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Documentary on Inclusion to be Aired on PBS


A documentary that explores the social and educational benefits and challenges of including children with disabilities in the regular classroom will be shown on PBS World on Oct. 9.

The filmmaker Dan Habib tells the story of his family’s quest to have his youngest son, Samuel, who has cerebral palsy, included at school and in daily life. The movie, Including Samuel, also features the stories of other families, educators, young people, parents, and disability rights experts. The film focuses on their experiences, hopes, struggles, fears, and triumphs with inclusive classrooms.


The movie may sound familiar. For the last few years, it has been shown at national conferences, public television stations, and independent theaters across the country. In October, the movie will be re-released on DVD with audio description, extra features, and translations into 17 languages. It has been featured in this column here and here.

Including Samuel was screened for about 230 educators yesterday at a national symposium on universal design for learning and inclusive practices hosted by the National Education Association and the Including Samuel Project at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.

“I think sometimes people think we are farther ahead than we are with inclusion,” said Mr. Habib. “It varies from town to town, and classroom to classroom. I can’t say I am surprised by that. I think it’s a challenge. It’s mostly about attitude. Technology supports inclusion but what makes or breaks it is people believing all kids can learn.”

Photo: Dan Habib/includingsamuel.com


Saw this last January here in Minneapolis, and then bought it to show my friends. It's great to get it out there for people to see and consider, thanks for sharing!

I look forward to seeing this. But, I think that Habib is right. We are all over the map regarding implementation. Some districts and schools, I am sure, have appoached inclusion thoughtfully and with an eye to improving educational outcomes. Others have just gritted their teeth and gone through the motions. Others have continued as before, waiting for the time when "this too shall pass."

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