Students with Disabilities Must be Included in Public Schools

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Students with Disabilities Must be Included in Public Schools

Billy is physically handicapped and goes to school on a bus that has to pick him up quite early, for he has to go to school an hour away from his home. When Billy is at school, he gets to be in classes with all sorts of children; some are in wheelchairs, like he is, but they are unable to move by themselves, and some can walk, but Billy has a hard time talking to some of those children because they are developmentally younger than he is. All his classmates are his friends, but they never come over to play after school because he lives so far away, and Billy does not have a lot in common with them. Billy likes to play basketball in his driveway and he loves to talk about the latest pop music. There is a school about four blocks away from his house, but professionals in the school system have recommended that Billy not be included in regular classrooms. People who know Billy well would describe him as funny, friendly, smart, and athletic. People who are in charge of making sure Billy has the kind of education he deserves would describe him as having cerebral palsy, conductive hearing loss, and mild dyslexia. Were Billy included in the regular classroom at the school four blocks away, he would be known for who he is and not what he has; I believe the quality of his life would come rightfully before the quantity of adaptations he requires. Inclusion is realistic and necessary, and public schools should implement it as the next logical step in the process of helping students with disabilities.

The basic building blocks for inclusion are bringing necessary support services to the student, being in the regular classroom, and being at a nearby school. These things are n...

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...Many believe it is being functionally and physically able to perform tasks in everyday routines of one's life. This being accepted, teachers teach "life skills" to their students and believe they are providing special services. Can one really think his or her life is meaningful just because he or she has the ability to wash dishes or make a bed? Relationships are the basis of learning about and enjoying life. Most teachers agree that handicapped children have a right to improved quality of life, but by primarily teaching functional skills and doing so in segregated classrooms, they are seriously undermining that right. By including handicapped children in the regular classroom in public schools, the opportunity to build relationships exists, and it becomes possible to meet the seemingly unrealistic goals of belonging and providing a fair chance at a fulfilling life.
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