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Specijalna edukacija i rehabilitacija
2014, vol. 13, iss. 1, pp. 51-71
article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 04/07/2014
doi: 10.5937/specedreh13-5088
What do special educators for visually impaired persons in Serbia think about inclusive education and how well are they informed?
aUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty for Special Education and Rehabilitation
bUniversity of Kragujevac, Teacher Training Faculty, Užice
cOčna kuća Monokl

e-mail: jablanb@vektor.net

Project

Designig a protocol for Assessing the Educational potentials of Children with Disabilities as a Criterion for Development of Individual Educational Programs (MESTD - 179025)
Social participation of persons with intellectual disabilities (MESTD - 179017)

Abstract

The introduction of inclusive education (IE) is a major challenge for teachers, educators, professional associates and special educators. Teachers and educators are in need of knowledge and skills necessary to modify methods of working with children with disabilities, utilize teaching aids, adapt premises, and work in a team. The role and job of a special educator for visually impaired persons in the educational process is to provide support for students with visual impairments, directly or indirectly. The aim of this study was to determine what special educators for visually impaired persons in Serbia think and how well they are informed about the IE. The sample consisted of 43 special educators for visually impaired persons. For research purposes, we constructed a questionnaire composed of several parts (sociodemographic characteristics, information, opinion on the adequacy of ideas of IE, opinion about the usefulness of IE, opinion about the necessity of pre-conditions for IE, thinking about the possibility of realization of IE in Serbia and opinion on the role of special educators for visually impaired persons in IE. For each proposed claim, the respondents were able to determine the extent of their agreement on a five-point Likert scale. Analysis of the results showed that special educators for visually impaired persons expressed a positive opinion regarding the ideas and possibilities of implementation of IE, which presents a good basis for their involvement in the process. The following conditions were indicated as necessary for the implementation of IE in Serbia: preparation of teachers and educators in mainstream schools and the increase in their professional competence for working with blind and visually impaired children, preparation of their typically developing peers, accommodation of the environment and the acquisition of teaching aids, formation of professional teams. A slightly negative opinion about the usefulness of IE is in accordance with the opinion regarding the necessity of the appropriate preconditions in Serbia. This opinion is more negative among special educators for visually impaired persons than among teachers, which is perhaps related to the concern for their employment and the uncertainty in the realization of new roles at work. It is important to say that it is necessary to improve the awareness of employed special educators for visually impaired persons about IE, and they themselves are aware of that fact.

Keywords

inclusive education; special educators for visually impaired persons; opinion; awareness; competence

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