February is Inclusive Education Month

Kinsight’s history of advocating for inclusive education dates back to the early 1950’s, with a small group of parents whose children were barred from attending public school. These courageous mothers and fathers refused to comply with the doctrine of the time that children with intellectual or physical differences be placed in segregated institutions. Instead, these ground-breaking advocates banded together, and started their own school in a church basement in New Westminster. We are inspired by the vision of these families and that of our first teacher, Pat McFee. Pat had taught in Saskatchewan and then at the Woodlands institution for three years. She found teaching there very frustrating as she was not allowed to take the students off the grounds, not even across the street to the park. Together with our founding families Pat helped to ensure that children had the opportunity to access an education.

The small, grassroots parent association has grown into the organization we proudly call Kinsight. 70 years after its inception, Kinsight continues to work with students, parents/caregivers, educators, school districts and community partners towards inclusive, quality public education for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

At Kinsight, we know that all children can and do learn, and that an inclusive, quality education lays the foundation for a full and meaningful life. All children in Canada have the right to a public education, but children with developmental delays, disabilities, or neurodiversity often need support and accommodations to equitably access learning opportunities. As primary partners in their children’s education, parents and caregivers need advocacy skills, information about the public education system, and knowledge of effective approaches and strategies for inclusion. Kinsights’ Family & Individual Support Program (FISP) can help. We offer monthly education, support, skill building, and networking groups for parents/caregivers of school-aged children and teens. Our Now & Next Family Leadership program uses a strengths-based approach to help families build capacity, develop a vision and set goals for the future. Our Youth Leadership initiatives focus on developing self-advocacy skills, self-determination and choice for high school students aged fourteen and up who are preparing for the transition from school to adult life. Our networking opportunities bring families together as a source of connection and strength for one another.

See our program staff contact details below, and for more information about our events and workshops, subscribe to our monthly e-bulletin here.

Inclusion BC, the non-profit provincial organization that advocates for the rights and opportunities of people with intellectual disabilities has some excellent inclusive education resources here.

For more information, please contact Kinsight’s Family Support & Education Consultants: Emily Jamieson at ejamieson@kinsight org or Rebecca Fisher at You may also contact Rachel le Nobel, Coordinator of Family Support and Transition Planning, at