People perceive them as different/abnormal. For instance, they refer to them with sharp, short names such as A.D.D, autistic, hyper. They think that people with disabilities are not knowledgeable enough; that they do not even such basic tasks as reciting ABCs, count one to five or even be able to play with other children of their age. Their parents see them as normal kids, but not the people surrounding them (Irish Center).
Robinson (2003) says that people tend to view those with disabilities as needing pity. When I watched, read and listened from this module, my initial feelings were composed of pity. My perception was that they need special attention; that they cannot be included in the same programs as others. Initially, I thought that these people’s lives were hard and that they were tasking to their families. Since some are blind, others cannot walk, others do no hear and are autistic, I tended to think that they could not be of much help; rather they would require much from those without disabilities.
Did the initial thoughts and perceptions you had at the beginning change after completing the module?
However, after going through the module, I was convinced otherwise. The observations I made on the experiences of those people do not entirely agree with this negative view. I found out that a person with a disability does not necessarily have to be a beggar, ill nor unable. For instance, there are various people with different disabilities featured in the module. Andrea Bocelli is blind, but has a Doctorate of Law and is a reputable musician with several awards for his title; there is a teenager with Down syndrome celebrating a golf shot; a guitarist with no arms and many more cases (Irish Center). This shows that they are just normal like any other person; they have talents like we do and are bright too. They are able to support their own lives and those of others. Additionally, it was evident that there are certain religious and ethnic perspectives influence people’s views both positively or negatively regarding those with disabilities. However, if people in various professions learnt to engage them as normal students, patients or employees, they would fit appropriately.
Share at least one strategy for fostering an inclusive environment in your classroom.
One strategy that can be used for fostering an inclusive environment in class is using inclusive language; and the appropriate modes of address; and discouraging classroom incivilities. One can achieve this by celebrating the similarities, while, at the same time, discovering the differences between students. Support accessibility of computer and other information technologies as methods of interaction between lecturer and students. Also, one should provide students with opportunities to interact informally with him . Establishing ground rules for good classroom conduct are essential to protect insensitivity and cultural exclusion (Barker M).