Inclusive Education for all Children with Disabilities: Removing Accessibility Barriers Definition of disabilities ( visual and physical but need to look into spectrum of disabilities) Persons with disability act 2008. Defines it. Put statistics on desegregated disabilities.
Brian Lariche, Amanda Kong
Make It Right Movement (MIRM), Community Advocate for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)
Problem Statement / Issue:
• Statistics indicated that the current full inclusion rate of children with disabilities (CWDs) in mainstream schooling is far below the 30% targeted by Malaysian Educational Blueprint 2013-2025.
• Despite increment in enrollment of CWds following the Zero Reject Policy in 2019, access to education is curtailed by the maximum 3 months’ probation period to determine his/her suitability to attend school by a panel which does not include parents (Reg. 4, Education (Special Education) Regulations 2013).
• Schools have limited capacity to accept CWDs due to lack of trained human resource and inadequate of support resources such as accessible educational materials for CWDs and a curriculum tailored to their needs/capacity.
• There is also lack of awareness and training provided to teachers to cope with CWDs. Teachers who undertake Special Education courses lack experience in providing guidance and support to CWDs, owing to their limited knowledge in a particular subject.
• The current system does not prepare CWDs to transition towards meaningful participation in society and independent living after schooling years, due to the narrow curriculum and limited future pathways for them.
• There is a lack of coordinated resources and government agencies which are focused on curated integration of disabilities into the fabric of national life.
Does not prepare nor allow CWD to move forward to livelihood preparedness and choice of careers. One size fits all curriculum not tailored to spectrum of capacities.
Value(s) and Belief(s):
Mandate inclusive education as a right for all CWDs by amending relevant laws and policies; develop holistic support systems at schools for CWDs to promote full participation.
Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:
1. Amend the Education (Special Education) Regulations 2013 and Education Act 1996 to mandate inclusive education as a right of all CWDs and repeal the 3 months’ probation period to determine suitability of a CWD to attend school.
2. Conduct independent audits on accessibility of schools for CWDs and allocate necessary resources to accommodate the needs of CWDs, such as a disabled-friendly toilets and ramps for wheelchair users.
3. Conduct disability awareness training for teachers to enable them to understand the needs of different CWDs and how to create an inclusive culture in their classrooms. There should also be awareness sensitisation programmes for students in schools and higher learning institutions.
4. Develop SOPs and guidelines in vetting the suitability of educators involved in Special Education prior to assigning them as “resource teachers” and “shadow aids” (eg sign interpreters and mobility assistants) for CWDs, to ensure that CWDs are given adequate guidance and support throughout their education.
5. Develop accessible forms of educational resources (textbooks and reference guides) for CWDs which should be updated regularly to reflect the national education blueprint (2015-2025).
6. Work with relevant government ministries and agencies, public and private bodies to curate an educational pathway for CWDs upon leaving secondary education i.e. a certified curriculum which focuses on capacity building and professional development, emphasising on hard and soft skills to enhance self-sufficiency in moving towards meaningful engagement with society.
Isu dan Polisi Semasa:
Nilai-nilai & Kepercayaan: