The name of the project is IkLeerOok (it ran from Sept ’10 – March ’13). It has been executed by the authors and a team of facilitators for Perspectief - center for inclusion. The project was funded by the ministry of Health. By working closely with ten families and their network IkLeerOok aimed to improve the (inclusive) learning environment for all children.
IkLeerOok provides support in the form of a facilitator per family with a child with a disability, who thinks along with them. Parents, children and facilitators learn together, their relationship is built on equality and reciprocity and they all bring expertise. Children and parents manage this process. Also, their experiences are the greatest source of learning. They share among themselves and with other parents and schools all clues to bring about change.
A summary of results:
- A young person has gained access to university
- Children gained access to primary education or could continue
- Young persons have gained access to mainstream secondary education
- Collaboration between regular and special schools
- Children have more contact with classmates after creating greater awareness among teachers about friendships
- Three schools have cooperated with IkLeerOok in research based on the Index for Inclusion
- Families experience more understanding and support from their network
- Families and schools have more knowledge about rights and inclusion.
These results must not conceal an ever difficult reality. Inclusion in Dutch education is still far away. This project has uncovered specific obstacles and Perspectief, in collaboration with families, continues researching how to transform these into milestones. The support of a process facilitator is helpful to families. Its innovative role and capabilities are mapped by us and will be investigated further.