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Sharon Hope Irwin

executive director
SpeciaLink: The National Centre for Early Childhood Inclusion
Nova Scotia Early Intervention Association
Voluntary/ NGO / foundation
Not applicable/other
Nova Scotia
I am a hybrid researcher/advocate/activist with a background as a frontline childcare worker who became fascinated by the opportunity to push the boundaries of what was meant by full inclusion of all children. Both my master’s and doctoral work involved strategies used to include all children, irrespective of level or type of disability, while still maintaining high quality child care for typically developing children.

Expanding the “SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scales” into digital format (Canadian Union of Postal Workers)

Irwin, S. (2009). SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scales. Nova Scotia: Breton Books. This book is a tool for assessing inclusion quality in early childhood centres and for helping centres move toward higher quality inclusion. It is also a research tool that has been evaluated positively for reliability and validity.
Irwin, S.H., Lero, D.S., and Brophy, K. (2004. Inclusion: The Next Generation of Child Care in Canada. Nova Scotia: Breton Books. This book investigates what makes inclusion work, what makes quality child care for children with special needs a reality.
Irwin, S.H. (2005). Inclusion Voices: Canadian Child Care Directors Talk About Including Children with Special Needs. Nova Scotia: Breton Books. This book is an inspiring, readable picture of Canada’s inclusion journey, told by 10 child care directors. They speak to us directly and without flinching.

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Sharon Hope Irwin


Canadian ECEC Policy Researcher Directory

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