Inclusive learning environments provide students with and without disabilities many opportunities to establish relationships with their peers. Such relationships form the beginnings of friendships that are a source of fun and enjoyment, and an essential source of emotional support during challenging times. When considering what contributes most to one’s quality of life, “friends” often appears toward the top of the list. Therefore, the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of peers is an important outcome of inclusion for all students.
related video Voices of Friendship: In this video, friends demonstrate how to support one another to achieve real and reciprocal friendships.
related modules Step-by-Step Training on Implementing Peer Support Arrangements and Peer Networks: In these two modules, Dr. Erik Carter introduces Peer Networks and Peer Support Arrangements in schools. These modules are especially appropriate for viewing and discussing as part of professional development training.
related toolkit Making Friends with and Without Disabilities in School: A Toolkit for Teachers, Paraprofessionals, and Parents: The Making Friends in School Toolkit created by Dr. Zachary Rossetti helps teachers, paraprofessionals and parents learn how to facilitate relationships between students with and without disabilities. The toolkit includes strategies at all grade levels, from elementary school through college.
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