All kids together in the regular classroom

What does it mean to be included?

Inclusion is a word that is often misrepresented and therefore can be confusing. Family Advocacy believe people with disability should have the same opportunities that other Australians enjoy and expect. Their involvement in community should be genuine, and their roles authentic and valued. When it comes to education we believe that your child has the right to an inclusive school community where they will experience the same opportunities as their peers, with their peers.

Read Family Advocacy’s inclusive education statement which details what features are needed in an inclusive school within an inclusive education system.

What is inclusive education?

Inclusive education is an approach that seeks to address the learning needs of all children, youth and adults with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalisation and exclusion.

The principle of inclusive education was adopted at the Salamanca World Conference (UNESCO 1994) where inclusive education was viewed as a human rights issue and as a means of bringing about personal development and building relationships among individuals, groups and nations.

This was stated clearly in Article 2:

Regular schools with an inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discrimination,creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all

What inclusive education is and what it is not

  • Inclusive education is not about students with disabilities 'keeping up' with the academic level of the class. Students should have opportunities to be successful and to have their achievements recognised and celebrated.
  • It is not about students needing to be independent as a condition of entry or to have skills to 'survive'.
  • It is not about trying to make a disability invisible or pretending the students with disabilities are able to do exactly the same as everyone else.
  • It is about being with everyone else though.
  • It is about everyone being able to work on their own goals in a way which blends into a lesson.
  • It is about working in naturally supportive, flexible structures and groupings with other students.
  • It is about having many opportunities to be immersed in a socially rich and communication-rich environment.
  • It is about everyone, regardless of level or type of disability, being part of a community and being known and valued. 

What families are sharing with us about their inclusive education experience

Taking Action on Education – All students learning together - this booklet aims to assist families in a practical way with their advocacy efforts when talking to schools and the community on the importance of their child having an inclusive education. It could also be a resource for schools and the broader community such as medical professionals, social workers and therapists. You can order a free copy to be posted to you by visiting the resource library or emailing us with your name, address and amount of copies you would like.

Inky Ed Blog - Inclusive education nothing just is!
A family blog about their inclusive education experience. The blog shares some useful information, breaks down much of the ‘guff’ around all things disability and share tricks and tips to make everyone’s life easier.

Inclusive education leads to an inclusive adult life - watch Al's story:

The video clips below are of families who talk about what inclusion means for them and how keeping informed is important to the process.



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