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Inclusion Of Students With Disability In General School (Essay Sample)

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Essay on inclusion of students with disability in general school

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Inclusion of Students with Disability in General School
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Introduction
Over the past two decades, a number of federal laws have caused an increase in the provision of education opportunities that were inaccessible to students with disabilities. However, the debate on inclusion, what it is, to what extent it should be administered in schools, has risen in the recent past. Inclusion is in response to the equity concerns that arise with regard to the education of students with disability. Inclusion has been defined in a number of ways but this research will adopt the definition given by (Dudley-Marling and Burns, 2014) “inclusion follows a legal requirement that students with special need are educated Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).” The rationale for educating students with disability especially under the Least Restrictive Environment as outlined in IDEA Act, and it aims to promote inclusion in education (Dudley- Marling and Burns, 2014).
In a world that has witnessed positive development of many institutions and sectors, the subject of education and inclusion has not been tackled in the magnitude it deserves, to ensure that guidelines outlined in legislation concerning students with disability are achieved. This is because students with special needs are still facing education exclusion and discrimination owing to the nature of their condition. Even though the number of students with disability included in the general instruction classroom has increased, a number of students with severe disabilities are yet to participate in inclusion programs.
A movement in the 1970’s by parents, civil society and other interested parties led to passing of the Education for All Handicapped Children (Keeffe-Martin, 2001). In 2008 the law was re-enacted to become Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires that district schools provide public education for students with special needs (Keffee-Martin, 2001). It also gives a provision for a least restrictive environment for students with disabilities in schools. The movements in the past decade, has seen many changes being initiated towards inclusion of students with disability from segregated institution to general classroom. The issues encompassing inclusion continue to be a motivating factor for intensive research to try and shed more light on this concept.
The main objective of inclusion is to someday eliminate the distinction that exists between regular education and special education. This is what the IDEA act facilitates by mandating district schools to provide resources appropriate to advance the education curriculum for students with disability (Spencer, Evmenova , Boon and Hayes-Harris. (2014).
Inclusion of students with disability in general schools is an issue because just like other students, students with disabilities should benefit from the same school experience. Inclusion is a right that should be enjoyed by all students because separation of a student because of their special need is not considered equal. Inclusion provides all students with the same educational opportunities in the same classroom setup. The IDEA requires that disabled students should have their own Individual Education Program. This implies that depending on the level of disability, the student will get a customized IEP Program.
The concept of full inclusion brings challenges during implementation because some disabled student may present certain medical conditions that call for separate learning programs. (Antoinette, 2002). Some individuals also feel inclusion; makes it harder for both students with disability and the other students to reach their learning potential because of the classroom adjustments that have to be made to accommodate students with disability.
Education instructors have a vital role to play in ensuring the inclusion process is effective. They are currently struggling with the concept of inclusion for a number of reasons, for example inclusion of special needs students may slow the learning speed of the general class, leading to an incomprehensive coverage of the curriculum (Antoinette, 2002).
Another trend that makes inclusion a difficult thing to achieve is the perception that inclusion of special needs students can actually lead to a reverse discrimination for the other students (Spencer et al. 2014). Inclusion changes the way in which educators teach their students. Therefore, analyzing the effects of inclusion is paramount to serving the general students and the special needs students in an effective way.
In the past, the community placed little significance to the education of students with disabilities in general classrooms. Instead of integration the students with disability were schooled in special education institution specifically for such students. With the advancement in treatment and technology, it become relatively easy to accommodate special needs students in general classroom (Spencer et al. 2014).
LEGISLATION
An important legislation that takes into account the needs of students with disability is IDEA. It is the primary source that provides information on inclusion requirements for individuals with disability using Least Restrictive Environment concept. IDEA is used to by many individuals to challenge inclusion issues or resolve claims based on discrimination for the disabled (Antoinette, 2002). The IDEA is a state law that was put in place to help different states provide education for special needs students as per the constitution (Dudley- Marling and Burns, 2014). In a situation where the special needs students have limited integration in the general class due to their disruptive condition, then a standard placement cannot provide the right environment for them (Antoinette,2002).
The IDEA is a Federal Law that was enacted as an Act in 1990 and become a Law in 2004. It serves to protect the rights of disabled students, so that they access public education regardless of their disabilities. The IDEA Act protects students up to the age of 21 (U.S. Department of Health And Human Services .U.S. Department of Education, 2015), and requires schools to provide educational needs for students with disability.
The IDEA serves to provide the following:
* Ensure that every student with disability receives Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) just like any other student. The IDEA uses the Least Restrictive Environment, to compel schools to provide special education services.
* Students who qualify for IDEA are eligible to receive Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP outlines the specific education requirement for a student and the services they will require.
* The Law also makes for provision for early intervention services to be given to eligible infant and toddlers with disability.
Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is another legislation that supports inclusion. ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities (US. Department of Health And Human Services .U.S. Department of Education, 2015). The ADA defines disability as” a child who has a physical or mental impairment that limits the child’s ability to care for himself/herself, perform manual tasks or engage in other major life activity.” Children with diagnosis are automatically including in the ADA. Even though it does not support inclusion directly it prohibits discrimination of any form towards students with disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act also ensures for the provision of education rights for students with disabilities. Section 504 provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of any entity that receives Federal Financial Fund, or be subjected to discrimination by such entity ((US. Department of Health And Human Services .U.S. Department of Education, 2015).
LITIGATION
With the kind of discrimination that students with disabilities have faced before introduction of legislation governing student inclusion, court proceedings have provided the much needed help in providing litigation on special education cases.
Murdick, Gartin, and Fowler, (2014) have provided a number of litigation cases that have shaped the way in which inclusion is handled in schools. In the case of T.R. v. Kingwood Township (NJ) (3rd Cir.2000). It was ruled that Free Appropriate Education is a meaningful benefit under the Least Restrictive Environment. The Board of Education V. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982) the Supreme Court ruled that the IDEA calls for provision of education services that are “reasonable” for each student under FAPE. In Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education, the case involved a child
In the Daniel R.R the decision also highlighted a situation where the teacher should not spend most of his/her time with a special need student and limited adjustments made to the curriculum to incorporate special needs students should not go beyond necessary. The two issues are some of the constraints in inclusion of special needs students.
Daniel was then allowed to integrate with non-disabled peers over lunch time but undertake his classes in a special education class. The court’s task was to determine whether the school district had followed the FAPE guidelines in providing the Least Restrictive Environment for Daniel (Murdick, et al.,2014). The decision made was in favor of the State Board of Education
Katherine G. by Cythia G. v. Kentfield School District (2003)....
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