I work in a Catholic Secondary School in Adelaide, South Australia. It is called Thomas More College. Within the College, there is a Special Education Unit. It caters for teenage boys and girls with an intellectual disability. The students are, wherever possible integrated into the wider school community. Thirty years ago when the school was setting up the Special Education Unit a letter was written to Jean Vanier asking him if the School could use his name for the facility. Of course he said yes and the "Vanier Unit" has been successfully running since then.
I have been working with the students with intellectual disabilities for sixteen years and while there are many challenges it is most rewarding. The students do the same work as the regular students but in a different way. There is always much celebration when the students achieve some small thing.
I think of Jean most days and thank him for letting us use his name and I will do my best to spread knowledge of his works to the staff of the school. It would be wonderful to meet him one day. I wonder if he might write a letter to the students some time in the future.
Thank you. Regards,