Education for the Disabled Children

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The Integrated Education for the Disabled Children Scheme (1974), The Project Integrated Education for the Disabled (1987), The person with Disabilities Act (1995), The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (2000), Government’s (2005) attempt at making all schools Disabled-friendly by 2020 are all prominent steps towards Inclusive Education. Over a period of time various schools have been set up where inclusive education is provided.

One of such is Inventure Academy established in 2005 in Bangalore, India. It’s affiliated with the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) – IGCSE. Assessments are carried out in both formal and informal ways and based on the strength and weaknesses identified, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is created by the special educators. The plan is customized for every kid based on his needs. Teachers use whole-group instructions for introducing ideas, planning or sharing results, then let children work individually or in groups, based on their readiness, interest and learning style. Ongoing assessments help identify children who need more support, and those who need to be placed in an accelerated learning program.

Another institution where IE is provided is Insight Academy established in 2007 also in Bangalore. School follows the ICSE stream of syllabus from Grade 1 to Grade 10. The school believes in “Quality Education for All”, it offers holistic development of kids and integration of kids in the mainstream school. It emphasizes on empowering special need students (differently abled or slow at learning in their academics) with the help of specially trained faculty members and remedial coaching.

Shyamala School, another private school, with students from pre-KG until grade 12. The school has opted to adopt inclusion voluntarily, without any compulsion due to the law or any other pressures. The selfless realisation for the need of treating all, economically or physically or mentally challenged children equally as well as their intricate planning and implementation to enable all kinds of children is the reason for selection of this school for this assignment.

The Student-teacher ratio here is 25:1 and Categories of disabilities includes Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Behaviour Disorders, psychological problems and Downs’ Syndrome. The key goal for students with disabilities here, unlike regular schools was not academic excellence, but holistic development i.e. less emphasis on scoring marks in examinations, more emphasis on learning appropriate social behaviour and developing children’s talents. Academics are not given much importance until after 4th standard. The school was found and established keeping in mind that it is of great importance that the child adjusts to school during his or her initial years and evolve into good human being which can only be attained through socialization and its importance for such students. The children with disabilities needed to learn to socialize with their peers, elders and youngsters, which is often neglected in regular schools. Rather they are made to run behind academic goals like other students which may lead to low self esteem, shyness or even isolation.

Children with disabilities need to learn to play and share things with their peers and friends, communicate at a basic level (for example, ask the teacher if they needed to drink water, or use the bathroom) and know how to behave if they went to another classroom or if another teacher came into their class. Enabling them also leads to sensitivity among classmates, which in return leads to acceptance of challenged children by others. The school realises that these goals were the most important aspects for special needs children to acquire at a young age and that children with these skills like communication and decision making would be better prepared for the future. Teachers also focused on developing qualities like good manners, good behaviour and respect towards elders as during early school years, it is important that children learn how to sit in the classroom, appropriate classroom behaviour like “asking for sorry if they commit a mistake” or how to get excuse when they enter into the classroom and follow basic instructions the teacher may give in the class.

The school insists on children speak in English while they are at school, especially since the medium of instruction is mainly English. This is an important goal in the context of many schools in India where English is the first language and children with disabilities should not be left out of it and so Conversational English was is highly practiced with students using special aids. Through drill and practice, children repeatedly practiced the responses for these questions. It is only when children with disabilities are comfortable in the classroom and have some communication skills, teachers will able to focus on academics and even yield some results. Various special educators often visited the school and helped with specialized assessment and intervention for children with different types and severity of disabilities including autism and developmental disabilities or learning disabilities. Some teachers paired children with disabilities with a peer without disability to ensure learning and success in social and academic aspects. Teachers assign the same homework to the entire class, but do not expect children with disabilities to complete all of it. One of the reasons for this is that these children went to special education or therapy classes during evenings and weekends, and therefore would not be able to complete as much work as the other children. Such empathy and considerate behaviour leads to mental and emotional well being of the disabled children who might be feeling the pressure to cope and compete with their peers.

However, those students were given reading practice and grammar exercises as homework so at least communicational development took place. Children with disabilities took tests and examinations along with their peers, with accommodation to suit the individual needs of each of these children. Accommodations were provided for students writing examinations independently, with the help of their peers without disabilities, teachers or parents. In preparing tests and examinations, either the teacher, the parent or both played a role unlike a conventional school. Preparing a separate question paper or changing question patterns for the examination were the most common accommodations. Collaboration is done by parents and teachers with the special education teacher to prepare separate question papers for children with disabilities. While grading, Teachers do not focus on spelling and handwriting if the children were able to demonstrate that they understood the concept, at least to a certain degree. The degree of involvement of parents varies according to the individual needs of children and at the request of the teacher in some cases.

As a trainee teacher, I feel that teachers at Inclusive Schools must experience a sense of satisfaction teaching an inclusive classroom, doing whatever little they could, not only for children with disabilities, but also for their parents who must feel isolated and struggle for ordinary day-to-day activities. One can learn a lot through the experiences in inclusive classrooms.

In my observation, communicating with the child and not treating them as “special child”, giving them a sense of normalcy is a key aspect in providing an atmosphere of inclusiveness. By understanding and accepting children with diverse characteristics, it would not only improve personal communication with children with disabilities but set an example for other children without disabilities, teach them tolerance and acceptance at an early age, and gradually their parents and eventually, the society. Little initiatives by teachers/elders or peers like having lunch together with the children in class every day would make those children more comfortable interacting with them outside the academic setting. An implication for inclusive classrooms that may ensure learning by all, so that children with disabilities don’t disrupt learning process for children without disabilities is that when there are consistent behaviour-related issues, and when the child does not seem to make any progress in social and behavioural aspects, some additional intensive therapy or training can be provided outside the classroom or school for a few days, and the child can return to the school after a certain period (a few weeks to a few months).

Corporal punishments or any other negative reinforcement will not be helpful in an inclusive classroom unlike other regular classrooms. All teachers of inclusive classrooms should understand that only though sensitivity, acceptance and empathy, the journey of learning can be undergone by all peacefully; so if a child with disability screams or hits the other child, no screaming back shall happen as that’ll definitely worsen their behaviour. It can’t be contested that Inclusion is the more conducive atmosphere for learning appropriate social behaviour as they are not isolated from the other kids, from the peer group. Inclusion is needed not just by the disabled but even by the abled as when a child goes to a regular school, they learn about what a society is; one child may beat or pinch, one child will be nice. All these experiences will add to development of all the kids as their self-esteem and confidence will be greatly impacted.

Developing self-esteem in children with disabilities especially in India is important because Indian communities are closely knit, and having a child with a disability in the family is still a source of stigma for the family. Inclusion will help such children as well as their parents as it is only through this they will learn to adjust socially better and come to terms with their disabilities and not dwell on it but rather make the best out of it.


  1. Adams, P. (2010). Education in India [Web blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.indiaedumart.com/Aggarwal, A. (2004). Handbook of inclusive education for educators, administrators and planners: within walls, without boundaries.
  2. Alur, M., & Bach, M. (2010). The journey for inclusive education in the Indian Subcontinent. New York: Routledge.
  3. https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/24918https://specialpride.com/ListingDetails/Insight-Academy_21https://specialpride.com/ListingDetails/Inventure-Academy_22

Cite this paper

Education for the Disabled Children. (2020, Sep 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/education-for-the-disabled-children/

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