ERIC Number: ED389106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jul
The Adverse Implications of Full Inclusion for Deaf Students.
Cohen, Oscar P.
This paper addresses the advocacy movement for the inclusion of children with disabilities in general education classrooms, especially the meaning of this movement for children who are deaf. First the ideology of the militant push for full mandatory inclusion is considered. This ideology is seen as having been fueled by two events. The first event was the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which focused on providing all children with a "free and appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment." The ideology of mandatory inclusion is seen as actually contradicting the law and defying the logic of how individual needs can best be met. Second, the civil rights rationale underlying the U.S. Supreme Court decision 40 years ago that banned racially segregated schools has been applied to educational placements for children with disabilities. Instead of safeguarding the rights of children, inclusionists are seen as denying children the right to attend school in alternative settings. The reality of inclusion for many deaf children is considered, and research is cited showing that the social communication between hearing and deaf children in inclusive settings is predominantly negative and does not promote social assimilation. Difficulties with using an educational interpreter are identified, including the denial of normal peer interaction to the deaf child and serious pedagogical limitations to an interpreted education. The paper urges educators not to abandon the continuum of alternative educational placements for deaf children in favor of mandatory full inclusion. (Contains 11 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (18th, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 16-20, 1995).