Special Needs Students in Classrooms: How Friendship and Community Ties can promote inclusion
by MoJo JoJo on April 13, 2015 - 11:21pm
line-height:200%;font-weight:normal">Education is arguably the most valuable commodity in one’s life. It should be accessible and convenient to all. However, students with special needs do not always have the same experience when it comes to education. They often feel left out from the rest of society and, due to lack of funding, are deprived from other basic services. As reported in “Special needs: the illusion of inclusion”, an article published in The Star in May 2014 by Janis Jaffe-White and Reva Schafer, students with special needs feel isolated from other students. This has consequences in later years as these students find it difficult to become part of the community at large. Currently, the staff put in charge of special needs students lack the proper training and are rarely sanctioned if the right procedures are not followed. Students have minimal assistance in their learning process.To resolve this issue, organizations like Friendship and Community Ties (FACT) have been founded with the simple mission of easing these student’s integration process. This club, based at Champlain College St-Lambert, helps students with development disabilities create friendships within the cegep community by organizing entertaining activities that encourage friendship making and socializing.
line-height:200%;font-weight:normal"> Since the inclusion of students with special needs is an issue I hold close to heart, I have decided to base my final volunteering post on this organization. As seen in my previous posts about bullying in schools and rights to education, I have been inspired to join this cause by volunteering a few hours of my time every week starting from the beginning of April. I feel that is a noble action to do considering the fact that I would actually enjoy my time. During my volunteering sessions, I expect to participate in various activities with the special needs students to develop friendships with them. Moreover, the club is hosting a sporting event on Wednesday April 15th, 2015. During this occasion, differently abled students from the school REACH, a school that specialises in the education of students with intellectual delays, will be joining FACT to participate in adapted sporting events. In order to contribute, I plan to brainstorm ideas for the event and host an activity kiosk. My ability to animate events and to offer encouragement will be needed as most special needs students shy away from any physical activities.