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Canada's Governor General and Ontario Lieutenant Governor visit the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School's Integrated Kindergarten program at Bloorview School

The program, which mixes able-bodied children with children with disabilities, promotes inclusion and self advocacy skills for children

December 7, 2010

by: Janice Spencer

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, David Johnston, Canada's Governor General, along with the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, visited Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation teaching hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Their Excellencies and Their Honours toured the state-of-the-art building, with a special visit to the Bloorview School Authority's Integrated Kindergarten program. The Integrated Kindergarten program is offered in partnership with the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School which is part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

The goals of the program are to promote confidence, self-esteem and self-advocacy in children with disabilities, to address stereotyping and discriminatory behaviour in others and to prepare students with physical disabilities for successful integration.

The program is designed to encourage inclusion for special needs children by promoting their understanding of equity, fair play and diversity.  The children learn to be leaders, helpers, problem solvers, mediators and responsible citizens.

Vice-Principal, Richard Messina, of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study helped host Their Honours and Their Excellencies: