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Articles on Disability & Rehabilitation

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Introduction of Inclusive Education

                                                                                                                        Mrs Anju Sexena

    “Inclusion is a philosophy that brings diverse students, families, educators, and community members together to create schools and other social institutions based on acceptance, belonging and community.”
In any classroom you look into today you will see a variety of children, but you may not be able to notice the differences among them from just looking at them.  In almost every classroom there has been in the very least 1 child that received special services that were not given in the classroom.  When a child has ADD, and they are placed in a regular education classroom, that classroom becomes an inclusive classroom by the nature that, that one child needs to receive medication at some point in the day so he/she will be able to stay on task with the other children.  So for someone to say there should not be inclusive classrooms is just ignorance.  “Inclusion recognizes that all students are learners who benefit from a meaningful, challenging, and appropriate curriculum, and differentiated instruction techniques that address their unique strengths and needs.”
In the past children with special needs were first educated in a separate special education classroom then they were mainstreamed into a regular education classroom, but only after they had met certain criteria that would place them in a typically developing classroom with typically developing children.  But simply placing a child into an inclusive classroom is not enough.  Careful planning of the child’s entrance into the classroom must be carried out to ensure a successful experience. 
There are 7 steps you can follow to ensure success.
1.     Interactions between the disabled children and the children who are not disabled to promote good social relationships.
2.     The teacher needs to realize the strengths and weaknesses of each child and build on the strengths.
3.     The teachers are appropriately trained to work with the special needs and developmentally disabled children to ensure good guidance.
4.     The teachers and parents have open lines of communication and have agreed on what other needs the child needs.
5.     All children are accepted all of the time and are included in the classroom all of the time.
6.     The children with special needs are given the chance to take the fullest advantage of all the school has to offer
7.     Every child’s individual needs are considered and addressed in the classroom and made to fit into the curriculum of the classroom.

Inclusion not only benefits those children who are disabled but also the children without disabilities because it is an opportunity for them to learn about disabilities and learns to accept the differences that everyone has.  While inclusion may not be for every child out there, the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives, thus why an inclusive classroom has been more and more pushed as the way to go for education of younger children.   “Inclusion programs provide all students with access to a challenging, engaging and flexible curriculum that helps them to be successful in society.”
            When a child enters into an inclusive classroom the support materials that are necessary for the child to learn best are brought to the child, rather that the child going from room to room throughout the day.  This way the child and teaching team are taking advantage of every minute they have together during the day.  When the resources were not brought to the child and the child had to go to the resources that child had to spend their day going from room to room and wasting several precious minutes.
For most children a regular education classroom is the least restrictive environment (LRE) for them to be educated in.  A LRE is the location where a child with a disability learns best and they are not limited to what resources are available to them.  “Children with disabilities need the same things in their environment as other children.  They need an environment that is safe, secure, and predictable and one that provides a balance of the familiar and novel, so that there are materials and activities that provide for their development.”
  There are 10 different levels that are a LRE for a disabled child:
1. General education classroom placement with few or no supportive services.
2.  General education classroom placement with collaborative teacher assistance.
3.  General education classroom placement with itinerant specialist assistance.
4.  General education classroom placement with resource room placement.
5.  Special education classroom with part time in a general ed. classroom.
6.  Fill-time special education classroom.
7.  Special school day.
8.  Residential school.

9.  Homebound instruction.                                   

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