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All children with disabilities have the right to be treated fairly and equally to children without disabilities. As of December 2002 schools are required not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason relating to their disability and to take reasonable steps to make sure they are not placed at a disadvantage to those whom are not disabled. It is against the law for schools to treat a child different as it is discrimination. There are several forms of discrimination, one if which is direct discrimination: This is deliberate discrimination against an individual. This is refusing a child into their setting because of a disability. There is also indirect discrimination. This is where events are in place but are not suitable for everyone. For example; language barriers, also spelling barriers could discriminate against a child who is dyslexic.
Discrimination due to a disability can occur through sports classes. A teacher may exclude someone with a disability as they may take longer to reach the end result than a person without a disability. This will result on the child missing out on opportunities that children without a disability won’t miss out on. An example of this could be exclusion by other children to be on their team as they are disadvantaged, this would cause the child with the disability to be excluded from other students within the group. This would be discrimination towards a child with a disability.
There are specific laws, legislations and regulations in place giving rights to children with disabilities. The equality act 2010 ensures children with disabilities receive the same access to public or private services and that the services make reasonable adjustments to their properties to ensure they are accessible for all. This could include ramps, disabled toilets, lifts to access higher floors if needed, or braille. This promotes equal opportunities.
Special educational needs codes of practice was developed to help to provide adequate support for an individual’s personal needs. It provides practical local advice to local education authorities, maintained schools and early education settings on carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provisions for childrens special educational needs. A child with disabilities should have their needs met. Children with special educational needs have a right to a balanced education and to work at the right curriculum for themselves.
When working inclusively with children with disabilities they should be given equal opportunities. They should be given the opportunity to be educated in a mainstream setting and have their individual needs met the same as other children without a disability do.
If a child is treated as they have a medical model of disability in a childcare setting, then this can cause the child to be seen as an illness and not as a normal person. This can result in not only the teacher not respecting the child but also the other class mates not respecting the child and treating the child differently, which will cause discrimination. When the child is being treated different and unfairly they are not able to show their full strengths and their full potential.
Inclusive practice is having respect for each individual as a person. By showing them respect they will gain trust for you and feel confident around you. Take time to get to know the person and listen to them. Be thoughtful towards another’s feelings. By letting the child have a say and being involved will empower the child which will help them to be confident.
The benefits of working and communicating with parents are all children are different and have different needs and nobody knows their child better than their parents. Parents look at their children and see them as a person and not a disability and know a childs strengths and weaknesses. It is important to understand and respect a parents feelings and emotions and understand that some parents may find the journey more demanding than others. It is important to make sure that a parent understands procedures in a childcare setting and be sure to involve them in everything concerning their child. A parents method of dealing with a situation may be different to somebody else’s so be sure to respect a parents opinion. Parents should always be respected as an individual. When making arrangements with parents allow them plenty of notice as they could have to arrange it through work or through childcare so allow plenty of flexibility. Sometimes extra support maybe needed from a professional. It is likely that when a child with a disability or additional needs enters a childcare setting professional support is already established. By working in partnership with other professionals it helps to acknowledge children with learning difficulties and help to provide the correct support.
A childcare setting can be adapted to a child’s needs. Things like a ramp for a wheelchair user or a lift if it is required if the building is set over more than one floor. If a lift is not accessible then an alternative would be to move floors so a wheelchair user isn’t discriminated against. Also easy access to a disabled toilet is required. Adapting for blind people by using braille where needed. Adapting certain materials so its age and stage appropriate. Making sure people around them show a positive attitude towards equality and diversity. A disabled child is just as able to take part in activities just as much as other children but adjustments may need to be made. Inclusive practice can only be effective if adults lead by example and reflect on their own attitudes an beliefs. Children with additional needs or disabilities may face barriers that prevent them from having the same opportunities as other children in a childcare setting.
Some children with disabilities may struggle with going to the toilet so may need additional help. They may need additional help with zips and buttons on clothing. If children are using fancy dress be aware of the fastenings on the clothes and consider Velcro or bigger buttons.
Some children may find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings. Visual aids are a useful method of helping them to pick their preference.
If a child has a physical impairment some environments may create barriers to prevent a child from moving around to their full potential. If a setting causes barriers then people need to consider moving furniture around a setting to prevent obstacles. For example not putting materials and activities on the floor so a wheelchair user is unable to participate. It can also cause a barrier to people with a visual impairment. Putting materials and activities on the floor can also be an obstacle and dangerous for someone trying to find their way around safely.
Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty soley because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught. A child is disabled if they are blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed.
A person has a disability for the purposes of this act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
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