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Family focus – the social context of disability

A strong family focus is crucial for inclusive education. Watch this video by Chioma Ohajunwa. Join the Education for All free online course.
So last week, during the summary interview, issues related to social inclusion, stereotypes and marginalisation, inclusive education and barriers to learning were identified and defined. Statistics on children left out of school were discussed. The necessity of identifying schools, school boards and leadership, teachers, parents’ rules and expectations as important for inclusion. Everyone stands to gain from inclusion. And although inclusion can be a challenge, it is happening in schools. Change needs to happen and the way the education system for schools to receive the support they need to be inclusive. Now, this introduces what this course is about. It’s about breaking barriers, transforming communities, and reaping the benefits of inclusion. Disability is one of these issues of inclusion.
And for this week, will discuss how the family and understanding the concept of disability influences this process. The medical and social models of disability will be discussed. Equally, it links to how people perceive disability, the family is critical to the development of the child and provides psychological and academic support for the child with a disability to build resilience, to succeed in education and life in general. However, it is critical to understand that families need to be supported to play this role in the life of their children. A collaboration and partnership is required. Now, before we start this session, I want you to think about the following statements, and decide what they do with them or not.
You have 30 seconds per slide, so, the first thing that comes into mind. People with disabilities have medical needs. People with disabilities have problems with learning. People with disabilities are dependent on others. People with disabilities need specialised services. In thinking about the statements, you’re expressing your own views about disability, and that is good to do. When families are raising children with disabilities, they also bring their own perspectives. So, we need to look more closely at understanding some disability and how all these perspectives come together to create a unique experience for children with disabilities related to learning. This week will be facilitated by Judy and Brian.
In this week, we will look at the roles of family. Loving acceptance and helping children to build resilience are the starting point for inclusive education. Inclusion in the family may take time to develop as the needs of the child with a disability are incorporated into the family’s existing structure – with siblings, extended family and even physical circumstances.

I posed a few questions in my introduction which I want you to respond to with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’:

  • People with disabilities have medical needs
  • People with disabilities have problems with learning
  • People with disabilities are dependent on others
  • People with disabilities need specialised services
  • It is important to understand the cause of disability

In thinking about these statements, you are expressing your own views about disability. When families are raising children with disabilities they also bring their own perspectives, so we need to look more closely at understandings of disability and how this affects families.

What do your responses tell you about the way you see disability?

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Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

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