There is “no excuse” for segregated education on the basis of disability, says Professor Sue Buckley when she addressed the World Down Syndrome Congress, held in Glasgow, Scotland, in July 2018.
“There’s no excuse. An inclusive education model is best for all children, so we all need to fight for that change,” she said. “Segregation on the basis of disability is not acceptable in terms of human rights, social identity, social learning, education or developmental outcomes.”
The emeritus professor at the University of Portsmouth in the UK said that “children learn from other children” and that there should be full inclusion right from the start, so that in a classroom, children with Down syndrome and other disabilities feel they belong and don’t feel like a visitor.
“Development isn’t fixed at birth, however many chromosomes you have. The brain’s ready to do all sorts of wonderful things, but what it will actually do, and what the child will learn, will depend on the learning environment around them, and their opportunities to learn.”
Professor Buckley has been called a “pioneer” in the field of Down syndrome. In 2016 she received an award from the US-based National Down Syndrome Congress, “for improving the lives of children with Down syndrome by developing innovative research-based education techniques
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