Monday, May 01, 2006

Blogging Against Disablism Day!

So this isn't so much about my day today but my thoughts for blogging against disablism day...

The children I teach in my class are all 'disabled'. What does this mean for them? What does it mean for me? I need to teach them the things that will make them able to access mainsteam society and be socially acceptable in it. We can work on their physical capabilities and the behaviour and manners, but can anything we do in a school be enough to create the change that is really necessary.

I am at the point of thinking carefully about separate special schools, integration with mainstream schools and, the 'pinnacle', inclusion. Special schools and integration processes both have their good and bad points but where do we start in creating an inclusive school system, or better yet, society. For me, inclusion is a school/society where it doesn't matter what means you use to gain access to your environment (including people) they are acceptable and available. The dream where everybody is able to see past the wheelchair, the frame and flapping hands, the electronic communication devices and signs, the slurred speech or uncontrollable movements and get to know the amazing people who are more than their diagnosis.

There is a lot about being the parent of a disabled child that I don't understand. The guilt, the greif, the pain that makes you let them get away with anything and everything that any other kid would be in serious trouble for. That makes my life as a teacher hard and it is very wearing maintaining the consistency of discipline that they need.

I also can never understand what it is like for them. The frustration and anger as they realise they are different and the world is not set up to make it easy for them. I want to thank the people with disabilities who blog and give me an insight into the future for my 6 year old students. It may be a bit early to start them blogging though...

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