It is important that physically challenged children with normal IQ or even those who are slightly slow learners be included in the common schooling system. Emphasising the importance of inclusive education for most of the disabilities, paediatrician Jeeson C. Unni has said that the concept, implemented by the Spastics Society of India in Mumbai, has provided some good results. If teachers are trained to take a class that helps slow learners, the whole class is benefited, he said. Teachers need to adopt new methods to make inclusive education a reality.

The future concept of a school should be inclusive for many disabilities, he said. There are certain subjects that a disabled child can attend to in a normal school, while the same child may need a special educator in certain others.

Interaction

Bringing the disabled into normal school has an impact too. Children learn to empathise with the disabilities and the disabled too invent various ways and methods by interacting with normal children. The interaction between the two groups will be healthy, Dr. Unni said.

Participating in a seminar Challenges of the Challenged 2007, organised by the Rotary Club of Thripunithura recently, he said there was a need for orientation for parents and teachers on inclusive education.

Addressing the seminar, P. Narayanan, member of the organising committee, said that the club would like to spread the message of community rehabilitation of the disabled.

It should not be the responsibility of just the parents, because they might have limitations in providing all kind of support, he said.

“If the local communities try to take care of the disabled through an institution which can provide basic infrastructure needed for the disabled, it will solve the problems. Many families now have to displace themselves from their native place to seek better facilities for their disabled child, said Mr. Narayanan.

Shyama Rajagopal

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