Special educational inclusion means the participation of special education students in regular education classes and providing support services to these students. The main goal of inclusive education is that all students, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community.
Each student develops a sense of belonging with other students, teachers and support staff. In segregated special education, children do not learn how to function in a world without disabilities. For example, children who are communicatively disabled and emotionally disturbed would not communicate and could remain in an emotionally disturbed state in segregated environments.
The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that schools educate children with disabilities in general education classrooms.
The main advantage of special pedagogical inclusion is that both disabled and non-disabled students meet in an environment of togetherness. In inclusive education, children learn to accept individual differences, leading to the development of new friendly relationships. Inclusive education also enables the active participation of parents in their child’s education.
The law also states that students with disabilities have the legal right to attend regular classes and receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. Although the benefits are many, inclusive education creates uncertainty about the roles and responsibilities of regular classroom teachers and special education teachers.
However, research shows that inclusive education can be made more effective through a healthy collaboration between special education teachers and mainstream teachers. With the help of services that would be available from the Ministry of Health, physical education institute, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc., the school management can help the teachers to create active lesson plans for inclusive education.
Schools can thus create a cooperative learning environment and promote socialization.