Integration versus segregation: The experiences of a group of disabled students moving from mainstream school into special needs further education

Victoria Pitt, Michael Curtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the latest education policy for disabled students is one of inclusion, some students are moving out of mainstream schools into specialist colleges for their further education. This research uses a combination of group and individual interviews to explore why this move away from mainstream education is made. Results show that these students moved into specialist education because of the inadequate physical accessibility of their mainstream colleges, the quality of disability services available to them and their previous experiences whilst in mainstream school. These students were able to identify both strenghts and weaknesses within mainstream and special education for disabled students, and believed that educational placement should therefor be a matter of choice depending on physical, academic and emotional needs of the individual. It would appear, however, that for the students participation in this research, their local mainstream colleges were unable to cater for their needs, indicating that their decision to move into a special needs college was not based on a real choice. Mainstream colleges are challenged to create a truly inclusive environment so that disabled students are offered a real choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-401
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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