Attitude, Legislation, and Litigation
Attitude, Legislation, and Litigation
Before the mid 60s and 70s, education was not encouraging especially for students with disabilities. Under certain circumstances, individuals with disabilities as well as their families faced discrimination from physically healthy peers. Therefore, the legislature made an effort to establish positive changes for individuals with disabilities regarding their treatment in some countries, especially the US (Matthews, 2009). It is significant to build a social understanding of disabilities in order to eliminate and marginalize negative attitudes toward people with disabilities. Attitude is often defined as behavior, moods, and thought process combined with feelings and beliefs. In the history of mankind, individuals with disabilities were despised, hidden from the public, institutionalized and abandoned. Some of them were even murdered. Current paper focuses on social implications of attitude, legislation, and litigation on the lives of students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities face a number of challenges. They encounter problems in education since they cannot fully participate in different activities. In addition, the education sector faces a number of challenges since disabled students have a lot of difficulties while learning compared to their physically healthy colleagues (Bon, Faircloth, & LeTendre, 2006). As a result, the society finds and establishes different preferential services and treatment for persons with disabilities. In addition, the introduction of litigation and legislation governs education for the disabled students. Recently, services offered to individuals with disabilities in the education sector have been ineffective due to their poor delivery. Moreover, financial problems hinder services provision to special education sector.
Attitude has several social implications for students with disabilities. Peoples attitude toward disabilities poses numerous impacts on lives of the disabled people. Usually students with disabilities find themselves stigmatized (Bon et al., 2006). In some instances, the negative attitude toward individuals with disabilities can be recognized through social rejection. It is a fact that students with disabilities have more needs. For this reason, there exists a notion that people with disabilities are considered a burden. In schools, the negative attitude also impacts students with disabilities since they view themselves as a burden to their colleagues. They also face social stigma that negatively affects their education process. In different cultures, attitude toward the disabled is negative since there are individuals who believe that mental retardation is a punishment from God. Moreover, some people claim that disabled people are possessed by the evil spirit, and thus the need for exorcism or religious intervention arises. In such situation, the disabled are viewed as lesser human beings (Bon et al., 2006).
Further, legislation and litigation have some social implications for the disabled students. The responsibility for most schools to teach all students as well as offer equal opportunities for both normal and disabled children began in Court. Both litigations and legislations guide and govern the education of students with disabilities (The New Movement in Disability Education and Advocacy, 2013). The beginning of special education was a relief to many people. From the legislative perspective, education would be provided to students with disabilities. In addition, they were also guaranteed the provision of public education to every student regardless of his/her abilities. Further, it also provided that all students are legible to receive appropriate public education and an opportunity in a non-restricted environment.
Inclusive learning provides high quality education to students regardless of their disabilities (Matthews, 2009). The legislations further provided that students with disabilities both in private and public institutions would receive similar education with physically healthy students. Further, there should be no special classes and also separate schooling. Students who are supposed to be removed from classes are only those with severe disabilities that totally hinder the provision of education.
From my viewpoint, looking at the future of special education, I foresee a positive change in the education for all disabled students. The change mentioned above is based on some factors that educators face. For example, teachers who do a lot of work have fewer resources. As a result, such education system exhausts teachers thus causing a very high turnover rates especially in special education system. Teachers are ready to help students with special needs in classrooms. I think the current educational climate gives many opportunities for students; however it is not available in all school districts. There are also several early intervention programs that could benefit disabled students. With new laws being implemented, each year gives a lesson to what can be improved (The New Movement in Disability Education and Advocacy, 2013). Research is also another education tool that can be helpful for students and educators. I anticipate that in the future more inclusion programs will be promoted to help those with special needs in order to have better peer influences. It will also play a significant role in breaking down prejudices of individuals without disabilities. The inclusion of disabled students especially into mainstream classes with their fellow students who are not disabled has both negative and positive impacts on disabled students.
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When I first met with a disabled person, I was filled with curiosity and concern. I was also eager to know whether this person would get better and why they were different from others. Initially, when I was young, I had the notion that all people with disabilities were as a result of punishment from God. I never liked to be in their company. However, as I grew up, my thoughts started to change. I realized that they were ordinary human beings who needed special care compared to the normal person. I also learned that disability is just the same difference when we encounter persons with different eye or hair color. Thus, it does not make them lesser individuals. Since when I was a child, I have met many people with different disabilities. There are those who inherited them, while others acquired them because of diseases or accidents. It is significant to understand that God makes people different, and everyone is special and valuable.
In conclusion, most of the students with disabilities face a lot of challenges in life due to their status. For this reason, the introduction of litigation and legislation to govern their education is the first step in ensuring that they benefit from education offered in different institutions. Public education and social forum should also be encouraged to help change the attitude of society toward individuals with the disability thus improving the quality of their lives. All persons with disabilities should be treated with maximum care. In addition, they should not be disdained or even taken for granted since they are all human beings. Positive attitude toward them also improves their self-esteem.