More inclusive is the proposal to place students with mild or moderate disabilities in regular education classes (Reynolds & Wang, 1983; Wang, Reynolds & Walburg, 1987). The essence and meaning of inclusion evolved from the historical concepts in early childhood special education, that is, mainstreaming and integration. Bricker (1995) discusses the evolution of these terms, noting that mainstreaming refers to the “reentry of children with mild disabilities be served totally in these settings eliminating the need for pull-out programs.
While students with organically-based learning disabilities or moderately demonstrated behavioral disorders would not have been included in regular education rooms in the Level I proposal, they would be included here. Yet, proponents of both levels agree that there will be students with severe and/or multiple disabilities whose needs will not be served optimally in a mainstream environment. They feel that these students will need to participate full-time in separate settings. 3. Bicklen, Douglas & Bogdan, R. (1977). Handicapism in America. In B. Blatt, D. Bickler & R. Bogdan (eds).
An Alternative Textbook in Special Education, People, Schools and Other Institutions (pp. 205-215), Denver, CO: Love Publishing Company. Many of us have discovered that the more we know someone as a person the less noticeable his or her disability becomes. This perspective comes from experience and familiarity. Many people have varied types and severities of disabilities. The extent to which these disabilities become handicaps is dependent to a large degree upon how individuals and society relate to them. Bicklen and Bogdan (1977) point out that we have a history in the U. S.
of handicapping persons with disabilities by, for example, presuming that they must be sad, pitying them, over focusing on their disability, treating them as children (when they are adults), avoiding them, making then the source of humor, or speaking for them. How then are we to get to know people with disabilities as persons and avoid some of these handicapping behaviors? One fundamental answer to this question is for persons with disabilities to be included in, rather than excluded from, the typical activities and settings that people without disabilities, with respect, kindness and understanding.
When people lack experience with and exposure to persons with disabilities, they have difficulty learning how to behave ethically toward disabled persons. The search for better and more improved ways of meeting are becoming more complexed realities of handling special educational needs of special children. This requires continued efforts from all those who are involved in this endeavor: the government, its partners, the civil society, the parents, the local and the school authorities. Every effort put into improving the system is worthy of praise and it can be all of the following steps but not limited to them: