Inclusive education: the key to teaching kids that disabilities are a natural part of life

Dan Habib shares his experience raising his son, Samuel, who has cerebral palsy, in order to address the need for inclusive education in schools. According to Habib, “50% of kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities spend their entire day segregated in special education classrooms.” This is despite the fact that statistically, kids with disabilities who participate in inclusive schools have better communication skills, higher academic achievement, wider social networks, and fewer behavior problems. According to research, inclusive classrooms are beneficial for kids without disabilities as well. Habib’s core message is a simple one: it is essential that we teach our kids, both with disabilities and without, that disabilities are a normal part of life.

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.