- Q) Who is responsible for facilitating acceptance of students with disabilities in regular classrooms?
- A) Students with disabilities feel better when they are treated at par with the regular students Even a special law called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) also strongly supports the inclusion of disabled students in the mainstream classes. Studies show that the disabled students tend to work harder when included in the mainstream. Factors like peer acceptance, teacher preference, support of the parents and self appraisal of the social status play an important role in facilitating their acceptance in regular classrooms. The biggest role is played by the teacher as he/she can act as a major impetus in making sure that the disabled students are well accepted among those who are non-disabled and are not looked down upon. Apart from that the school authorities can bring in certain regulations which can curb misbehavior against the disabled students and also arrange fun trips for students.
- Q) How can teachers facilitate social interactions among students with and without disabilities in the classroom?
- A) Teachers can act as a source of inspiration for disabled student by making them feel comfortable. Then, it’s very important for the teacher to make sure that the non-disabled students are able to forego all the myths and ill-feelings that they might have developed initially. Apart from this the following practices can be followed:
- Providing positive background about the disabled students and the similarities and differences they possess as compared to non-disabled students
- Pairing of disabled and non-disabled students for classroom projects and cooperative activities.
- Asking volunteers to act as a classroom “buddy” for the disabled students who can help them to catch up with the whole class
- Involving them in as many interactions as possible. Taking their opinions and views. Involvement in the activities puzzles, riddles and quiz which can be enjoyed by all students.
- Development of a “peer-culture” by the virtue of social equality among all the students
- Playing games and taking lunch together and recreational activities like music, arts, craftwork etc. can play a major role in bringing them together.
- Q) What are some ways that teachers can encourage non-disabled students to accept those with disabilities?
- A) As discussed above, awareness creation about the non-disabled students is the foremost activity that a teacher should undertake. Teacher can make the non-disabled students realize the differences by role-play activities which are called sensitivity training. For example – asking two people to communicate using signs or asking students to identify each other while being blind folded. This will generate respect and positive attitude towards disabled students. Sometimes telling stories about the disabled students and how they cope up with everyday activities can be useful.
- Celebrating all of us.
- National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) article.
- J. Weston, Disability awareness-24 lessons for the inclusive classroom
Walch Publisher. http://books.google.com/books
 Special Education and Inclusion, http://tiger.towson.edu/users/bcolli5/research_paper.htm
 Social skills, http://www.ualberta.ca/~jpdasddc/incl/ssk.htm