Inclusive Education Essay

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For over 25 years society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities have changed significantly. As a result, education for students with disabilities has made a prominent transformation. Particular social and historical events, both international and national, have played an integral part in influencing the development of inclusive education in Australia (Thomas and Loxley, 2007). Furthermore the history of society’s attitudes towards difference has had a major influence towards the formation of policies and legislation related to inclusivity, as well as impacted the way society accepts difference today. This critical reflection aims to identify the underlying values of inclusive education policies and legislation, and the influence …show more content…

According to Foreman (2008) the nominalisation movement of society influenced the basis of national policies and legislations, such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. An important objective of this federal legislation is that it eliminates discrimination of people with disabilities, supports equal opportunity and access to services and facilities, and promotes the principle that people with disabilities are entitled to have the same fundamental rights of those who do not have a disability (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009). According to Ashman and Elkins (2008, p. 39) in an attempt to assist the education system in “clarifying expectations and legal obligations under disability discrimination legislation” the Disability Standards for Education was authorised in 2005. The development of these standards is to assist schools in understanding what their responsibilities are in regard to enrolment, participation, curriculum access, student support services and freedom from harassment and victimisation of students with disabilities (Foreman, 2008). This responsibility for schools to create a more socially just and inclusive learning environment, is a common agenda in which all education systems across the world strive to achieve in their classrooms.

Although these legislation and policies will not miraculously change the negative perceptions associated with difference in society, there are

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