Inclusion-Fact or Fiction: Young People with Physical Disabilities Speak About Their Post-Primary Schooling.
Keywords:Inclusion, Post-Primary, Physical Disabilities, Integration, Inclusive Education, Mainstream vs Special School, Special School, Mainstream
Recent international discussion in relation to the appropriate school placement for students with disabilities has been dominated by the ‘integration’ debate. Ireland has witnessed a similar debate. It is clear that within Ireland and internationally that the integration issue has often become polarised into circular arguments about the efficacy of special schools in comparison to their mainstream counterparts. Increasingly it has been recognised that this type of discussion can become a futile exercise unless the educational and social needs of the individual child becomes the central focus of the debate. Research has tended to focus on investigating the efficacy of integration from the viewpoint of teachers, policy makers and schools. With some notable exceptions (Allan,1999, Moore, Beazley & Maelzer, 1998) the experiences of the young people with disabilities who have been integrated into mainstream schools are rarely canvassed or documented. This is equally true within Irish education. This research is an attempt to redress the balance. Young people with disabilities (primarily physical) were asked to address their experiences of curriculum access within post primary schools (Kenny et al., 2000).
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