Inclusive Education – Bringing Diversity Together
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From the Editor’s Desk
Everyone at Every Age Should Be Able to Find Their Place at School
Every child is unique. Each child must learn to live with their strengths and challenges. As adults, we each have our own reality to deal with. Despite this, we should all feel comfortable and safe in our environment, have the chance to express ourselves, and feel we matter to others. Aren’t these essential before being ready to learn?
What if we created an environment that would allow everyone to be themselves? Without categorizing differences. Without always trying to meet each need individually. What if it were possible to welcome every difference and every need so that they could live together?
Whether a student or school staff identifies with sexual diversity, a learning disability, intellectual giftedness, a visible minority, a disability, several diversities at once or even no diversity at all, everyone should be able to realize their potential in every educational environment, without barriers and discrimination. This is the idea at the heart of inclusive education. There are many tools to achieve this: universal pedagogical practices, the use of accessible digital resources, the reorganization of specialized services, training and professional development, etc.
With this issue, we would like to offer you some key strategies to better understand the links between accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI). Yes, we are adding the A to the usual trio! Discover practices that foster the inclusion of all diversities and reflect on small, simple actions you can take that can potentially transform the daily lives of others for the better!
A special thanks to Marc Tremblay, our Accessibility Consultant, who accompanied the team at every step of preparing this issue. He is a teacher in digital accessibility at the Cégep de Jonquière and editor-in-chief of aidestechnos.com. As an expert of ADEI, his advice was invaluable in helping us to take ownership of this important subject.
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
– Verna Myers, Vice President, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix
Martine Rioux, Managing Editor
Audrey Miller, Editor-in-Chief
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SUMMARY OF THIS ISSUE
- Diversity and Coexistence Towards More Inclusive Practices and Technologies at School and in Society - This article highlights the importance of inclusive practices in education, particularly in relation to diversity and equity. It explores the challenges of catering to individual needs and the potential for discrimination, while offering insights into evolving research and practice that promote a coexisting community for all
- Why and How to Implement a School Accessibility Plan - Learn how an Accessibility Plan can improve inclusive education in the classroom by identifying and reducing physical and digital barriers. This article discusses the purpose, relevance, usefulness, and essential content of an Accessibility Plan for schools.
- How to Include Sexual and Gender Diversity in School - This article explores strategies for promoting inclusion and addressing sexual and gender diversity in the classroom, from understanding key concepts to adopting inclusive practices and codes of conduct. Resources and tools are also provided.
- Inclusive Language and Writing: A Quickstart Guide - Teaching inclusivity and creating educational environments devoid of exclusive or derogatory language is more important than ever before to enable students to feel safe and respected. Inclusive language and writing are also critical factors in empowering students to challenge bias and focus on acceptance. EngagED Learning has put together this quickstart guide to inclusive writing and language for teachers of any grade level.
- Engaging Students Through Choice - Discover how providing students with choices through the use of choice boards can improve their motivation and accountability, while at the same time empowering them as learners, as part of the Universal Design for Learning framework.
- Inclusivity Practices Supporting Collaboration Between Schools and Immigrant Families - This article explores the challenges faced by immigrant students and the importance of school-family collaboration for their educational success. It presents stories of practice from school actors to document their tacit knowledge in this area.
- How Technology Contributes to Inclusion - Discover how technology can be harnessed to inspire and engage students, with accessibility features such as voice-to-text and screen reading, and creative tools like coding and video production. Through the author's personal journey as a teacher, this article explores real examples of how technology can be used to bring out the best in students.
- Showcasing Diversity and Inclusion at the English Montreal School Board - Discover how the English Montreal School Board promotes diversity and inclusion through their programming, creating a welcoming learning environment for students of all backgrounds and identities.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Competency Framework for Students - Read about Classcraft's new diversity, equity, and inclusion competency framework for students. The grade-specific framework includes observable indicators to develop DEI skills and create a more inclusive school community.
- Focusing on the Effectiveness of Professional Development to Support Student Progress - Discover how engaging in effective professional development can positively impact students' academic success, especially those with special needs. Learn about the five principles of effectiveness for maximizing professional development's positive impact and how to personalize the process for your specific needs.