Carolyn Duhamel, President of the CEA and the Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of School Trustees reviewed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities for those attending the forum. Although Canada has signed the convention, it has yet to be ratified and adopted by Canada and its provinces and territories.
Carolyn also spoke about the concept of disability. That it is not a medical condition but a result of interaction between social attitudes and barriers with the condition of a particular person. As a result, the term “disability” is not restrictive. It includes long-term and short term physical, mental, intellectual and sensory disabilities.
The UN Convention specifically addresses inclusive education and promotes a number of key concepts including:
* Inclusion at all levels
* Dignity and self-worth
* Access on an equal basis
* Reasonable accommodation
* Effective individualized support measures