Adaptations children with special needs into the general education

Adaptations in Inclusive Schools:
Theory and Reality

Pooja Rani and Sukhwinder Kaur
(Research Scholars)

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Department of Community Education
and Disability Studies

Panjab University, Chandigarh

Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Contact number- 9417739849,
9876856509

Abstract

Adaptations are known as the improvements and
modifications in the curriculum, infrastructure, teaching methods etc. for
children with special needs. It is of the utmost requirement for children with
special needs to provide them quality of education at par with the normal
children in inclusive schools. The Indian Government has taken many steps to mainstream
the children with special needs into the general education system but these
children will get benefit in the normal schools only if adaptations are made
according to their individual needs. The present research paper will reveal the
adaptations in the Government Schools of Chandigarh in the light guidelines
provided in the “Inclusive Education of the Disabled at Secondary Stage”. Data
is collected from the fifteen Government Schools of Chandigarh, which were
selected through simple random sampling technique. Results
are analyzed in a systematic manner. The results indicated that most of the
Government Schools in Chandigarh lack proper adaptations for children with
special needs.

Keywords:
Adaptations, Inclusive Schools, Inclusive Education of the Disabled at
Secondary Stage

Introduction

Education is the precious ornament of student’s life
and wearing to it is the foremost right of every individual of the society.
According to the article 21-A, it is the fundamental right of every child (6-14
years) to get free and compulsory education (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_Children_to_Free_and_Compulsory_Education_Act).
No child should be left behind on the basis of any discrimination be it
physical, mental, social etc. In present scenario, more emphasis has been given
on inclusive education which emphasized that all children should get education
under same roof. To provide same quality of education to all children in
inclusive schools, some adaptations are required that will make education more
opportune for children with special needs.

Adaptations

Adaptations are planned and personalized changes in
special and general schools which are required for special needs students to
achieve their educational goals. It comprises of adjustments or modifications
in general and special education programs, assistive and support devices,
teaching methods, physical infrastructure and curriculum (www.ahschools.us/cms/lib08/MN01909485/Centricity/Domain/…/Adaptations.doc).

Adaptations assist students to attain and reveal the
learning outcomes of the curriculum. It is refined for every student through proper
planning made by teacher, student, parents etc. Students are generally
evaluated by the learning nutshell of the provincial curriculum. There are a number
of ways by which educators can provide adaptations for each student (Learning
Strategies, Supports, and Interventions).

 

Physical
Infrastructure:

This includes barrier free environment for children with special needs
i.e. ramps, lifts, separate toilets, proper seating arrangements etc. These are
necessary for free movement of special needs students in the inclusive schools.

Teaching Methods:

Teachers should use different teaching methods for making teaching
learning process engaging for all children. The different teaching methods
include audio-visual aids, charts, field trips, demonstration, experiments etc.

Curriculum:

Curriculum adaptation comprises separation to meet the requirements of
all students. Special curriculum should be designed so that all students
(normal and CWSN) can attain the education in better environment. Special
arrangements should be make for CWSN like text books, teachers, recreation
activities etc. (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 2000-01)

Support Services:

At times children with special needs require support from psychologist,
counselor, support staff, special educators etc. for smooth learning in the
inclusive schools. These support services should be available in all the
inclusive schools.

Assistive
devices:

Arrangements of assistive devices are essential for
all special children in inclusive schools, so that they can learn well. Major
arrangements are (Curriculum Modifications & Adaptations, http://www.spannj.org/pti/Curriculum_Modifications_and_Adaptations.pdf):

·        
Use of Braille script for totally blind students.

·        
Use of large fonts for partially blind students.

·        
Hearing devices for hearing impaired children.

·        
Audio tapes etc.

Importance of Adaptations

Adaptations are vital for every individual student because it helps to
meet their basic educational needs. Major importance of adaptations in
inclusive schools is given below:

1.     
Adaptations help the students in
independent and safe functioning. The most basic need of the child is
communication, mobility, health and safety. With the help of functional
adaptations the chance of independent activities increases and dependence on one-on-one
assistance reduces.

2.     
It develops or promotes socialization skills among
students. Adaptations are applied to make sure that all children can interact
during various activities.  It encourages
participation of the children with special needs within the circle on the floor
with general students rather than outside the circle in the wheelchair. Policies were implemented to encourage confidence by
providing facilities, medium of communications and added time to be leader in
the same activities as their peers. Basically it provides support to the peers,
so that they can make special children active in socialization. (Cross, A. F.  2004).

3.     
Different factors of adaptations provide aid to the
special students in inclusive schools to overcome their difficulties.
Adaptations create the friendly environment among the students which encourage
learning, play activities and to be active during learning. (Ross, R. n.d. Classroom
Adaptations for Students with Special Needs & Learning Difficulties)

4.     
By providing the proper physical infrastructure to
the students, it reduces their distraction towards their work. Like, if proper
arrangements are made for partially blind students by making them to sit on
front desk will increase their concentration towards learning. Less sharp
corner of the desk for physically handicaps students will decrease their
distraction towards learning.

5.     
Assistive devices make learning friendly for special
children. They can learn the things in ease environment which suits their abilities
and produce good outcomes in learning.

6.     
Adaptations promote inclusion of all children by
dealing with individual learning styles and necessities. It encourages
multiplicity within school atmosphere and facilitates all children to feel
successful in school (Academic Adaptations: What are they and why are they
important? https://www.autismoutreach.ca/tipomonth/academic-adaptations-what-are-they-and-why-are-they-important).

Thus, in the light of above discussion, it is vivid that adaptations open
the door of accessible education for each individual in inclusive schools. It
makes learning easy and approachable for learners, teachers and peers. It is
the foremost requirement of present education system.

Justification of the
Problem

Education is a procedure of acquirement of knowledge, efficiency,
beliefs, values and habits. It is the fundamental right of every Indian
citizen. It should be accessible to all children to overcome all hindrance on
his/her path. No child should be denied admission in general school whether or
not they have disabilities. Government has made some provisions for making
education approachable to every child. But what is the real picture of
inclusive schools? The present paper is an effort to assess the adaptations in
inclusive schools which are prescribed by the Government in “Inclusive
Education of the Disabled at Secondary Stage”.  

Research
Question

Do the Government Schools of Chandigarh have made
adaptations according to the guidelines mentioned in the “Inclusive Education
of the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS)”?

Methodology

Sample

The researchers selected fifteen Government Schools
from total 112 Government Schools of Chandigarh through simple random sampling
technique. From all the fifteen schools two teachers were selected purposively
who were working with the children with special needs.

Data
Collection

The researchers personally visited all the fifteen
Government Schools and sought the permission from the head of the schools.
After taking the permission, the researchers consulted the two teachers from
each school. The teachers were made clear about the purpose of the study and
were assured of keeping their identity confidential. Additional information was
collected by the researchers while observing all the schools.

Results

Sr.
No.

Guidelines
mentioned in IEDSS

Reality
of Government Inclusive Schools in Chandigarh

1.

Identification
of Special needs Children at Secondary Level

Identification
of special needs children is done by the team of doctors at Sector 16 and 32
Government Hospitals.

2.

Aids
and Appliances/ Assistive Devices:
i.                   
Wheelchairs/crutches/walkers
ii.                 
Hearing aids
iii.               
Speech to Text Software
iv.               
Modified or alternate keyboards

i.                   
Only three schools have
wheelchairs while two schools have crutches and walkers.
ii.                 
Five schools have hearing aids
for deaf children.
v.                 
None of the Government School has
Speech to Text Software.
iii.               
Modified or alternate keyboards
are not available in Government Schools.

3.

Removal
of Architectural Barriers:
i.                   
Barrier free classrooms
ii.                 
Access to Laboratories
iii.               
Access to Library
iv.               
Separate Toilets
v.                 
Ramps
vi.               
Lifts

i.                   
Classrooms are not barrier free.
ii.                 
Children with special needs have
access to laboratories in six schools only.
iii.               
Only seven schools have proper
rooms for library but special needs students are not able to access it
whereas the rest of the eight schools did not have proper library room. Moreover
schools did not have any librarian; additional charge is given to other general
teacher.
iv.               
Four schools have separate
toilets for children with special needs.
v.                 
Nine schools have ramps facility
for special needs children.
vi.               
None of the school has provision of
lifts.

4.

Supply
of learning Material:
i.                   
Braille for blind students
ii.                 
Large print material for
partially blind students
iii.               
Large print screens
iv.               
Books

i.                   
Two schools had Braille for blind
students.
ii.                 
Large print material is available
in three schools.
iii.               
No large print screens in any
Government school.
iv.               
Books are available for children
with special needs.

5.

Basic
Training to General Teachers at the Secondary Level

Teachers
get training to teach children with special needs from time to time.

6.

Provision
of Special Educators

Special
educators cater the needs of special children cluster wise.

7.

Resource
Room

Only
four schools have proper resource rooms.

8.

Support
Staff

Less
number of support staff is available.

 

Additional
Information provided by the Teachers

1.      There
is provision of aids/appliances/assistive devices for children with special
needs but sometimes they get these things in the middle of session which create
hindrance in the learning path of these children.

2.      Libraries
contain a number of books which can provide assistance to children with special
needs as well as to the general teachers but there are of no use, as librarians
are not there.

3.      The
schools which do not have ramps currently are in the process of making ramps
for children with special needs.

4.      The
schools are in process of making separate toilets for children with special
needs.

5.      Teachers
said that due to the less number of support staff these children are not able
get support when they are required to go to the laboratories/play grounds etc.

6.      The
schools which have resource rooms are not fully equipped with the required
material.

Conclusion

The results of the study had shown that the most
number of the Government Schools of Chandigarh lack in adaptations for children
with special needs. There is dearth of adaptive devices, support staff,
teaching learning material etc. The researchers found that though presently the
Government Schools are facing many problems in providing quality of education
to children with special needs but they are working continuously in the path of
adapting the school environment as per the individual needs of special children.

References

Article 21-A (2010). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_Children_to_Free_and_Compulsory_Education_Act.

Learning Strategies, Supports, and Interventions n.d.. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/specedu/fas/pdf/4.pdf

Curriculum Modifications & Adaptations n.d.. Retrieved from http://www.spannj.org/pti/Curriculum_Modifications_and_Adaptations.pdf

Cross, A. F.  (2004).
Adaptations to Support Development and Membership. Retrieved from https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/styles/iidc/defiles/ECC/InclRes-Adaptations.pdf.

Ross, R. n.d.. Classroom Adaptations for Students with Special Needs
& Learning Difficulties. Retrieved from http://www.landscapesmag.com/teachers/lessonplans/Classroom%20Adaptations%20for%20Students%20with%20Special%20Needs.pdf.

Adaptations n.d.. Retrieved from www.ahschools.us/cms/lib08/MN01909485/Centricity/Domain/…/Adaptations.doc

Academic Adaptations: What are they and why are they
important? (2014). Retrieved from https://www.autismoutreach.ca/tipomonth/academic-adaptations-what-are-they-and-why-are-they-important

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (2000-01). Retrieved from http://mhrd.gov.in/sarva-shiksha-abhiyan.

Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage
(2009-10). Retrieved from http://mhrd.gov.in/iedss

IEDSS Guidelines (2009-10). Retrieved from http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/upload_document/EDU.pdf