Access to Inclusive Education for Students with Autism: An Analysis of Canada’s Compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
This article argues that Canada fails to meet its obligation under article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to provide students with autism with access to inclusive education. Moving beyond Canadian legislation, under which every province and territory recognises the right of all students to an inclusive education, it analyses Canada’s education system and the implementation of the goal of inclusive education. It points out the effect of five interrelated factors on the inclusiveness of the Canadian education system and its accessibility for students with autism: reductions in funding for education; the inadequacy of individual support measures and parent participation; the lack of education and training for teachers; the use of language indicative of the medical model of disability by governments; and "voluntary segregation" – the voluntary removal of children from the public education system by their parents. It concludes that Canada likely does not meet its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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