Samuel is the son of photojournalist and filmmaker Dan Habib. When Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, he was forced to face the issue of inclusion, a topic about which he hadn't thought much about before. Habib follows Samuel's progress, as we see Samuel interacting with his peers at school and participating in the regular education classroom. The Habibs are fortunate to live near a school whose philosophy of full inclusion accommodates students of varying levels of disability in a single classroom.
|Samuel interacts with typical classmates.|
|Keith Jones--one inspiring guy!|
Given our experience with schools which have not practiced inclusion, this quote hit way too close to home: "Inclusion is an easy thing to do poorly. When we do it poorly, we become convinced that it cannot work." Even when one parent or one teacher promotes inclusion, a simplistic approach of placing a child with disabilities in a mainstream classroom without adequate support or appropriate modifications can lead to failure. I fear that in many schools, poor execution has led to suspicion or outright rejection of full inclusion.
While Including Samuel does not provide all the answers, the film does a great service by raising lots of questions, and, most importantly, raising the possibility that full inclusion can and does work.