the opportunity to build competence and the opportunity to be seen as a competent individual Competence 4. Respect • Having a valued place with others and a valued role in community life • Without intentionality a student’s access to valued roles will limit opportunities to be seen and valued as an individual • Valued activities challenge stereotypes Respect 5. Inclusion • The experience of being involved in networks of personal relationships that include close friends • Without intentionality students are at risk of being restricted to close family and paid supports • Inclusion provides opportunities to develop variety in relationships Inclusion Inclusion A Closing Quote from Shakespeare The accumulation of supporting experiences of various forms eventually leads individuals to feel securely that they are capable and competent people and that they can be confident in knowing that there are significant others who believe in them, who love them and who can be counted on in a crisis. Having this social network empowers people to live more effectively and, indeed, more healthily and for longer. Tom Shakespeare (2006) It is important that these values be modeled by everyone in the student’s life so that others will come to hold them as well All students benefit from inclusive education. It allows them to develop individual strengths and gifts, with high and appropriate expectations for each child. Work on individual goals while participating in the life of the classroom with other students their own age Involve parents in their education and in the activities of their local schools. Foster a school culture of respect and belonging. Inclusive education provides opportunities to learn about and accept individual differences. Develop friendships with a wide variety of other children, each with their own individual needs and abilities. Positively affect both their school and community to appreciate diversity and inclusion on a broad level Three Approaches that hold Promise for Facilitating Inclusion • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) • Differentiated Instruction • Assistive Technology Universal Design for Learning The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), a leader in the field of universal design states that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a new paradigm for teaching, learning and assessment, drawing on new brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual learner differences. http://www.cast.org/ "The central practical premise of UDL is that a curriculum should include alternatives to make it accessible and appropriate for individuals with different backgrounds, learning styles, abilities, and disabilities in widely varied learning contexts”. “The ‘universal’ in universal design does not imply one optimal solution for everyone. Rather, it reflects an awareness of the unique nature of each learner and the need to accommodate differences, creating learning experiences that suit the learner and maximize his or her ability to progress." CAST Benefits of a UDL Approach • allows students to demonstrate strengths, knowledge, skills, and independence, • merges the processes of instruction and assessment, • encourages the student to engage in learning that is meaningful and appropriate, and • provides multiple opportunities for measuring significant progress. Online Learning Tools Tools are available online at the CAST website such as “UDL Book Builder” and “Science Writer” facilitate development of learning materials to address a variety of student needs (e.g. text to speech, animated helpers) and tutorials on developing UDL materials. Differentiated Instruction "Differentiation suggests it is feasible to develop classrooms where realities of student variance can be addressed along with curricular realities. The idea is compelling. It challenges us to draw on our best knowledge of teaching and learning. It suggests that there is room for both equity and excellence in our classrooms.” Carol-Ann Tomlinson Online Learning Resources Appropriate curriculum modifications are essential to the inclusion process. Online Learning Modules are available on the PISP website http://www.pisp.ca and the BC CASE website http://www.bccase.org/learning.shtml to assist teachers differentiate instruction, retrofit, and design learning materials using UDL principles. Assistive Technology Assistive technology whether low or higher tech can be key to facilitating a student’s active participation and inclusion A trend we will probably see over the next few years will be to move away from dedicated assistive technologies to more generic devices. Advances in generic technology hold a great deal of promise for users with severe disabilities to access technologies used by their peers Local Assistive Technology Resources SET-BC http://www.setbc.org/ CanAssist http://www.canassist.ca/ PISP http://www.pisp.ca In summary A philosophical orientation based on an intentional commitment to Quality of Life outcomes for students with severe disabilities in combination with Universal Design approaches, differentiated instruction and advances in technology are necessary to facilitate best practice in inclusive education. A Slide Show Presentation Developed by Terry Wendorf showing examples of PISP students in inclusive and integrated settings.