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Old 03.11.2004, 20:32   #1
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Default Full inclusion of the disabled

Hey guys, what do you think. Is the inclusion of the disabled desireable or not? Should they attend the same public schools as children with normal abilities do?
Which are the cases, when the disabled can attend public schools?

Looking forward to your replies..
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Old 03.11.2004, 22:53   #2
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You mean Armenia, right? Ideally, I think that has to come at some point. Physically disabled children who are otherwise mentally fit should attend the normal school. But one has to be very careful in introducing that in Armenia. There is such a thing as "xenophobia" and normal kids can react in strange ways, perhaps even unfriendly or aggressive towards the disabled who are more than vulnerable.
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Old 04.11.2004, 00:28   #3
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as Strider mentioned "ideally", yes, i think disabled, be that physically or mentally, should attend the same school with the rest of "normal" (notice the quotes) children.
excluding disabled children devides the society into segments, good-bad, us-them, which is extremely unhealthy for the society. people should start to learn that they can normally coexist with people who are "different" from them in one way or another. and this should be done at as early age as possible, when the worldview of most people is developed. this goes for both "normal" and disabled people.
moreover, isolating disabled children creates a huge negative psychological impact on them. they start wondering that there is something wrong with them, that they are not worth living, that are worthless and don't deserve the same kind of life as the rest of the children. this is especially devastating for physically disabled children.
another issue is the issue of confrontation with reality. sooner or later, most of these disabled children are going to face the reality. living in isolation and special environments, most of them don't develop the required skills to survive in "real" world, both physically, socially, and psychologically (meeting new people that are "different" from them, psycologically realizing the seriousness of the situation, physically doing things on their own, etc.).

i'm sure a psychologist and/or a sociologist will explain it in more details and more professional manner, but that's how i see it.

with all that said, i don't think it is an easy job to integrate disabled, both physically and mentally, children to our current educational system. all kinds of preparations need to be done to ensure the success of such action. specially trained educationors, who are well trained in working with both "normal" and disabled children, must be present in all schools to ensure the normal integration and coexistance. a special atmosphere must be created that will discourage any kind of discrimination towards disabled, that will discourage disabled to fear from others, to feel disappointed. and many more professional and practical details...
to add to all this complexity, our educational facilities don't have the neccessary conditions to integrate disabled. multilevel buildings lack elevators for physically disabled. there are no special conditions for blind people, such as engraved signs on doors. the same for deaf students, such as colored signals to replace the bell. no special desks for students on wheelchairs. and i'm not even talking about the horrible medical situation in schools that would need to be imporved to serve for not only small bruses or headache, but for all kinds of physical demage and mental care. and many many more such issues.
unless all this conditions are met, it would a disaster to integrate the disabled into our current educational system. that would lead to much more disappointments, frustrations, and depressions for the disabled, and additional reasons for the rest to feel unnesseccary burden (such as a student having to help his schoolmate to find the right classroom) and hate towards the disabled.


and i'm supposed to be a heartless geeky computer programmer... why am i thinking about all this....
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Old 04.11.2004, 01:37   #4
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Barew!

Agree 100% with all that Harut said, even in the picture he traced about the educational system in Armenia: I've seen a mirror of what is going on in my own country...

The problem is that the governments don't invest on the most important areas for the people:

Peace
Bread
Home
Health
Education
(the order comes from a song of a portuguese artist, and doesn't mean that the first is more important than the any of the other ones)

Lav egheq!
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Old 04.11.2004, 12:58   #5
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I do not agree that mentally disabled children should attend the same school with "normal" (notice the quotes (c) Harut) ones because the former require individual teaching, different textbooks and different style of presenting. They will inevitable slow down the process of learning of "normal" kids.
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Old 04.11.2004, 14:58   #6
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In my Arts class (during my studies in the States) we had a disabled kid. The idea was to let the disabled have the same opportunities as "normal" kids and to allow them to study in a normal environment. In addition, each disabled kid had a mentor/superviser who was present throughout the class period. The disabled children were allowed to participate in regular classes but they had special classes designed in accordance to their needs and abilities. The role of the supervieser was to help out because naturally the kid was not able to catch up with the class. I have to mention that the presense of this disabled kid in no way affected our regular class-so much for slowing down the class as a whole.
As for the case of Armenia, I really don't think that the kids have the kindness and integrity to accept a disabled child in their classes. I think it will lead to teasing, name calling etc. Before thinking about integrating disabled children in schools we should really think about not ostracizing them from the communities in general.
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Old 04.11.2004, 20:10   #7
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I agree that disabled kids need to socialize with "normal" children and classroom maybe be one of the best places to do so. The example of a disabled kid in Arts class to me is more of an exception. And I am happy that such exceptions are there. However, taking advanced math or chemistry class would have been a different thing.
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Old 05.11.2004, 02:20   #8
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as a health care worker I know the limitations of some children with disabilities , the physicly handicapped should be integratrd into the public system , how ever the mentally handicapped 's needs are far more demanding and I do not think that all teachers are capable of handling those children properly . they need and deserve special attention .
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Old 05.11.2004, 19:17   #9
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Apart from schools... You should see the handicapt children skiing in Tsahkadzor! The world belonged to them! "Pyunik" is the NGO which is teaching them to ski. These gyus do some real work - I admire them.
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Old 05.11.2004, 23:47   #10
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Right on Strider , here in Canada children without arms or legs can do amazing stuff on the ski hills ,it takes a lot of dedication and love , and well fitted limbs , and it can be done , Tzaghgazor ski hills are wonderful facilities

Last edited by Sevana; 06.11.2004 at 08:08.
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Old 08.11.2004, 18:09   #11
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a very related article.

http://www.armenianow.com/eng/?go=pub&id=246
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Old 08.11.2004, 19:35   #12
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Thank you Harut for the great article about the two disabled youths , how may I find Taron Amirkhanyan when my self or a member of my family is in Armenia ? I noticed that you are in California .
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Old 08.11.2004, 21:02   #13
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However, I think in Armenia the inclusion is not a desireable thing, because our society is not ready to take these people as they are. Of course, I'm talking about the physically disabled ones. Because the psychologically disabled can't attend public school for a simple reason: they are unpredictable.
Besides, teachers in Armenia are hardly prepared to deal with so-called "normal" students... Are we sure they would be able to act in a proper way if needed?
The schools and classrooms are not technically sufficient for the disabled.
And there is a number of other factors against the inclusion of the disabled.

However, the problem of integration into the society is a very important one. Every disabled child should clearly realize that (s)he is a part of the society, that (s)he leads an ordinary life, that (s)he doesn't differ in many senses from others...

So, the thing is that we should choose from the two possible consequences.
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Old 08.11.2004, 21:38   #14
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Fibi, that is why i said "ideally". there is a WHOLE lot and i mean A LOT to be done if we ever want to see a healthy integration.
but unfortunately, not many people think the way you expressed in your last paragraph.

if you have seen Michael Posghosian's "Yerevan Blues", there is a scene where two people talk in metro, and one of them says (i'm paraphrasing), "inchi im erexen piti poghots helni u sra nman gzherin rast ga. sra nmannerin piti hat-hat vochili nman satkatsnes". unfortunately, this is the dominant thinking in the country right now. and as long as it is, inclusion will lead to a disaster.

however, we can't just say it won't work and do nothing about it. people who think there is something wrong with this kind of thinking and the whole system should little-by-little try to introduce the idea, as that director of that school in the article is doing, for example.
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Old 08.11.2004, 21:40   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevana
Thank you Harut for the great article about the two disabled youths , how may I find Taron Amirkhanyan when my self or a member of my family is in Armenia ? I noticed that you are in California .
Sevan, i have no idea. but if you are really interested, you may contact the news agency that the article is from. and i'm sure they'll lead you to the right direction.
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