Ability and Opportunity in the Rearview Mirror: Two Insider perspectives on Inclusive Education
The last three decades have seen a huge proliferation of information and research on strategies that can be used to successfully support disabled children in regular classrooms. Most of these strategies, however, have come from educators and other non-disabled people, leaving the perspectives of disabled students either unnoticed or ignored.
In this provocative workshop, filled with humour and personal anecdotes Norman Kunc and Emma Van der Klift will draw on their experience as two adults with different disabilities who experienced the school system in different ways and with different degrees of success. They will argue that there is an ongoing confusion about the relationship between ability and opportunity that we must grapple with in order to ensure that inclusive education truly lives up to its promise.
Hell-bent on helping: Friendship, Benevolence, and the Politics of Help
Many of us have created friendship circles and buddy systems in an attempt to help students with disabilities feel more included in their neighbourhood schools. In spite of genuine efforts and admirable intent, these supports have often perpetuated traditional attitudes of charity and benevolence. In this presentation, Norman Kunc and Emma Van der Klift examine the issues of friendship, help, respect, and benevolence. They suggest how teachers can support a student with a disability in their class without turning him/her into the “poster child” of the school. Talk to me: What Educators Can Learn about De-escalation from Hostage Negotiators”
New Students; New Questions: Supporting the Classroom Teacher in an Inclusive School
As an increasing number of students with disabilities are being included into regular classes, there is growing consensus among teachers about what supports need to be in place for inclusion to be manageable and successful. Based on personal experience and the input of classroom teachers throughout North America, Emma Van der Kliftand Norman Kunc examine five areas of support which need to be present if teachers are to welcome students with disabilities into their classrooms:
- Collaborative Planning
- Shared Agreement on Goals and Expectations
- Classroom and School-Based Supports
- Classroom Assistants
This session also addresses the question of fair and appropriate evaluation and briefly describes some ideas for supporting students with atypical or disruptive behaviour.
Born with cerebral palsy, Norman attended a segregated school for children with physical disabilities; then, at the age 13, argued his way into a regular school and went on to complete a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy.
Recently diagnosed as Autistic, Emma has embraced the diagnosis with a sense of relief, recognition and confirmation. She is certified in both mediation and negotiation and holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Management.