Conceptions of and experiences with inclusion for a cohort of caregivers of secondary students with intellectual and multiple disabilities in an Ontario high school
Master of Education
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The primary purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the conceptions of and experiences with inclusion of students with intellectual and multiple disabilities by a cohort of participants from one Ontario high school? The data was collected and analyzed via qualitative semi-structured interviews. Participants were selected via purposive samplings and included four female caregivers and one male caregiver. The findings of this study provide insight into the participants' opinions about inclusion, focussing on what inclusion means to them Also identified are their points of view regarding politics, goals, friendship, and the elimination of special education classrooms and how these relate to inclusion. As well, the participants identified elements necessary for effective inclusive education. According to the participants, the term inclusion refers to educating students with disabilities together with students without disabilities. Politically, inclusion is seen as being cost effective. The participants do not believe that inclusion facilitates friendships between students with and without disabilities. True friendships develop only between students with disabilities. The participants' goals for inclusion are student orientated. They oppose foil inclusion because students with disabilities ultimately forego many benefits. Effective collaborative planning invites the parents, guardians, and support personnel's input, and helps to place students with disabilities appropriately. Negative ramifications for parents, guardians, and support personnel, and students with and without disabilities are a result of inappropriate inclusive educational placements. Positive attitudes and proper support for all individuals involved in the inclusion process are necessary for inclusion to be successful.