Inclusive education in Canada: a
piece in the equality puzzle
This chapter argues that at the same time that the struggle for inclusive education has been going on in Canada, there has been an active opposition to it. It outlines a number of the arguments that have been raised against inclusion and postulates that, more than arguments against inclusive education, these are arguments against human rights and equality. Analysing the implications of backlash generally provides a framework within which the author analyses education as an equality issue. The chapter concludes with international examples of education inclusion that counter the backlash trend.
For many years, families, self-advocates, equality rights workers, educators and thousands of concerned individuals in Canada and indeed around the world have devoted themselves to the struggle for inclusive education. The allies have been found in many places - in courts, in classrooms, in Faculties of Education, in Human Rights or civil rights commissions, in employment equity initiatives, in government departments, in churches, synagogues and mosques, in specialized agencies of the United Nations (such as UNESCO) and in community development projects.
At the same time this has been happening, there have been some disquieting trends - there is, as there has always been, an active opposition to inclusive education. But that opposition now has an undertone that suggests that it is not so much about education as it is about an opposition to human rights and equality.
There are some indicators that suggest that children with disabilities are