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No Excuses

Over 70% of parents, whose children with intellectual disabilities are in regular classrooms, report that their children are doing average or better:

Inclusive education is better for all children. Children learn what they experience.

inclusive education settings enable children without disabilities to learn about diversity as well as respecting and valuing all people.

When children with disabilities learn alongside their peers, they are more likely to: continue in education, get a job, and be included and valued in their communities.

No Excuses

Nearly 70% of adults with intellectual disabilities have less than a high school education.

Only 15.5% have participated in any kind of post-secondary education.

22.5% of children with intellectual disabilities have had to leave their community to attend school.

Two-thirds of school-aged children with intellectual disabilities are segregated in special classes or schools some all of the time, or are not attending school at all.

Parents reported that regardless of placement, the overall level of interaction with other children is less than satisfactory.

While more and more teachers value inclusive education, they report that adequate in-class supports, preparation time, and teacher training are lacking.

30% of children and youth are segregated in special classes or schools as their only educational placement.

The more you know, the more likely you are to join us in our cause.

To find out more about inclusive education see Inclusive Education Canada

To find out more about helping people with intellectual disabilities to live fuller lives visit

A Declaration for Inclusive Education in Canada

Inclusive Education

  • fosters a culture of respect and belonging in our schools and communities for all students, including students with intellectual disabilities;
  • provides the opportunity to learn about and accept social and cultural diversity;
  • provides quality education for every student to enhance individual development and personal growth;
  • results in students with intellectual and other disabilities having a much greater chance of improved health status, being involved in their communities, completing high school and going onto post-secondary education, getting a job and having a decent income.

How do we define "inclusive education"?

When ALL students attend and are welcomed into their neighbourhood schools in age appropriate regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute to and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. As well, all students are challenged to meet their unique intellectual, social, physical and career development goals.  

How are we doing in Canada in 2009?

  • We are doing well in many communities and in many schools and classrooms.
  • We have seen parents, teachers, school leaders, school district managers and senior education officials work together to change attitudes, policies, practices, programs and strategies to make inclusive education a success.
  • We have research, experience and stories from students, parents and teachers about the positive benefits and outcomes of inclusive education.

However …

  • In far too many communities, school districts and schools, progress toward inclusion has been limited;
  • Special classes for students with special needs remain in place, and in many instances they are the only option available;
  • And indeed, in some jurisdictions, segregated schools remain operational.
  • To state it simply, despite the progress we have made and despite educational policy to support inclusion, approaches to implementation are inconsistent and vary considerably from region to region and school to school.

What is needed?

  • Leadership for inclusive education at all levels from the Ministry of Education to the school district/board, to the individual school;
  • Teacher education programs that prepare teachers for diversity, inclusion and quality education for every student;
  • Partnerships between parents, educators and other stakeholders and engagement to assure high quality inclusive education;
  • Support structures and strategies for schools and classrooms that can assure the highest degree of success for teachers and students;
  • Engagement with the community at-large to communicate the positive benefits of inclusive education for everyone.


GIVEN our commitment to a Canada that respects, honors and includes all citizens; 

SUPPORTED by more than twenty-five years of successful experience with inclusive education by thousands of students in Canada and abroad; 

RECOGNIZING, in particular, that a right to inclusive education is now embedded in international law in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

We Resolve and Commit Ourselves to individually and collectively work together to assure quality inclusive public education in Canada; 

We Further Resolve to work diligently with partners and stakeholders to advance this effort; and … 

We call on Elected Political Leaders in Provincial/Territorial Governments, Ministers of Education, school trustees and the officials who work with them to:

  • Commit to inclusive education for all students
  • Engage with us as partners in bringing about change
  • Establish the policies and programs needed to make inclusive education a reality for all students

Finally, We Resolve to accept … "No Excuses" … as we move forward to achieve our vision and goal of inclusive education. 


Join our campaign for inclusive education. Add your name to our "No Excuses" declaration

Download and print the campaign poster here and here