Down's Syndrome

Inclusivity from the perspective of a teacher and a mother

Inclusivity is heard to find, says Hilda Bernier – pictured here with son Emilio

As an educator certified in teaching students with disabilities, Hilda Bernier knows how tough it can be to guarantee inclusivity in education for children, including her son Emilio. Now she and her husband Olivier are set to make a film that will help other parents and children.

All any parent wants for their child is for them to be included. But for millions of children across the world that's not their reality. Studies suggest that there are anywhere between 93 million and 150 million children across the world living with a disability, and around half of them are out of school.

US director awarded $400,000 to make film about search for son’s inclusive education 

Videocamp dad Olivier will make a film about inclusive education

New York-based director Olivier Bernier has been selected as the recipient of the $400,000 Videocamp Film Fund 2018. Bernier wowed the judging panel with his proposal for an intimate documentary following his own search for inclusive education for his son Emilio, who was born with Down Syndrome. 

Olivier Bernier says: “As a director, this is not only a story I will be telling – this is a story I am living. When I was a child, I didn’t go to an inclusive school. I was never exposed to anyone with intellectual disabilities and I was ill prepared for my own son’s arrival. I want to use this opportunity to make sure this never happens to anyone again.

Sally Phillips at FestABLE: ‘The SEN world is a treasure chest’

FestABLE speaker Sally Phillips

Having a child with special needs enables parents to understand and appreciate the important things in life, says actress and writer Sally Phillips. The well-known British comic was speaking at FestABLE, a festival celebrating specialist learning staged at National Star College in Cheltenham. 

It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK.

“We are sitting on a treasure chest in the SEN (Special Educational Needs) world. Not only do we have freedom from some of the standards that the world operates with which are completely bogus but there’s a lot of living in the moment,” said Sally, who has a son with Down’s Syndrome. 

FestABLE event to be held at SEND college

Sally Phillips FestABLE

Guest speakers including TVs Sally Phillips will gather for FestABLE on June 2 as part of the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning.

Youtubers, assistive technology experts and professionals working with young people who have special educational needs and disabilities will attend the event. 

Young people have helped plan FestABLE’s diverse programme which includes all sorts from the chance to go in the country’s only wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon and play with eye-gaze controlled computer games, to sessions on speech and occupational therapy, Education, Health and Care plans, early autism intervention, SEND reform and removing the barriers to achievement.

World Down Syndrome Day - raising awareness through videos and socks!

World Down Syndrome Day Sally Phillips

World Down Syndrome Day is taking place today, with a wealth of events across the globe raising awareness – including "carpool karaoke" and an inclusive film competition.

You may have already seen a video of a "carpool karaoke" lip sync video in support of World Down Syndrome Day, which features 50 mums and their children singing along to Christina Perri track, A Thousand Years. The parents in the video (watch below) are all part of a Facebook group called Designer Genes, which was created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013 and 2014.