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Resolution on Inclusive Education Passed at BCACL Annual General Meeting

Summary: 
In light of the recently ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, delegates at the BCACL Annual General Meeting passed a resolution to ensure that all students are guaranteed access to an inclusive education.

Resolution #4 (from the BCACL Board of Directors)

Whereas, research clearly indicates that the inclusion of students with developmental disabilities leads to better overall health, quality of life, and expanded opportunities in adult life; and

Whereas, school districts are facing fiscal restraints often forcing cuts to services and supports for students with special needs thereby threatening the inclusion of students with special needs; and

Whereas, families who have children with developmental disabilities are increasingly choosing segregated settings where enhanced levels of support are available at a high cost both financially and socially;

Whereas, Canada has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and that this document may be used as a tool to guide our efforts to build an inclusive and accessible Canada.

Be it resolved that the BCACL will take the necessary actions to ensure that all students are guaranteed access to an inclusive, quality, and appropriately funded public education in the communities in which they live.

Supporting Statement:

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by the Canadian Government on March 11, 2010. Article 24 pertains to Education and articulates the conditions needed to make the right to education a reality. The Article begins with:

1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed to:

a. The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;

b. The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;

c. Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.

2. In realizing this right States Parties shall ensure that:

a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;

b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;

c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual's requirements is provided;

d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;

e) Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion. The article includes a list of the appropriate measures needed to be taken by government including the facilitation of alternative methods of communication supports as well as training for teachers to support persons with disabilities.

Impact Statement:

This work can be implemented by the BCACL in conjunction with members of the BCACL Inclusive Education Committee as detailed in the Advocacy Framework as it relates to Inclusive Education.