New Brunswick's Gordon Porter and his associates with the NB Association for Community Living are now in charge of New Brunswick's inclusive education system. The Gordon Porter Inclusive Education Review taking place in New Brunswick will impose their beliefs on NB students with disabilities including those with severe, complex disorders like my younger son who has severe autistic disorder with profound developmental delays. The review itself is unlikely to do anything except reiterate the Porter/NBACL inclusion beliefs which have not changed in 30 years. Although present for one of the Porter/NBACL review sessions in Fredericton it was made clear that the review did not want to hear from me; a known critic of those beliefs.
Any doubts about what Mr Porter means by inclusion are put to rest by his own admission, in a recent presentation in Newfoundland, that inclusion in Porter World is simple, very simple .... everybody, regardless of the complexity or severity of their condition, regardless of their level of understanding or learning ability, regardless of their behavioral or sensory challenges belongs in the regular classroom. For Gordon Porter, in his own words, inclusion is that simple. As the father of a severely autistic, profoundly developmentally challenged son I wish my son's realities were as simple as Gordon Porter's beliefs. But they aren't. What follows is Gordon Porter/NBACL inclusion in Mr Porter's own words:
CORNER BROOK — Gordon Porter believes inclusion is the most natural thing in the world. The educator and director of Inclusive Education Initiatives presented a session on inclusive education at the Greenwood Inn and Suites on Thursday. Porter, who is also the editor of the Inclusive Education Canada website inclusiveeducation.ca, spoke to parents, educators and agency professionals who deal with children with special needs at the pre-conference for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living Conference taking place in the city today and Saturday. The session was sponsored by the Community Inclusion Initiative.
Porter’s session revolved around the theme of parents and teachers working together to make inclusion work.“It means kids go to their neighbourhood schools with kids their own age in regular classes,” said Porter.“If you’re seven years, old you go to the school just down the street. You go in a class with other seven-year-olds, and you’re supported if you have extra needs. “It’s so simple, it’s that simple,” said Porter."
My son's autistic disorder challenges are not simple. The extreme, everybody in the regular classroom inclusion model, is simple because evidence to the contrary is ignored by those who have pushed it. That is a simple fact.