KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) : This weekend we feature a heartwarming and important short documentary about Tammy Parker and the life she carved out for herself in Wolfville, bringing joy wherever she went. It illustrates how inclusion benefits an entire community.
It’s especially worth watching as the discussion about inclusion in the classroom has suddenly become so prominent. Where inclusion happens successfully the entire community benefits.
It’s not that long ago that Tammy would have been institutionalized. In fact I know about other Tammys who are warehoused in large impersonal institutions where they are deeply unhappy even now.
But Tammy, with the help of the Community Association of People for REAL Enterprise ran her own business Beck and Call.
And I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that, had she been born just a little bit earlier, Tammy would have gone to school, if at all, in a separate classroom, kept away from the “regular” kids.
My wife Maria worked as a teaching assistant in junior highs and elementary schools in our neighborhood, and often would come home brimming with enthusiasm about that day’s accomplishments of the kids who were in her care.
“These kids can do so much more than people think,” she would tell me. Getting that simple idea across was a bit of a challenge ten years ago, and sadly it still is.
Hopefully this documentary and Tammy Parker’s example can open some more eyes.
The documentary was produced and directed by Peter Gillis, videography is by Kimberly Smith, and editing was done by David Hockey.
Tammy died in 2007.
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