Social Identity

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Evi Argyrou (12110067)

SOCIAL EXCLUSION: THE IMPACT OF DISABILITY IN EDUCATION

Government’s Social Exclusion Unit (Cabinet Office, 1997, cited in Laura Middleton, 1999) mentioned that social exclusion arise from a combination of problems and cites unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown (p.63). Social exclusion can be also described as the process of being shut out from the social, economic, and cultural systems that contribute to the inclusion of a person into the community (Newman, Biedrzycki, Patterson and Baum, 2007, p.11). Social exclusion does not have a single explanation as the definition changes over time. Across Europe people with disabilities experience stigmatization, prejudice and face serious difficulties to ‘connect’ with the community. ‘Special’ schools where disabled children are in a neat school group, with children who exhibit the same disorders, they may adopt a similar behavior and build their evolution over irregular behavior which will imitates in their everyday life. The question that occurs: is the view that the "special child" must be on "special school” a manifestation of "racism" and specially "Educational racism"? As Oliver (1996) mentioned: “It is society that disables physically disabled people. Disability is something imposed on top of our impairments by the way we are unnecessarily isolated and excluded from full participation in society” (p.33). Social integration is achieved when the other understands and accepts the uniqueness of a disabled person. This is accomplished at first stage within the family and at second stage at school, with a common life of a team. Concluding, the European Monitoring and Advocacy Program (2006), mentioned in a monitoring report, which came from Greece (Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities: Access to Education and Employment, p.17), that in mainstream schools are usually organized ‘classes for integrating’ for disabled children who spend a part of the school year, together with non-disabled children. There are many controversies around the definition of disability, which have root deep in the centuries of human social existence. Wood (1981), defines disability as “any restriction or luck (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being”. A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional and developmental or some combination of these and it may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime. In any of these situations, disabled people are the most socially excluded and face racism from people and societies around them in all countries. “‘Disabled’ is an administrative and social category which means that all children have to be one thing or another, either ‘disabled’ or not, rather than fitting somewhere into a continuum of ability” (Laura Middleton, 1999, p. 63). The exclusion of disabled people in education, preclude their rights of a normal life, job or future. Education gives us knowledge of the world around us. It develops in us a prospective of looking at life and it helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life. ”A disabled child has the same needs as any other, although they may have to be met in different ways” (Laura Middleton, 1999, p. 69). Educational software presents challenges for students with disabilities in a number of ways. For example, students with visual impairments must not rely on alternative-format books, such as large print or Braille, which are often not ready in time for the beginning of the school year. Another problem that came up is that while other students are receiving their books in print all at once, blind children may get a chapter at a time and must hope that the sections they need will arrive in time for them to keep up with their class. Other visual materials may never be adapted and students must...
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