I really enjoyed reading this article, the beginning required a bit of rereading, but the topics discussed were really eye opening, and the stories incorporated in it made the situations Kliewer researched come to life and be even more effective. This particular article was especially important to me because this relates directly to my major. It is important to incorporate people of all abilities into the classroom, and use all different methods to target the way that they learn best. I especially found the examples from Shayne's classroom to affect me the most, and I love how they created a school that has a main goal of inclusion.
A main topic in this article was about democracy in the classroom. An important quote was "democracy can only be achieved when not one person's voice is deterministically silenced". A phrase used to describe schools in a derogatory and discriminatory way was as "cultural sorting machines". This method is detrimental to society and discriminatory. his article also aims to end was is was once historically and culturally valued (SWAAMP). Especially what is viewed as able-bodied. It also bothered me when they categorized all children with down syndrome as being "happy". Every child is different, and I like how Shayne spoke about how each has a different personality and way of communicating. Kliemer's article spoke about not only the importance of inclusion in the classroom to better education, but also to prepare them for real life in communities.
Spread the word to end the word campaign has a goal to eliminate the R-Word, and as Johnson would say, just say the words! They aim to eliminate the word retard(ed) from everyday vocabulary. They are having people pledge through twitter, through sending a text message, through writing it on their website, or doing it as a school. This word has the ability to hurt, categorize, stereotype, and it is overall just offensive and derogatory. I believe Kliewer would agree that this campaign is beneficial to ending separated classrooms, and it gives people a small amount of knowledge about how offensive that one word can be. By pledging the campaign asks people "to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions". What I especially appreciate about this campaign is that they are aware that it is only a very small step towards ending people's view on those who have a disability. They are so much more than just disabled. In the article it spoke about how stereotypical that it is too only define them as disabled, there are so many other ways to show intelligence and capability. This campaign is also an amazing way to get raise awareness, I know this from experience. My school took part in this campaign, and as a whole our school is very supportive of those with disabilities and down syndrome. We have built lasting friendships with them and been able to see them for their unique, interesting, and intelligent people that they are.
The National Down Syndrome Society is an organization that "advocates for the value, acceptance, and inclusion" for those with Down Syndrome. They hope that one day those with Down Syndrome will have better lives and become widely accepted member of the community. They have a "buddy walk" every year that "promotes inclusion between friends of every ability". This website also includes things like preferred language of people with down syndrome, inspiring stories, inclusion from an early age in community and education. This website is a great place to learn about Down Syndrome in general, and also learn about ways to create more inclusive environments. This society has been around since 1979!
I have been involved in a lot of acts of inclusion in my school and in the community. I have been involved in Special Olympics and this gives children with all sorts of disabilities, including Down Syndrome to be able to participate in sports and work with people without disabilities. This program has been able to form lasting relationships in not only my life, but all of the other Buddy's lives as well. Also, my school was a huge supporter of our unified basketball team. This was a basketball team for those with disabilities and those without. We had certain time slots every so often, when our entire school would go watch a unified basketball game and cheer them on. These acts of inclusion are small steps to creating a well integrated and more aware society for those with disabilities, like Down Syndrome. You will never know how to make a situation better for a disabled person, without asking them directly. These websites and links were great way for me to connect to the article in different ways. I was able to research things from outside sources that directly related to the article by Kliewer. And I hope to talk about other peoples experiences with inclusion and Down Syndrome in class.