Inclusive Education is a development approach seeking to address the learning needs of all the children, youth and adults with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion.
The principle of Inclusive Education was adopted at the World Conference on Special Needs Education Access and Quality (Salamanca, Spain, 1994) and was restated at the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal, 2000). It stated that ‘Regular schools with an inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes and improve efficiency and ultimately cost effectiveness of the entire education system’. The idea of inclusion is further supported by the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities proclaiming participation and equality.
An increasing number of publications, workshops, policy papers etc. are in clear support of these ideas. In recent years, the appropriateness of having a separate system in form of special schools has been questioned, both from the human rights perspective and from the point of view of effectiveness.
"The responsibility of change lies within all of us"
OBJECTIVES OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
To educate all the children together for their mutual benefit.
To reduce the isolation of handicap children.
To equip them with the competencies to face life with courage and confidence.
To promote psychological acceptance of such children by the normal school going population
To change attitudes towards differently abled children
To form the basis for a just and non-discriminatory society which encourages people to live and learn together
The extent to which a student is "included," however, should be addressed in light of the individual child's needs and communication mode. The ultimate question to be considered in this regard is whether the environment chosen for the child will provide social and intellectual stimulation and thereby foster individual development.
BENEFITS OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
Inclusion brings definite benefits to severely and profoundly deaf children, in that it provides an opportunity for them to live at home and be educated in a local school.
It also opens up a hearing world for the deaf children, introducing them to the norms of a hearing society and allowing the possibility of relationships with hearing friends.
There is ample evidence to show that those hearing impaired children who have been mainstreamed in to their local schools develop better life skills in coping with their surroundings.
These advantages would be possible only if the hearing impaired child was given great deal of special attention from the beginning to cope with the pressures of hearing environment.