Song of Our Children
By Beret E. Strong and John Tweedy
Three decades ago, Congress mandated that American children with disabilities be educated in the “least restrictive environment.” In 2000, the National Council on Disability determined that none of the 50 states had yet complied with the law. Today, families and schools are still struggling to achieve the vision of educating all children together while attending to each child’s unique learning style and needs.
In Song of Our Children, we meet teachers, administrators, parents, and students whose daily struggles and triumphs exemplify what “educational inclusion” means and what it takes to make it work. The film journeys from a past when children with disabilities were institutionalized or, at best, taught in “special” classrooms, to a present full of innovation and experimentation. Teachers have discovered new ways of teaching, parents have learned new ways of thinking, and children have discovered that they all have something to teach one another. Yet we are still struggling to overcome the institutional, financial, and cultural barriers to full inclusion. This moving portrayal of four memorable children — from preschool age to high school — reveals the challenges, strategies, and benefits of inclusion for everybody. Closed Captioned version available on VHS only.
Purchase $199.00 DVD
Order No. QA-482
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-932-0
”An amazing, moving portrait of students with disabilities included in the everyday work of learning. I have never been so moved by a film.” Kathy McBride, Special Education Parent Liaison, Boulder Valley School District
“A persuasive springboard for discussions about cultural respect, diversity, inclusion, and the importance of differentiated learning.” Booklist
"I believe that every parent, every educator, everyone, should see this film. Powerfully communicates the positive experience that can result for all children involved when inclusive education occurs." Judi Morosohk, MA, Early Childhood Educator and Consultant
"Recommended. A solid discussion starter on the controversial issue of inclusion for special-needs children." Video Librarian
Awards & Conference Screenings
CINE Golden Eagle
TASH Annual Conference
Insight Award for Excellence
Hearts and Minds Film Festival
Istanbul Children's Film Festival
Social Justice Film of the Year, Community Shares
Continuing the Circle: Ability and Culture Conference
Peak Conference on School Reform and Inclusive Education
Honorable Mention, Picture This Film Festival
24/7: Profiles two families exhausted by the struggle to provide all day, every day care for their developmentally disabled adult children at home, while simultaneously battling for the help and resources they need. How long can they do it alone?
They Don't Come with Manuals: Parents and adoptive parents speak candidly of their day-to-day experiences caring for children with physical and mental disabilities. Despite outside resistance and ignorance, they offer compassion and hope to new parents facing these issues.
Mothers of Courage: Bethany has multiple physical and developmental disabilities. Like thousands of dedicated parents, her mother has had to fight for years to get Bethany the medical and social services she needs.
A Mind of Your Own: It's been estimated that every classroom has two or three kids with learning disabilities. This video profiles four courageous kids who don't let learning difficulties hold them back or get them down.
Fragile X Family: Takes viewers inside the lives of a developmentally disabled family who are affected by Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited chromosomal disorder which is the second most common cause of mental retardation.
Edges of Perception: Eleven-year-old Jessica has Stargardt's, an inherited eye disease. She is legally blind, but with the calm, determined support of her parents and teachers she attends a regular classroom, plays soccer, and is a serious runner. She wants to meet her inspiration, Marla Runyan, a legally blind Olympic runner who also has Stargardt's.