To fight for students with disabilities to be included in all societies
Research at ICI advocates for inclusive education
Growing up, Brian Abery’s best friend was a boy from Hungary who contracted polio as his family was escaping the 1956 Soviet invasion of his homeland. Abery vividly remembers working with classmates to find ways his friend could be included in all their regular activities. It was his first awareness of the importance of equity, providing the supports his friend needed to fully experience life.
Today, Abery’s values of self-determination and inclusion are undiminished, and drive his work at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI). His expertise in inclusive education takes him around the world advocating for children with disabilities to have the opportunities to grow into adults who make their own informed decisions, actively participating in their communities of choice, and advocating for themselves – and others – to live lives of purpose.
“I value a ‘refuse to give up’ attitude, something I often see in people with disabilities unless our society has robbed them of it.”
Abery provides teachers with the formative assessment data necessary to develop more effective instructional programs. His current work in this area focuses on approaches to develop literacy and math instruction for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, allowing them to better access general education curriculum. He also works to find ways to socially include students with disabilities while changing societal attitudes about children and youth with special education needs through the implementation of inclusive service learning programs from elementary through high school. His international work is providing University faculty in Europe and Asia with the resources to train the next generation of educators to effectively support the full inclusion of students with disabilities in educational and other community settings.
With support from ICI, Abery continues to develop programs of research in areas that include inclusive service learning, and curriculum based assessment as applied to students with the most significant disabilities. Because regardless of where you live, or where you come from, Abery believes inclusive environments are a right for all.