In the current society there are those people who need special attention if they are to be successful in education system operated. These people are people with either mental or physical disability. They are people with an emotional imbalance and thus they learn at a slow pace than emotionally stable people. When in school children require special attention from teachers.
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Traditionally, the system that existed is segregating the disabled to schools that could cater for their needs. However, there are some conditions that can be handled by ordinary schools. Inclusion refers to making learning institutions compatible to both the needs of special education and ordinary children. It takes the form of administrative measures to be taken, teachers, and infrastructures. The curriculum should be adjusted to ensure that children with special needs are catered for.
Advocators of an inclusion system quote the numerous advantages that the system has on the disabled person; they are of the opinion that disability is not a disease but a condition. It takes the collaboration of teachers, pupil’s participation, policy makers and parent to make these programs a success (Hines, 2008). This paper discusses the need for special education in today’s society; it will discuss the methods that are used in an inclusion system and the advantages that the system brings to a child.
Forms of inclusion
There are different forms of disabilities that schools have to cope with. There are those who cannot see those with mental disability, the dump, and the physically disabled. If all these classes of pupils are in a class, then there are deliberate measures that need to be taken to accommodate them. Sometimes the measures may be on an individual child or the entire group. To accommodate them there is the use of Modification and Accommodation strategies, they are used interchangeably; however they have a slight difference in approach.
Modification targets at the situation in class where a student with disability is taught according to the level that he can understand. If he can only get the basics then he is allowed to read only that. In times of homework allocation, his work may be lesser than that of other students or have more time.
On the other hand, if the disability is such that the child cannot keep up the pace of others in class understanding, there should be recorded learning tools to be given to the child. The role of the parent in such a case comes because he has to ensure that the child learns. The same can be done to the blind. Class modification takes three angles they are;
• Instructional modification
This is where the role of the teacher takes effect, the teacher should ensure that the disabled has been accommodated in the class and understands to his level best. This may include involving the disabled in various class activities to make them develop a good sense of themselves. When the student is given homework and exams the work load of the disabled may be reduced or the time of its submission increased. The use of Braille’s and record taping is another modification.
• Assignment modification
This is where the assignments given to the disabled are leveled to his capacity. The much he understands is the level that he should be given exams and assignments on but graded with the rest of the class.
• Grading modification
This is where the student is graded with others but the exam that he undertook is different from the rest. On the other hand, the length of the exam in terms of questions may be reduced or the time allocated increased. This will ensure that the student feels that he is playing on the same ground with the rest while he is actually not. This will make him feel as others and not regard himself as inferior (Rainforth & York-Barr, 1997).
Accommodation takes the policy makers in the picture. These are measures that are undertaken by the policy makers to ensure that they accommodate the needs of the disabled. It involves bending some school rules to fit their needs. The following are the strategies adopted;
• Accessibility Accommodation
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These are deliberate measures undertaken to ensure that the schools infrastructure are made in a way that even the disabled can be accommodated. It may take the form of special lifts and stair cases. The classes should be able to accommodate the disabled. Desks should be made in a way that the disabled can comfortably sit on. It may not be the entire schools desk but at least some which are for the use by the disabled.
• Administrative strategies
This is where the top management allows for adjustments in its programs to fit the needs of the disabled. It may for example adopt a lateness policy or a policy where disabled are allowed to break their studies early. On the other hand, if there is a feeding program that the child need, the school can adopt special meals for such students.
• Instructional and Curricular Variations
The curriculum should be adjusted to ensure that the disabled are well taken care of. If the system has a certain testing system, then the management can change the system to accommodate the disabled. For example in case of a blind learner, instead of written assignment, the school may have an opportunity where exams can be conducted orally. After such a test the management may decide to rank the student independently or with the rest of the class.
Whether a school is using an accommodation or modification strategy, they interlock at a certain stage but the main goal is to ensure that the need of a student is catered for by the system (Priscilla, 2002).
We need inclusion for the following reasons;
Students with disability have a low self esteem and believe that they are less important to their peers. When they are segregated, they are likely to hate themselves more and even blame their condition on situations. When they are involved in ordinary schools, they change the perception that they hold towards themselves. The increased/ enhanced self esteem will assist the child in later developments in life as well as to realize its potential and talents.
On the part of ordinary students they will understand the condition of the disabled and change their perception towards them this is when they interact freely and won’t find them as societal outskirts. They will respect their observations and point of taking things. With this understanding, the society will be more integrated and none will feel as an outcast despite the kind of disability that he has.
When the disabled is involved in activities in the school with other people he will be able to develop interpersonal skills. This is where he will learn how to interact with other people for his good in life. Children will also learn on how to live with such kind of a person, what is his dislike, likes as well as how he expresses himself. There are strong attribute that cannot be learnt when an exclusion form of education is adopted.
Personality is taken to be the unique aspects among individuals. It is also used to refer to a long lasting pattern of behavior that an individual portrays.
Ones personality is the one that answers the following question or explain the following situations ; why are some people terrified to talk in the public when others enjoy it?, why do some people involve in dangerous activities when others do not? Why do people react differently when faced by one condition or situation? The answer to all the above questions is the character that someone has that is different from the others.
It is true that the kind of personality that one holds is shaped by the kind of people that one interacts with. If one feels appreciated and is respected then he will have a positive attitude toward life and himself.
Attitude is another aspect of personality that defines almost everything that human being do; it is developed by factors of socialization and goes a long way in an inclusion education, the disabled will build the right attitude towards themselves and the well upright will also develop a positive attitude when they realize that disabled people are ordinary people with their own respect only that they are made different than them. This will assist the disabled build a high degree of self esteem.
In most cases exclusion classes aim at teaching disabled life skills but rarely are they interested in formal education. When the disabled is in an inclusion program, he is likely to develop his talent. Disabled like human beings have their talents of which they can rely upon in life. If they are known and developed then they can be useful people in life.
Natured talents can give a child economic power that he/she need in life. On the other hand, with formal education a child will be able to understand what they are going through and more likely they will become their own care; they will understand when need to take medicine (if they are on medication), when they are supposed to rest or even when they are supposed to take various duties in life. This assists in managing their life and ease parental burden (Idol, 2006).
Developing of Communication Skills
As the disabled interact with his/her peers, he will learn how to express himself. He may not talk but as he undergoes school life he will be able to develop communication skills. Communication goes further than just word of mouth expression but to understanding body language. When a disabled feels loved and can express him or by others easier; people will understand what he is feeling and the kind of attention that he requires.
If the disabled is in an exclusion program, then he will be taught skills that will assist him interact with an outside world that he does not know, on the other end the outside world will not be taught on how to live with the disabled. This brings the conflict that they will not understand each other. If they are both taught together with good guidance; they will appreciate each other more (Brownell, Sindelar, Kiely & Danielson, 2010).
Motivation in Life
In a school environment, a student who requires special education will have a chance to envy the lives of his peers. This is likely to motivate him work harder in his efforts to reach the peers. When he works extra hard, his development will be enhanced and thus becomes a better person in life, the role of schooling life will thus have been attained (Swan & Morgan, 1993).
Students with special needs may not compete at the same level ground with their peers; they require some special curriculum to learn with others. Though the curriculum is special, it should be conducted alongside the ordinary classes. Curriculum is defined as the sum total of all the activities that take place in a school.
It is both educational and extra curriculum activities. If the student with special needs has undergone through all the activities of the curriculum, it will assist him in developing the skills discussed above. The child should be given a chance to interact with its peer and play together.
When it comes to competing, teachers should ensure that they develop a mechanism that will ensure that disabled learn in the class context to the level best that they can understand; even if it means just teaching them the basic and testing them on it. There are times that students may require extra attention maybe from the parents or a medical practitioner; such attention includes therapies, massage or even a talking class. The curriculum should be sensitive to that and give a student a chance for all that to be done.
There should be no discrimination in sharing of duties and enforcement of rules and regulations. Access to general curriculum gives students with special needs a chance to adhere to curriculum standards, contents, and material of the prevailing curriculum and schooling model (National Council on Disability, 1994).
Supporters of Exclusion Program
The system is an expensive strategy where physical equipments and training of teachers will be required. On the other hand, they are of the opinion that attention that will be given to the disabled will not be adequate and thus in the end the efficiency of the system is limited to the time that a teacher can allocate to these students. It also ague’s that attention will shift from ordinary students in an inclusion to the needs of the disabled yet the ordinary students also deserve attention.
Students with special needs are part of the larger society and thus should not be discriminated. They should be given equal access to education with some adjustment made to suit their special wants. Modification and accommodation are the strategies adopted to ensure that their needs are catered for by the general system that exist in the education.
When accommodated, they develop interpersonal skills; they are able to learn communication skills and are able to realize their potentials in life. A curriculum that integrates them in the larger society is important.
Brownell, M., Sindelar, P., Kiely, M., & Danielson, L. (2010). Special Education Teacher Quality and Preparation: Exposing Foundations, Constructing a New Model. Exceptional Children, 76(3), 357. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Hines, T. (2008-05). “Making Collaboration Work in Inclusive High School Classrooms Recommendations for Principals”. Intervention in School and Clinic 43 (5): 277–282.doi:10.1177/1053451208314492
Idol, L. (2006). Toward Inclusion of Special Education Students in General Education. Remedial & Special Education, 27(2), 77. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
National Council on Disability. (1994). Inclusionary education for students with special needs: Keeping the promise. Washington, DC: Author.
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