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Individuals with Disability Act

Since the passage of the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) and its reauthorization in 1997, educators have confronted tremendous pressure to mainstream children with disabilities, in deference to the IDEA's "least restrictive environment" (LRE) provision (Hall, 2002, p. 144). Essentially, to the extent possible, children with disabilities, including blind children, should be educated alongside their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms (Hall, 2002). In the remainder of this paper, the pros and cons of pursuing a full inclusion policy of placing blind children in general education classrooms will be presented.

On the positive side, proponents of the full inclusion policy argue that disabled children such as blind children are best able to cultivate appropriate social skills when they are given the opportunity to interact with non-disabled children. Through their exposure to non-disabled children, disabled children such as blind children will be able to develop the appropriate social skills that will enable them to interact successfully with mainstream society (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998.

Just as importantly, non-disabled children will be challenged to alter their stereotypical conceptions about children with disabilities (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998). For example, one of the ways of including blind children in the classroom is to teach Braille to sighted children so that they can understand how the blind community utilizes Braille as a means of written communication. Through this process, sighted students will be able to understand that their blind peers are equally capable as they are. Even though blind students suffer from visual impairments, they are not helpless and dependent on their peers. The sensitization of educators and non-disabled students to students with disabilities in the classrooms, including blind children, is critical to the effective integration of children with disabilities into general...

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Individuals with Disability Act. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:09, April 21, 2019, from