Disability Discrimination in Schools – Child Development Example

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"Disability Discrimination in Schools" is a wonderful example of a paper on child development. Growing up for most kids is a time of fun, the majority are safe from the effects of discrimination and, prejudices one is exposed to in adulthood. Among the first thing, disabled kids learn is that they are different, this often is viewed negatively. They have to deal with the negative perceptions of others who treat them as unequal and being kids they often subscribe to the same. A key challenge they face is that they lack role models.

Children with disabilities will naturally perceive themselves as lesser than others if they are unable to participate in some of the activities like their able peers. This is either because they are discouraged physically unable to participate, and many disabled children rarely get to interact with disabled role models. This is possible because their parents and teachers do not understand the importance of this. As a result, they make no attempt to facilitate it (SILC, Illinois, n.d). As a result, these kids grow up measuring themselves up to standards that may be impractical.

Another demonstration of this is the fact is parent’ s reluctant to send their children to specialized schools for their needs. Many of them are in denial, as such they insist on taking their children to regular schools even when their specific needs cannot be accommodated. They end up misjudging themselves to be deficient and perceive themselves as unequal. While the regular school system has provisions for disabled kids these can be ignored leading to increased suffering by the children. For instance, in a class with a lip-reading deaf student, a teacher talking without letting the learner see their face is likely to make the child feel left out and discriminated against.

They may also not understand the lesson, as a result, they are likely to suffer academically as well and this will further promote inequality with the “ normal kids” ( Equality and Human Rights Commission, n.d). A disabled child is also prone to bullying, based on the fact that they are viewed as different. Their peers tend to mock them, and consistently make them the butts of sadistic pranks such as hiding a blind Child's books or toys.

The already delicate self-perception suffers a significant hit, and they become frustrated and negative about life. Another cause of inequality between able and disabled kids is that, unlike their able, peers whose lives seemingly progress on the same plane from childhood to adulthood, life changes abruptly just as soon as they and society are getting used to them. For instance, a disabled kid growing up will have challenges that they may learn to deal with by virtue of age. However, just as they are acclimating themselves to these, they become disabled teenagers with a new list of problems altogether.

It takes about the same time to adjust to this when he discovers they are disabled adults opening a new set of problems altogether (Dream Mom, 2009). As a result, of their disability, children growing end up being treated as special and those especially who are perceived to be “ slow” have people talking to them in a slow and loud voice as if they have a hearing problem, as well. This leads to labeling them as slow.

The same causes them to view themselves that way. Similarly, children from indigenous communities often grow up with similar perceptions especially when they are living alongside other nonindigenous people. One of the main reasons for this can be attributed to discriminations arising from the past and which has found its way into the perceptions of people even today. Indigenous peoples were often labeled savages and their ways of life seen as primitive. In modern times, some of these perceptions persevere. Indigenous people also feel unequal because their origin seems to be the first thing anyone notices about them. Ignorance by the rest of society which can be attributed to presumptuous and racist historians has lead to this.

As a result, while growing up, a Navajo boy for instance will be seen as more capable of outdoor pursuits like tracking and hunting, and less capable of intellect by his peers who only think of Navajo people as a primitive culture. This might translate to his buying into these stereotypes and thinking he is intellectually inferior due to his heritage. The most glaring cause for inequality facing this group is neglect by the authorities.

Australia is home to one of the largest and most well-known indigenous groups, the Aboriginals they have been discriminated against since the white Australians arrived in the 18th century. Statistics show they are discriminated against both in education and even in employment. Until the federal discrimination act was enacted in 1975, it was legal to discriminate against people on the basis of ethnicity. These perceptions, however, were not easily removed by legislation and still persist to date.

Today, only about 20% of the aborigines have access to higher education and vocational training a sharp contrast with the 48% of the rest Australians. Furthermore, they are highly prone to being victims of crime with about 24% having been violated in some way in the year 2001(Prithiviraj, 2010).  


Prithiviraj, Sithambaranathan . (Feb 3, 2010). Aboriginal inequality and ways to improve inequality. Bukisa. Retrieved on June 10, 2012 from http://www.bukisa.com/articles/238639_aboriginal-inequality-and-ways-to-improve-inequality

Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois (SILC). (n.d). Position on Expansion of the Youth Advocate Program. Retrieved on June 10, 2012 from http://www.silcofillinois.org/positionpaperyouthadvocateprogram.html

Dream Mom. (September 08 2009). Growing Up Slowly: What Happens When a Disabled Child Comes of Age. Retrieved on June 10, 2012 from http://dreammom.blogspot.com/2009/09/growing-up-slowly-what-happens-when.html

Equality and human rights commission. ( n.d). Disability discrimination in schools. Retrieved on June 10, 2012 from http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/disability/disability-in-education/disability-discrimination-in-schools/

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