Making Room for Inclusion

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for mainstreamed classes (also known as inclusion). I attended classes with my peers who didn’t have disabilities. We learned the same curriculum and participated in many activities together.

It was as much of a learning experience for me as it was for my classmates. My friends often asked about living with a disability and what it’s like to be in a wheelchair. I showed them that I could do many of the things they could do, but from a wheelchair. Despite our differences, we enjoyed spending time together. 

My inclusion process wouldn’t be possible without the support of my parents, teachers and aides who helped me throughout the day to take notes and assist with other physically-demanding tasks. They were there when I needed help, but, also, encouraged me to become independent. As a result of being mainstreamed, I’ve become a productive citizen in society.

I had the opportunity to watch the documentary “Including Samuel.” It’s about a young boy with Cerebral palsy who attends mainstreamed classes in his elementary school. His parents are proponents of inclusion in the education system.

The documentary showed other students with varying disabilities who went through the inclusion process. In certain cases, inclusion was helpful; however, it may not be the best alternative for all students with disabilities.

As a nation, we just celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who wanted equality for everyone. Many people consider inclusion to be an important civil rights issue. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to determine if inclusion is the best option for them.

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About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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6 Responses to Making Room for Inclusion

  1. I’ll watch this trailer. My God child has CP & is in High School in Moncks Corner. He has been mainstreamed all his life & is doing Great. On a weekend I shared my wonderful converted van & the needs to obtain one. He sat in many converted vans at the Open House we visited & he’s excited to have his very own. He really loves mine… Thanks for sharing. I’ll provide the trailer to him as well. It will mean so very much.

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  2. Well said, Mr Jackson! Good to see you “included” at the symposium last weekend!-)

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  3. alisontsmith says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences, Alex. I look forward to reading your blogs!

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  4. cindimay says:

    We need more voices like your Alex.

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  5. Katrinda McQueen says:

    Awesome introduction to a world and a perspective that too many of us ignore. Inlcusion is a challenge to each of us to ensure that we are encouraging , enabling, and inviting diversity of all kinds into our personal communities. Thanks Alex!

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