Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Difficulties and Exploitation in Inclusive Schooling: In-Field Reflections in Mental Disorder/ Disability Inclusion in India

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Difficulties and Exploitation in Inclusive Schooling: In-Field Reflections in Mental Disorder/ Disability Inclusion in India

Article excerpt

1.INTRODUCTION

One must firstly understand that the idea of Inclusion is a noble thing; it is not only a socialist defiance against natural selection itself, that stems from a humanitarian consideration of equality and a feeling of affiliation to every member of our society, but it also has rational and logical benefits such as individuals with disability having the preparation to live as a part of the community, improvement in the skills of the education provider, and enhanced social peace because of the choice of equality that is taken up by one and all (Karagiannis, Stainback, & Stainback, 1996). Then by definition of that choice of equality, Inclusion means that individuals can study together without any discrimination based on caste, race, learning ability, linguistic ability, family structure, sexual orientation, religion, financial background, gender, sex, socioeconomic status, culture or ethnicity (Salend, 2001, p. 6). The basis of this understanding of Inclusion is historically attributed to two movements: the Normalisation movement and the Deinstitutionalisation movement.

Normalisation owes its origin to Bank-Mikkelsen, the Head of the Danish Mental Retardation Service (1959), who put it as, "letting the mentally retarded having an existence as close to the normal as possible" (Wolfensberger, 1972), after which it was further developed by Nirje into: "making available to the mentally retarded patterns and conditions of everyday life which are as close as possible to the norms and patterns of mainstream society" (Nirje, 1969) and propagated widely as he was then the Director of the Swedish Association for Retarded Children (Wolfensberger, 1972). Nirje's work was quickly seen as being potentially applicable to not just individuals with mental retardation but to all kinds of "deviants" which referred to all individuals who were "unconventional" and thereby creating the need for culture specific methods and standards of measuring "deviance" (Wolfensberger, 1972) which would allow Nirje's work to be potentially used as a framework for human management (Dybwad, 1969). However this is where the idea of Normalisation slowly started evolving into the idea of Inclusion. According to Kolstoe (1961), what is deviant and by how much, is quite based on the individual who is measuring. Therefore what is more appropriate is to focus not only on the consequences of the limitations of an individual but also the potential factors that make him a deviant to others, in the first place. For instance, a student with Dyslexia might have difficulties in studies but the bigger issue is that he cannot read or write language as well as the others in his/ her class. This is specifically where Societal Devaluation sets in, which is an aspect of the social relationship and service tool formulated by Wolf Wolfensberger in 1983, known as Social Role Valorisation, which states that society continually identifies groups that are different or "deviant" and catalogues them as having lesser social value (Wolfensberger, 1983; Wolfensberger, 1991). One further landmark event was the United States Supreme Court's 1954 Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka ruling that prohibited the establishment of separate black and white schools (Warren, 1954). Along with the Normalisation movement, the Deinstitutionalisation movement was also quite prevalent by this time.

Deinstitutionalisation, is the process of shifting individuals with mental disorders or developmental disabilities, from long term institutions to community based mental health services, with the underlying assumption and understanding being that the former isolates the individual while the latter is more integrative (Grinnell, 2016). It was in this climate that the ideas of Inclusion finally started to crystallise and slowly formulate into how we know them today (Taylor & Ferguson, 1985; Schnorr,1990; Forest, 1986, winter).

The formalisation of the Inclusion movement came forth as the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) which was upholded by the World Conference on Special Needs Education and urged the governments of all countries to initiate structural and foundational changes in the method of teaching and the entire educational system at large, so as to ensure inclusivity of all children irrespective of any discriminative factors (Das & Kattumuri, 2011). …

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