Inclusive Education: Is it for Real?
It is not without reasons that educators till date relentlessly advocate inclusive education. Years of research have proved that inclusive education is the golden standard that needs to be followed by institutions. Inclusive education, very simply, entails the practice of educating children of all capabilities in one classroom. Schools, across the world, however have not entirely warmed up to this idea. It has been repeatedly seen that children with special abilities have been kept out of classrooms meant for “normal” children.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: What it Mandates
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been revised for a number of times. Originally enacted in the year 1975 and with several revisions hence, though it doesn’t specifically include the word “inclusion”—it does spell out the need for teaching children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Documented below are ways in which every parent can fight for inclusive education for their children.
Before delving into details, it must, at first, be pointed out that the inclusive environment that we have been talking about here is actually subject to the needs of the student. If the school authorities believe that the needs of a specially-abled child cannot be met in a general classroom then he or she can be put in a segregated room.
The Discrepancies Noticed and What they necessitate
It has been maintained that the practice of inclusive education is not yet a common one. As such, parents are yet to form a wholesome idea about the same. And that’s perhaps their first step towards fighting a “non-inclusive” education system – to understand the definition of inclusive education. Inclusive education – as such – may appear different for different schools. The key is to have a thorough knowledge about them. Look up relevant internet videos for help.
There are several researches that have actually proved that inclusive education has a host of social, academic and physical benefits for both the children with disabilities and the ones without them. It is your responsibility to find out what the research has to say in detail so that you can actually go on to put things in the right perspective as well.
Your responsibilities as a Parent
What are the Federal Laws governing the Disabilities Education Act? Do you know that a 504 Plan actually confers individualized help for students with disabilities? There is the Individual Education Plan which promotes exclusive education as well! The key, once again, is to find out more about these plans and ways in which they back inclusive education.
Reach out to the right school personnel in this regard. While advocating an inclusive ambience for your child you must be upfront about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. It just gets easier for the school to comprehend your child’s needs better in this case. Try to spell what works and what doesn’t work for your child. If he has particularly found himself uncomfortable (or even comfortable) in prior settings make sure that you are informing the school about that as well.