Advocating for inclusion can take many forms, especially in education systems where they are needed most.
In an article titled, “Inclusion is happening when we don’t even notice it” in BC Parent magazine, our Life Without Limits gala speaker Cindy Frostad discusses how to create a school environment where children with disabilities aren’t left behind.
Cindy Frostad, a parent and advocate, says accessing and navigating supports for your school-aged child involves being informed and aware of their rights and entitlements, and achieving a collaborative team-based approach to services.
When fighting for the rights of my child, I learned to apologize, and I learned to control my knee-jerk reactions. We’re all part of humanity and have human frailty. I couldn’t be more passionate about the idea of education for all. I’m avoiding the word inclusion because inclusion is happening when we don’t even notice it. If we have to use the word ‘inclusive education’, then it’s not happening.”
Cindy’s tips for advocating within the education system include:
- Choosing your battles
- Using open-ended and non-judgmental questions such as, “how can we make this happen?”
- Being specific about your child’s needs
- Being gracious and acknowledging effort, and
- Offering suggestions for learning and collaboration
You are part of a team,” she says. “Your son or daughter is the reason why everybody’s there.”
A Disability Awareness Presentation from the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC can help to remove the stigma of disability and open up discussion.
Forge a way through the education system and let providers know the most effective ways of teaching your child.