Factors Influencing the Accessibility of Education for Children with Disabilities in India
The Central and State governments in India have formulated programs and policies over the years for children with disabilities in order to help them to enter mainstream society. However, despite these policies, children with disabilities are amongst the most disadvantaged in terms of access to schooling and completion of elementary education, as their needs are not met effectively. ┬áBased on my personal experiences, research, and communication with different stakeholders involved in the field of education for children with disabilities over the last 30 years, this paper explores the broader challenges in the current education system with respect to issues of quality of education and drop-out rates of primary students with disabilities. A number of factors that influence the accessibility of education for children with disabilities are presented including: perceptions of parents of children with disabilities and their difficulties in helping their children with disabilities, the general attitude of society, government officials, school staff and infrastructure, inadequate levels of training of key stakeholders, invisibility of disability in community, poverty, lack of acceptance, lack of interest, gender discrimination, lack of awareness, poor physical access, availability of various support systems, and government policies focusing on the education of children with disabilities in specific.┬á
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