Inclusion: Everything You Need to Know

This is the process of supporting students with disabilities to take part in regular classrooms, with the help of support services if necessary. In other words, inclusive education covers everyone, be it disabled people (including those having “special educational requirements”) or non-disabled people, who get to learn together in standard schools, colleges, and universities. In an inclusive education system, the unique contributions of students from diverse backgrounds to the classroom are valued. Additionally, such a system facilitates diverse groups of students to grow and thrive equally, thus benefitting everyone.

An inclusive education system must adapt to include disabled people instead of forcing such people to adapt to the system. For instance, if sections of a school are unreachable for those with disabilities, it means the education system has created barriers for disabled learners. An inclusive system would remove these barriers. It’ll also offer additional support and services to disabled students, thus helping them access the curriculum.

Some examples can make it easier to understand how inclusion works in the domain of education. Student A, who’s wheelchair-bound, wants to go to the school’s debating society after his classes are over. To let him do it, the accessible school bus takes A home later. Another student – B, has dyslexia. Her teacher suggested listening to the audiobook instead of reading the text, as it’ll help her study the book along with the class. Student C is deaf and uses sign language to communicate. Instead of making him have separate lessons with a sign language teacher, the students in his class and his teachers, as well as teaching assistants, learn to sign to communicate with him. All these examples offer a fair idea of what an inclusive education system should do.

Unlike what some may think, special colleges or schools for disabled students don’t stand for inclusion. They’re called segregation. Even when mainstream colleges and schools have separate units to accommodate the special needs of disabled students, they stand for segregation. Inclusion means having disabled learners in mainstream education and offering them adequate support through methods and attitudes to let them access mainstream education. 

From teachers and their teaching assistants to the administrators and other staff, everyone should work to ensure all learners feel valued and welcome, and get the right support necessary to develop their talents and accomplish their objectives. When education is truly inclusive, it won’t benefit just the disabled learners. Instead, all learners will reap the benefits.

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