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    Inclusive education; challenges and barriers for people with intellectual disabilities accessing further education.


    Doody, Helena (2015) Inclusive education; challenges and barriers for people with intellectual disabilities accessing further education. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    While there have been advances towards inclusive education at primary; post primary level and in higher education such as Maynooth University there has been little or no progress made for people with intellectual disabilities accessing further education (FE). Despite policy and legislation calling for inclusive education for people with intellectual disabilities; this marginalised group are disproportionately represented in further education colleges in Ireland. This study examines the challenges and barriers to inclusive further education for people with intellectual disabilities. Literature on disability issues and models of inclusive education for people with intellectual disabilities is also reviewed. The research question focuses on the challenges and barriers to inclusive education for people with intellectual disabilities from the perspective of adult educators working in two further education colleges, under the auspice of two separate Education and Training Boards (ETB). This is done through qualitative research in the form of unstructured/semi-structured interviews. The responses to the questions provide the foundation of the data analysis. The themes have been extracted based on the experiences and opinions of the interviewees. The research presents key findings that need to be addressed in order for further education to be made accessible to people with intellectual disabilities. Issues such as funding, resources, teacher training, alternative assessment models based on the individual student’s abilities; as well as flexibility for students to take modules over several years as opposed to completing eight modules in one year were raised. Deconstructing the socially constructed views on people with disabilities and their ability to participate in further education is highlighted as an issue for this marginalised group and their advocates. However; the most challenging issue in the pursuit for inclusive education is the reality that the Irish education system is inextricably linked to production as a means to serve the iii economy. The amalgamation of the Vocational Education Committees (VEC) and SOLAS (formerly FAS) raises fundamental concerns for inclusive further education. Measuring the value of further education based solely on economic outputs limits opportunities and access for students with intellectual disabilities. The transformative personal, social and psychological benefits of education are being disregarded. The neoliberal agenda has altered the course of the sector towards supporting the needs of the economy rather than the needs of the learner (Grummell 2014, p. 127) Giroux (2004) and Harvey (2005) argue that the rise of neoliberalism can be framed as ‘both an economic theory and a powerful public pedagogy and cultural politics’ that has a destructive force on the civil liberties and the social contract; (Giroux 2004, p. 107). The restructuring of the VEC and SOLAS to form the Education and Training Board (ETB) has depersonalised the person centred approach and the autonomy afforded to each college of further education in favour of an outputs based production line measuring and valuing students who graduate in a timely manner, gain employment or progress to higher education only.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.; inclusive education; inclusive; challenges; barriers; intellectual disabilities; intellectual disability; disability; disabilities; further education; access; access to education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9608
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 08:55
    URI:

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