On May 25, 2014, Inclusive Education Canada Director Dr. Gordon Porter and Gérald Richard, the Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Education, New Brunswick received the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Gordon and Gérald received the 2013 prize after being nominated by Inclusion International for consideration of the award.
The biannual prize, which was established in 2002, rewards two individuals, organizations, or centres for their efforts towards advocating equal access and quality to education for individuals with learning and developmental disabilities. Bridge of Hope, an Armenian NGO, was the second recipient of the 2013 prize.
The New Brunswick program, ‘A model for inclusion in New Brunswick’s public education system’ represents the province’s long term commitment to providing inclusive education programmes for those with intellectual disabilities. Gordon is an advocate for “more concerted efforts between the governments and the civil society organizations to foster the talents of disabled persons [by providing] them with quality education on equal footing with normal persons.”
The program sets the standard for mentoring and professional learning for inclusive education as well as a public education system that has been used as an example for other countries working towards promoting inclusive education for individuals with learning disabilities.