Parents and Educators of a Special School: Their Perspectives on Inclusive Education for People with Down Syndrome in Navi Mumbai, India Open Access
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The topic of this study is centered on students with intellectual disabilities; in particular, its focus is on those individuals who have Down syndrome. One of the primary debates revolving around the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities is whether or not they should be educated in separate, special schools. According to the current academic consensus, and the government of India's new policies, inclusion within mainstream schools is the most beneficial practice for students with Down syndrome to grow socially and academically; however, the perspectives of parents and staff are often left out of the equation when determining the impact of such schemes on local communities. Thus, this study utilizes these perspectives through a three week period of interviews and observations at a special school located in Navi Mumbai, India. A total of eleven parents and five staff members were consulted. The results point toward aspects of special education that make it necessary in India's current climate of integration and less specialization. Simultaneously, the findings also indicate how inclusive education needs to change in order to become beneficial for families, who are typically not part of these policy discussions.