‘Disabled kids: The next civil rights movement?’

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"Writing on Business Week’s Working Parents blog, Anne Newman features Dan Habib’s documentary Including Samuel. Newman is an old friend of Habib’s and also has a child with disabilities who is being fully included at school. She says inclusion has helped her child advance, but acknowledges that there are still many more difficulties to be resolved, like behavior problems and bridging the social gaps between students. Is disability a civil rights issue, she asks?

An excerpt of dialogue from the film’s preview (above):

Betsy McNamara, Samuel’s mother: Now that I’m so close to a person with a disability, I can’t believe that I was so blind to what people with disabilities in our community, in our counry, in the world, deal with every day. There was this huge civil rights issue, this huge amount of prejudice going on, and I never noticed it before.

Joe Petner, principal of the school Samuel attends: I see the work of inclusion as probably the last frontier of desegregation. If you read the brief from Brown vs. The Board of Ed (landmark U.S. desegregation case in 1954), the board of education argued that if we let blacks be integrated, that the next thing you know is that we’ll be letting people with disabilities be integrated.

Teacher in an inclusive classroom: I have cried many times about this year. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want another year like this year."

Earlier post: Including Samuel: An intimate view of full inclusion

From: ‘Disabled kids: The next civil rights movement?’ May 20th, 2008 Patricia E Bauer

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