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Integrating Students with Severe Disabilities (page 5)

— Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

How can Extracurricular Activities Strengthen the Integration of Students With Severe Disabilities?

Most schools have co-curricular activities including clubs, sports, newspaper, student council, and social events such as dances. Many students with severe disabilities can acquire the skills necessary to participate, at least partially, in some of these activities. For example, students with severe disabilities could participate in the production of the school newspaper by collating, stapling, and delivering the newspapers to each classroom. They could also participate in student council meetings. Participation in any of these activities can provide both students with severe disabilities and nondisabled students opportunities to work together in a positive manner. 

How Might a School Commit Itself to Integration?

School staff could encourage students to make successful integration a school-wide objective. In many groups such as student council or human relations groups, objectives or priorities for the school year are selected by students. Helping to involve students with severe disabilities as important members of the regular school could be established as an objective. Teachers could provide students with information on several ways in which their assistance on integration efforts could be beneficial, and they could then work to accomplish the necessary steps toward the objective. 
Students could be encouraged to write articles on integration activities involving students with severe disabilities. For school newspapers, the student writers could report on sensitization/information sessions and other integration activities. Reporters could interview students with disabilities who previously had been in self-contained schools or classrooms and ask them to talk about both the positive and negative aspects of attending a regular school. 

References

Almond, P., Rodgers, S., & Krug, D. (1979). Mainstreaming: A model for including elementary students in the severely handicapped classroom. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 11, 135-139. EC 114 943. 

Donder, D., & Nietupski, J. (1981). Nonhandicapped adolescents teaching playground skills to their mentally retarded peers: Toward a less restrictive middle school environment. EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED, 16(4), 270-276. EJ 259563. 

Gartner, A., & Lipsky, D. (1990). Students as instructional agents. In W. Stainback & S. Stainback (Eds.), Support Networking for Inclusive Schools (pp. 81-93). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. 

Kelly, L., & Vergason, G. (1985). Dictionary of Special Education and Rehabilitation (2nd ed.). Denver: Love Publishing. EC 172 769. 

Kohl, F., Moses, L., & Stettner-Eaton, B. (1984). A systematic training program for teaching nonhandicapped students to be instructional trainees of severely handicapped schoolmates. In N. Certo, N. Haring, & R. York (Eds.), Public School Integration of Severely Handicapped Students: Rational Issues and Progressive Alternatives (pp. 185-195). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. EC 160 303. 

McHale, S., & Simeonsson, R. (1980). Effects of interaction on nonhandicapped children's attitudes toward autistic children. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MENTAL DEFICIENCY, 85, 18-24. EJ 232238. 

Poorman, S. (1980). Mainstreaming in reverse with a special friend. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 12, 136-142. EJ 232 214. 

Stainback, S., & Stainback, W. (1988). Educating students with severe disabilities in regular classes. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 21, 16-19. EC 210 908. 

Stainback, W., Stainback, S., & Jaben, T. (1981). Providing opportunities for interaction between severely handicapped and nonhandicapped students. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, 13, 72- 75. EJ 240 513. 

Voeltz, L. (1982). Effects of structured interactions with severely handicapped peers on children's attitudes. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MENTAL DEFICIENCY, 86, 380-390. EJ 259 650. 

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