The documentary film Education for Every Child: Armenia’s Path to Inclusion, directed by ICI’s Jerry Smith, has received a Gold Award at the 2018 MarCom Awards, an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. The film explores the work of University of Minnesota researchers collaborating with UNICEF-Armenia and Armenian State Pedagogical University (ASPU) in developing fully inclusive schools for children with disabilities. “Beyond strategies for promoting full inclusion, this film shows the value of building strong partnerships and underscores ICI’s international reach,” says Smith.
The 28-minute film is part of Enhancing the Inclusion of Children and Youth with Disabilities in Armenia: University of Minnesota – Armenian State Pedagogical University Partnership (ASPU), a collaborative project between ICI and ASPU. The documentary features ICI researchers Brian Abery and Renáta Tichá, and Christopher Johnstone from the University’s College of Education and Human Development, who along with Smith and Associate Professor Susan O’Connor from Augsburg University in Minneapolis worked with their Armenian counterparts. Armenia is making education more inclusive, triggering a critical need for training, knowledge dissemination, and technical assistance to support this endeavor, and ASPU is the only university in the country that trains both general and special education personnel. Besides the film, the project has also: (1) published Inclusive Education Strategies: A Textbook, an Armenian/English language publication written by 13 U.S. and 12 Armenian authors; (2) revised four ASPU courses on inclusion for general and special education personnel; (3) hosted three webinars on supporting students with mild and more significant disabilities, as well as peer-assisted learning strategies; and (4) produced three learning modules, one each on co-teaching, Universal Design for Learning, and instructional strategies for inclusive classrooms.