‘Not just a nice idea’: The importance of inclusion in and beyond the classroom

Everyone has a role to play in inclusive education. Pat Anstey, the Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living, believes including students of all learning abilities in one classroom can have a lasting effect on how people with disabilities are perceived. “When students go into the same classroom with their peers, they develop this sense of everyone being able to be included,” said Anstey. “Inclusive education creates a community where it’s not just an inclusive school, but it is the inclusive province.”Anstey says many students flourish when they are given a chance in an inclusive environment and cited a student who graduated high school and is now a contributing member of the community. “There are so many different things that people could achieve if we give them the chance to do so,” said Anstey.

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