Today there are laws that guarantee the rights of people with disabilities and to help them not to be discriminated against, to receive the necessary accommodations at work and school, to receive specialized services to meet their educational needs and to receive a free and appropriate public education, unfortunately, none of these two require inclusion. Multiple investigations have shown that the inclusion of exceptional students in classrooms with students of the regular current is beneficial for all when the support systems and necessary resources are provided, high expectations are held, parents and the school community are involved, professional preparation for the staff, and the development and use of technology is supported.
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Much has been said recently about the Special Education Program and how it has failed to provide services to students with disabilities. Everyone believes they have the solution, but what many propose is not in accordance with what has been shown to benefit these students. It is known that some people believe that the problem with children with special needs is solved by removing them from schools and placing them in special schools, segregated from others, despite the countless number of mothers who have to fight to enforce the rights of their children. children, including, the right to be an integral part of society and the school community. We also hear in the media people who brand the special education program as a problem. It is obvious that the root of the problem is not children with disabilities or mothers who defend their rights. Part of the problem is that, after so many years of implementing the special education program in the Department of Education, we still have a long way to go, many barriers to overcome, mainly attitudinal barriers.
We know what it takes for these students to optimize their quality of life and maximize their potential. So what is the problem? Who is responsible? Why are people still talking about segregating exceptional students or students with disabilities? The answer varies according to the group to whom it is asked. Some say that the problem is the Department of Education, which is very politicized, that there is a lot of bureaucracy, that money is not used properly, that work is not done as it is. Others point out that the demand for services exceeds the capacity of the Special Education Program, that there is a cut in funds, that the corporations that serve the program do not do their job well, that there are children who are misdiagnosed. Some say that teachers are not committed, that they have become tired and others respond that teachers do not have the necessary resources to do their job well.
Everyone must assume their responsibility. Teachers and specialists must work in favor of inclusion, but at the same time they must be provided with the necessary tools to be able to serve these children effectively. The services must be offered promptly and efficiently. The control of the use of the funds must be continuous and agile. Universities must train highly qualified teachers who can serve diverse students. There will be teachers who do their work without commitment and parents who do not assume their responsibility. But there are also many parents, mothers, teachers, specialists and public servants who are committed to making a difference. We need to strive to work for those who are entrusted to serve. You have to give them the opportunity to be who they can be by providing them with a quality education.
The right to education has to do more than having the right to learn, to assist the development of each individual, therefore the only way to comply with this is that the educational system is oriented to operate on the basis of diversity. And that implies that the entire educational strategy is diversified according to the multiplicity of students and rhythms in cognitive development, learning speed, etc. This is very difficult since the educational system still works with a sense of homogenization especially in terms of educational strategy so it is a very difficult challenge to pass on to heterogeneity.
The barriers begin with the architectonic, for example, to include people with disabilities, there are many cultural barriers in these world of prejudice and stereotypes that threaten equality opportunities that just consider diversity. There are also pedagogical barriers, which is something super important with respect to educational actors and the school itself. I believe the school is largely not ready to work on inclusion issues and especially the training and professional development of teachers who are not prepared for the challenges that inclusion implies. Putting this in motion implies a tremendous change in the formation given by the universities to the professors, implies a change in school so that it undergoes a strong reorganization.
I would say that we are only prepared in few aspects of life, but to be honest, we are never well prepared for anything because we think everything is perfect and nothing will happen, until it happens. The most important thing here is to clearly see the degree of preparation that needs to be improved, until it allow us to reach an inclusive education system based on an inclusive culture. The cultural changes are long-term, so the preparation for this will never be enough but we have to start somewhere, now. At the moment, there is no ideal proposal for an effective inclusion plan, in fact, there is a strong tendency in the system to simply think of inclusion as obtaining non-discrimination laws, which does not cover everything. Inclusion doesn’t mean non-discrimination, that is just a part of it. It is a much greater problem that implies a cultural problem, which is that inclusion is not linked exclusively to differential education. One of the problems to overcome is to stop linking inclusion with differential education, it obviously includes the problem of disability but inclusion has to do with the problem of diversity and not with disability.
When you are a parents and your children are doing well in school, it is almost inevitable to think that those who do not go so well have a problem. But there is a tendency to believe that the problem is only of those children and their families, and it is rarely considered a social problem, or a problem that affects everyone as an educational community. And sometimes even you can get to value positively that these children are separated from the path of the best, so they do not put a brake on their competitive academic results. These children deserve the same opportunities as others, but to really have them, they must be cared for correctly. We should accept them as they are and believe in them, in their inclusion in society. The solution to all this great set of special cases is inclusive education. Inclusive education is defined as a process aimed at responding to the diversity of students. And it is related to the presence, participation, and achievements of all students. It means offering a common education for all students who recognize, value, and adjust to the characteristics of each of them, trying to avoid a segregated school. That being said, it sounds like utopia. Students in need of support in an inclusive school would not have to leave the classroom to be cared for, or might do so at the least possible times, since the methodologies used are such that they favor the learning of all students, whether or not they have educational needs.
For me the benefit of inclusion is clear, because diversity enriches people, it makes us more tolerant, more understanding, more open. Living in an active way with children with different characteristics is an experience that is not learned in a textbook or a digital board. Being aware of others’ difficulties, and trying to make others understand and accept each other’s differences, makes children more tolerant, more open, collaborative and empathetic. I think it is a much more humane education, perhaps children forget history or science ones, but learning derived from a normal coexistence with other children with different needs, surely lasts throughout their lives.
The main challenge would be to transform the school as a space where equality becomes a practice focused on balanced attention, identical to the specific needs of each student. The pedagogical practice must achieve this differentiated attention, understanding that being different belongs to human nature. This includes not only the students but also the teachers and all the educational agents; to all those who in one way or another are involved in the teaching-learning process and are taking on the challenge of an inclusive education, like myself.
For this reason, it is necessary to train those schools that do not implement adequate inclusion, because they harm both the person who is included as well as the children of the regular school group they host. Which is why I will be working closely with every teacher and staff around me, fighting for the inclusion of all these students. I will encourage equality of opportunities, provide personalized education, encouraging participation, solidarity and cooperation among students, to improve the quality of education and the effectiveness of the education system.
Social Justice Towards Students With Disabilities. (2019, Apr 08).
Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from
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