Distributed by Richard Cohen Films, P. O. Box 1012, Venice, CA 90294-1012; 310-395-3549
Produced by Richard Cohen
VHS, color, 64 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Adolescence, Child Development, Learning Disabilities, Parenting, Teacher Training
Reviewed by Rue Herbert, Head, Library Media Resources, University of South Florida, Tampa, Tampa
Going to School ~ Ir A La Escuela is an impressively absorbing documentary that examines the successes and frustrations of parents and students seeking total inclusion in attending their neighborhood public school, rather than a school for students with special needs. The program focuses on a number of students with a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and disabilities, offering straightforward information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and more specifically the development of IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) for students with disabilities. Going to School presents stirring portraits of courageous parents, hard-working disabled students, and the numerous teachers, assistants, and peers that can become involved in the total inclusion process.
Although some minor technical flaws appear during the program, nothing takes away from the clarifying and emotional content. The clear-cut, uncompromising approach to presenting this topic is a reflection of the adamant focus the profiled parents possess.
This program is highly recommended for virtually all libraries. While it focuses on a particular school district, the importance of inclusion programs and the need for awareness of the services available to families with disabled children are issues that are national in scope. Going to School ~ Ir A La Escuela would be invaluable for in-service training of teaching professionals, as well as required viewing for student teachers. It would also be an important community resource for public library collections.