Is Full Inclusion of Disabled Students Desirable?

Disabled StudentsDisabled students represent an important minority in our social educational system; they require extra care and attention during all their period of study. As federal legislation envisages, more and more disabled students are being educated in regular classrooms. But can such an inclusion be effective way for them?

Full inclusion means the assignment of disabled students to attend regular schools and participate in all the school activities during the day. It provides disabled students with the opportunity to receive education along with the other students, to use the same programs, classes, trainings, schools facilities and resources, to learn and understand the principles of individual and group behaviors, to develop as a personality and a member of society.

The issue of inclusion is a very controversial point because it concerns not only educational, but also ethical, moral, individual and other social aspects. There are many opponents and supporters of this idea, who debate over it in mass media and publications. A range of advantages and disadvantages of inclusion can be analyzed from different points of view: pros and cons for disabled students, for normal children and for academic personnel.

First of all, full inclusion brings a great deal of advantages for disabled children. Studying together with normal students brings to disabled children a feeling of being involved and being equal in abilities to receive knowledge to usual students. Separation or segregation can result negatively in developing of child’s individuality and can bring to depression, under-esteem, selfishness, timidity, etc.

One more advantage is that disabled students can take their successful classmates as competent examples to follow. Studying among normal students can challenge and fasten the development of personal characteristics, it can be a good background for disabled children to learn how to use own unique skills and abilities. Such environment is exceptionally good for disabled students to succeed, and statistically there are more chances for them to graduate from usual public school, then from a special one (annually about 43% of disabled students fail to finish the school in non-inclusive setting).

Besides, inclusion is a very important issue for the development of social and adaptive abilities of disabled children; it is a good possibility to experience realistic situations of group behavior and activity, to obtain practical familiarity with social laws of communal life. The most important is an opportunity to make friends with normal students, to be in a company of non-disabled children, to find and to realize own place among the classmates, to learn to be a good, tolerant and reliable member of such group.

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