Social inclusion of children with Special Needs

Social inclusion of children with Special Needs

Uwe Maurer once quoted that, “We have no special needs children, we only have just

children…with special needs.” The quote has wider connotation and relevance because the

onus is on society and government to cater their needs, children are just children. Mahatma

Gandhi once said “if we wish to create a lasting peace we must begin with the children”.

Peace and harmony will only have an everlasting impact on society if the children are well

socially included. World Bank defines social inclusion as the process of improving the terms

on which individuals and groups takes part in society, improving ability, opportunity and

dignity of those that are disadvantaged on the basis of their identity. India being a welfare

state caters to all the needs of every section of the society including the specially abled ones.

Developing countries have the highest number of specially-abled children. According to

census 2011 India has 26.8 million persons with special needs. The State of education report

of India: children with disabilities reveals that there are 78,64,636 children with disability in

India which is 1.7 percent of total child population. Recent World Bank report reveals that

India has forty to eighty million people with special needs and illiteracy, poverty,

unemployment is highest among them. United Nation observed International year of

disability in 2001 to accommodate, rehabilitate and ponder over the thought as how to make

special needs people more socially inclusive in society.

Nelson Mandela is of the view that “Education is the most powerful weapon which can be

used to change the world”. But the recent UNESCO report released in July 2019 reveals that

around 75 percent of children with disabilities don’t attend schools in India and there is surge

in dropouts with each successive level of schooling. Report said that three-fourth of children

with special needs at the age of five-years and one-fourth between five to nineteen year do

not attend school or any other educational institution. Large number of children enrolled

themselves in distance learning but thereafter there is significant decrease in that number too.

Inclusive education implementation on ground level is a complex task which requires a very

fine understanding of the needs of children with special needs. Behavioral change is the first step which should be changed. The teacher should come up with new innovative mechanism to teach and engage students. It should not be disability of the children which comes at the forefront but it should be the ability of teacher which should comes in. Learning environment

should be made inclusive.

The role is parents is also utmost important when we talk about social inclusion of children

with special needs besides providing them physical amenities, ICT technology and devices of essential necessity. Government comes up with various policies for children with special

needs but the execution of these policies is still missing which deprives millions of children

with disabilities from gaining essential skills and education. However, there are many

institutions which are working tirelessly to make their university and school curriculum

accessible to all kind of learners. Yet there is still a need is to abolish various hurdles.

Different leaders in education field should come forward and collaborate with different

government departments, policy makers, entrepreneurs and made the education accessible

and affordable for children with special needs. We must keep in mind that social inclusion is

not all about education of children with special needs but it is also about sensitizing and

educating the society about the different needs of the children with special needs. Parents and teachers take reasonable measure in providing them with a facilitative environment of

engagement in a therapeutic manner, using home owned resources so that these children

never feel anxiety and distress. Storytelling, music classes, playing with bunch of other

children is always helpful to make the socially inclusive. However, the most important is

attitude change towards them.

India has made significant progress in terms of policies to make the children with special

needs socially inclusive but the onus remains on the society which should change their

attitude towards them therefore, various behavioral change seminars and training

programmes should be conducted to spread the awareness. Various measures like

commencement of schemes which enhances the enrolment of children with special needs is

the need of hour in education sector so that we can fulfil the Sustainable development Goal

no. 4 which talks about inclusive and affordable education for all types of learners.

Coordination of various department and ensuring effective funds allocation for the betterment

of the children with special needs is the long pending goal. Expansion of ICT technology and

transformation of teaching practices according to the needs of the specially abled children

and last but not the least overcoming stereotypes towards children with special needs will

help them more socially inclusive in the society.


 Avalanne D’Souza; Indian Express; 23june2020; How to support children with learning disabilities amid

COVID-19 pandemic;

Reena Gupta; Financial Express;8 June 2018; Creating an inclusive classroom: Persons with disabilities needeasier access to higher education;


Dr B. Balaji; The Hindu; updated 5April2020; Sensitising parents of children with special needs!

World Bank; Social Inclusion;

Katrina L. Barker and Ors.; January 2015; ResearchGate; Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Education.

Education Review Office New Zealand; December 2012; Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Services;

Daria Mrsic;22 June2017; The conference “The right to inclusive education”, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Shari Tarver-Behring, Michael E. Spagna and James Sullivan; JSTOR; School Counselors and Full Inclusion for Children with Special Needs.

India Today; updated 4July2019; 75% of children with disabilities don’t attend schools in India: UNESCO

Samagra Shiksha Department of school Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India; Inclusive Education for children with special needs

Sanjana Krishna; November 2017; Children with special needs in India

United Nation; International Day of Persons with Disability

UNESCO; Education for all global Monitoring Reort;

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