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This website promotes the Canadian vision for inclusive education. It is a meeting place for parents, family members, teachers, education officials and community members who are committed to making inclusive education a reality in our communities.

Inclusive Education Canada (IEC) provides leadership to parents, families, teachers, principals, and other stakeholders in the education system.

We maintain a network of associates who provide advice and act as a resource for training and consulting activities. Participation in the network is flexible and able to accommodate various needs and requirements as they appear.

IEC also provides information on policy and principles of inclusion, which includes – classroom practice; school strategies; support strategies for students; support strategies for teachers; leadership; managing change for inclusion; parent and family issues; instruction and pedagogy; teacher training; and more.

Inclusive Education Canada was officially launched as an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by Inclusion Canada (formerly the Canadian Association for Community Living) during National Inclusive Education Week in February 2009.

Our Vision

All people with intellectual disabilities are fully included with their peers in regular education, with appropriate supports from early childhood to post-secondary and adult life-long learning.

Benchmarks for Achievement

  • Effective inclusive practices are the norm in classrooms, schools and post-secondary education systems across the country.
  • Education policy and programming promotes and supports inclusive education.
  • Broad public support exists for inclusive education as an essential aspect of a quality education for all children.

Why Inclusive Education?

Schools are mirrors of our communities and must be rich and robust places of opportunity where we learn together.

Research shows that all students learn better in inclusive classrooms. An inclusive education system teaches students the benefits of diversity, cooperation, and consideration of others whereas separate programs create barriers to opportunities for children to learn from, support, and develop relationships with one another.

Canada has made significant progress in making schools inclusive in the last few decades. Indeed, our country is seen as one of the most advanced in the world. However, the progress has not been uniform and many parts of the country remain entrenched in the traditional models of special education. Sadly, thousands of children with intellectual disabilities face discrimination and segregation in schools every day. They are unable to participate in a common learning environment with their siblings and peers. Their schools and classrooms have not been structured or supported to make inclusion a reality.

In Canada:

  • Fewer than 50% of children with intellectual disabilities are in fully inclusive school settings.
  • Children with an intellectual disability are four times more likely than other children with disabilities to be attending special education schools (16% vs. 4%).
  • Approximately 30% of children with an intellectual disability had to leave their community school or neighbourhood school in order to receive an education.
  • Of the more than 1,300 Ontario elementary and secondary school principals surveyed – between 40 and 50% had at times asked parents to keep their children with disabilities at home.

Segregated, special classrooms, limited access to teams and lowered expectations are just some of the ways that children with intellectual disabilities are excluded in Canadian schools. We can do better. Working together we can make Canadian schools inclusive.