The Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council dedicates the Include curriculum to the memory of Senator Jim Jeffords, a true hero of inclusive education as well as of the disability rights and independent living movements in America.
Our Senator Jeffords played a key role in every piece of disability rights legislation passed by the United States Congress. Indeed, because of his insistence, the federal government is required to follow its own rules of accessibility. In addition, he changed parties in part over his frustration attempting to gain full funding for Special Education.
But, as much as for his legislative record, we remember him for his openness and inclusiveness, not to mention his genuineness and sincerity, toward all Vermonters whenever and wherever he encountered us, whether in Washington DC or in his home state.
In the same spirit of inclusion, we must remember too, so many other Vermont heroes. To name a few, Jean Garvin, Marc Hull, Juanita Cook, Jacque Thousand, Don Parrish and Rick Villa.
We also dedicate this to all the administrators, teachers, students and parents who continue to make Vermont schools a place of welcome for all.
Lastly and importantly, we dedicate our Include curriculum to the countless members of the disability community who made this happen through perseverance and hard work.