Jacy's Inclusive Education

The autobiography ‘If only you knew’ is an honest, humorous, and at times shocking, recount of Jacy Arthur’s personal experiences of growing up with cerebral palsy. Due to contact with a range of individuals with various lenses of disability, Jacy shares both positive and negative experiences within her school and community (Arthur, 2011). Due to her optimistic outlook, supportive family, high level of extra-curricular involvement, and building of strong friendships, it is believed that Jacy has been able to experience a reasonably high quality of life (Arthur, 2011; Freeborn & Knafl, 2014; Lindsay & Mcpherson, 2012b). Nonetheless, Jacy has faced a number of obstacles, including bullying, intolerant societal attitudes and environmental
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Inclusive education, which celebrates diversity and promotes a sense of belonging for all students within a school, can help to eliminate learning barriers (Guthrie & Waldeck, 2008). Through the support of a special education teacher, Jacy was provided with experiences of inclusion, such as accommodations for assessments, throughout her schooling (Arthur, 2011). Through organising accommodations of extra time, a separate room and opportunities for breaks, Jacy’s special education teacher played an active role in removing environmental learning barriers for Jacy’s year 10 end-of-year exam (Arthur, 2011; Bender, 2008; Westwood, 2007). Jacy’s assessment conditions allowed her to “have more time and peace” and promoted outcomes that were more equitable (Arthur, 2011, loc.692). Through making the appropriate accommodations, “sources of measurement error” were removed, allowing Jacy to complete her assessment to the best of her ability, and was placed at a more even playing field with her peers (Skues & Cunningham, 2011, p.172). This reflects the social model of altering the environment rather than attempting to change an individual, emphasising that a school’s response to disability affects how individuals, such as Jacy, experience disability (Dempsey & Nankervis, …show more content…
This recognises the rights of people with disabilities to have a satisfying and pleasurable life, with opportunities to develop strong relationships and have a strong sense of belonging and well-being (Brown, Brown & Turnbull, 2003; Tilly, 2011). This is shown through Jacy’s various holiday experiences of travelling Australia with her family (Arthur, 2011). Through undertaking new challenges, such as climbing Uluru, Jacy states that she began to feel that she “could do anything that was within my scope. I was a very happy person, full of self-confidence and ready to tackle anything that came along” (Arthur, 2011, loc.237). By being an active participant in family activities, Jacy was able to develop a strong sense of acceptance and belonging (Arthur, 2011; Freeborn & Knafl,

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