Ontario Coalition for Inclusive Education
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Statement of Principles-Ontario Coalition for Inclusive Eductation

Composition

The Ontario Coalition for Inclusive Education is comprised of organizations that are committed to supporting individuals who have a disability, their families, friends and advocates.

The primary focus of the Coalition is the achievement of quality education in the province of Ontario.

Each member organization is entitled to send representatives to meetings, with one representative named as “official representative” and entitled to vote and another representative named as “alternative representative” and entitled to vote when the “official representative’ is not present.

Organizations wishing to join the Coalition are asked to make a request in writing to the Chair of the Coalition and to have its authorized representative sign the Coalition’s approved document stating that the organization understands and agrees with the Understanding of Inclusive Education and Statement of Principles. The Coalition will review such organizations in advance of an invitation to join.

The Coalition must speak out publicly against segregation at every possible opportunity.

Understanding of Inclusive Education

The Coalition is committed to achieving quality education for all students and believes a quality education must be an inclusive education.

The Coalition believes in the importance of an inclusive learning environment for all students, where:

  • Education occurs in schools where the student would normally attend if s/he did not have a disability;
  • Education occurs in age-appropriate regular education classes where all students are full and welcomed members of the class;
  • Education of the student is under the direct responsibility of regular education teachers;
  • Education includes the provision of support and accommodation as determined by an individualized planning process that includes the meaningful participation of people who love the student;
  • Education ensures that all students participate in co-curricular and extra- curricular activities;
  • Education is provided through a curriculum having high standards and expectations relevant to students’ needs and abilities;
  • Education leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge which will support a meaningful and productive adult life within the community;
  • Education is driven by policies, programs, and practices which are equitable for all students; and
  • Principals have the responsibility to develop an inclusive school culture where all students and personnel are valued.

Statement of Principles

The Coalition believes that all students share equal value and status and have the right to the highest quality education.

Quality education does not result from segregated classrooms or programs.

Exclusion from the regular classroom because of disability or learning difficulty is devaluation and is discrimination.

  • The Coalition supports the following principles:
  • A quality education is an inclusive education.
  • All students can learn and develop.
  • Every student has unique qualities, interests, abilities, and learning needs.
  • All students have the right to an education that will prepare them to live and participate in the real world.
  • Segregated education contributes to further, life-long segregation.
  • Labels hurt people and do not determine the educational needs of students.
  • Education systems should be designed and education programs implemented to take into account the wide diversity and needs of students.
  • All students benefit form collaboration and cooperation among their home, their school and their community.
  • Inclusive education benefits all students and helps build stronger communities, which are based on acceptance and equity.

Revised January 2003

Appendix A

The members of the Coalition are:

  • Brampton Caledon Community Living
  • Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Down Syndrome Association of Ontario
  • Early Childhood Resource Teacher Network of Ontario
  • Family Alliance Ontario
  • Integration Action Group
  • Millennium Inclusion for the Developmentally Challenged
  • Ontario Association for Community Living
  • People First Ontario
  • Youth Involvement Ontario

 

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