Working Towards Successful Inclusive Education Practices
Since 1991, AQEIPS has been advocating for equal opportunities in education for post-secondary students with disabilities (SWD). The promotion of the Social Model of Disability and of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guides our efforts towards building a truly inclusive society. A society in which the cycle of poverty and isolation can be broken by ensuring that SWD have access to the same level of education as students without disabilities do. We organize many activities and collaborate on research projects to support collective advocacy for SWD. We also manage a yearly scholarships program.
For these reasons, AQEIPS believes it is vital that sufficient financial, human, and material resources be allocated to ensure the success of inclusive education, a model which has proven to be effective in other Canadian provinces and other countries. Several international treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Canada in 2010, consider that equal opportunities in education for persons with disabilities are a priority.
We must work together to achieve successful inclusive education practices.
To advocate for equal opportunities in post-secondary education for all SWD.
Since AQEIPS’s creation, the promotion of rights and advocacy (including the right to information) as well as requests for action related to increasing needs, have taken a greater importance. There is an urgent need for social, political, and economic changes. For example:
- Changes to the student financial aid programs restricting categories for students considered as having major functional disabilities.
- Advocate for the rights and interests of post-secondary SWD with a cross-disability approach.
- Promote the inclusion of students with visible and invisible disabilities in public and private post-secondary institutions.
- Encourage co-operation among post-secondary SWD.
- Disseminate information to its members on all aspects of the experiences of post-secondary SWD.
- Inform and increase awareness among the population, educational institutions, and governments on the experience and needs of these students.
- Promote the creation of associations of SWD in each public and private post-secondary academic institution.
- Promote the hiring of students and graduates with disabilities on the labour market.
AQEIPS endorses the principles set in the Modèle explicatif des causes et conséquences des maladies, traumatismes et autres troubles. This model was presented by the International Network on the Disability Creation Process (INDCP) also known under the name Quebec Committee on the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (Quebec Committee on the ICIDH). The model shows that a large majority of disability-related situations that people with disabilities face have a lot more to do with environmental barriers than with individual personal characteristics. The model applies the principles endorsed by AQEIPS:
- Access to higher education is a right for everyone and SWD must exercise this right without any restrictions.
- SWD have the right to accessibility services in their environment and learning institutions must be ready to welcome them and meet their needs.