KnE Life Sciences | The Fifth International Luria Memorial Congress «Lurian Approach in International Psychological Science» | pages: 249–256

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1. Introduction

The main international document establishing the rights of persons with disabilities around the world is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 13, 2006. This Convention after its ratification by the Russian Federation on September 25, 2012 in accordance with Article 15 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation became part of the Russian legislation. Article 3 of the Convention establishes a number of principles. These principles include, in particular: full and effective involvement and inclusion in society, equality of opportunity, non-discrimination, accessibility. The main way to eliminate discrimination against disable people is to ensure accessibility. Today, much attention is paid to the accessibility of the environment and ensuring accessibility of general education and higher education for disable people, but a number of aspects of this problem require more effective implementation, for example, even with full-time education in the inclusive format, the socialization of students with disabilities is not given due attention. And of course, inclusion in higher education institutions of disable students requires mutual adaptation of all aspects of the educational process. When enrolling in a university, young people with disabilities have their own specific social experience that differs from the other peers, often they are largely maladjusted, and this is an obstacle for successful and full-fledged mastering of the necessary competencies on an equal basis with other students, which complicates the work of teachers and training group as a whole.

Social consequences of disability

Disability is a social insufficiency. It needs social protection due to the limitation of a person's life activity caused by a violation of health with a persistent disorder of the body's functions. Hearing impairment can vary among different students who have difficulty hearing, lost hearing in one ear, or completely deaf. Learning disability is associated with significant difficulties in using auditory, speaking, mathematical abilities, with at least a medium intelligence. This includes such states as dyslexia, attention disorder, etc. Mobility disorders range from very limited endurance to paralysis of the lower or upper extremities, and can include such conditions as arthritis, leg disorders, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders. Psychiatric disorders refer to the diagnosis of a mental disorder by a licensed specialist and may include such conditions as depression, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. The shortcomings of vision include poor vision, complete blindness, partial review. Violation of the spectrum of autism is characterized by an uneven development profile and a model of a qualitative violation in social interaction, communication and the presence of limited patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Brain injury refers to brain damage, rather than to degenerative or innate nature, but caused by an external force that can lead to a reduced or altered state of consciousness, resulting in impaired cognitive abilities and/or physical functioning. Disability creates a special situation for the development of the personality, because the conditions of human existence, quality and lifestyle change, the process of socialization is distorted. L.S. Vygotsky pointed out that the developmental features of a defect are mostly determined by the social consequences manifested in the restructuring of the social communication system, the diminishing social position of the disable person and less by the defect. `Social dislocation' explains a special psychological position which is explained as a sense of inferiority, through which the process of development of a disable person breaks down [3]. V.М. Sorokin connects the peculiarity of the life situation of persons with disabilities with the influence of several kinds of deprivation: visual, hearing, speech, motor activity. Social deprivation is manifested in reducing the circle of communication; emotional decreasing (indifference in the family, indifference from friends) [2]. The main personal deformities of persons with disabilities are:

  • a narrow range of interests and needs, apathy, lack of initiative, egocentric attitudes, autism, anxiety, distrust, suggestibility, imitation of someone;

  • a weak motivational sphere, raising the motive for avoiding failure and reducing the motive for achievement, expressed in renouncing the struggle; change the essence of the leading motive of the activity or its replacement by the essence of a low motive or a new motive; facilitating the activities and impoverishment of its target structure;

  • in the field of self-awareness – the poverty of its essence, significant discrepancies between images of the real and ideal self, damage to criticality and a decrease in the level of self-control, the importance of the external control locus, a high personal capacity, overstated or understated unstable self-esteem, negative fixed settings, psychologic traumatic experience, complexes.

All this delays the successful communication of students with disabilities, making a circle of their relations with the world smaller. In the vital position of persons with disabilities two negative tendencies often appear: infantilism and dependency characterizing social and psychological immaturity. Underdevelopment is the nature of the life position is characterized by likening to the child, emotional instability, immaturity of judgments, capriciousness and subordination to someone. Consumer attitudes and manifestations represent an aspiration to exist at someone else's expense, an understanding of one's subordinate position as a moral one, a refusal to make independent decisions. As a result of the `automatic' compensation of the main needs of persons with disabilities as ordinary, natural, while there is no experience of their positive significance. Possible difficulties demoralize a student with a disability leading to a state of inanimate suffering without natural attraction, an actively-effective setting for a generally accessible overcoming of difficulties.

Successful communication with disable persons is hampered by limited mobility, lack of interpersonal skills, personal unrest in a malfunction, rejection and narrowing of communication from the community and fixed negative attitudes of disable persons themselves. At the same time, the existence in culture of the stereotyped image of a `person with a disability' asking for help and sympathy is no less significant restriction for a full-fledged independent life. In general, the structure of the features of development and life of persons with disabilities creates significant difficulties in the process of obtaining professional education.

2. Methodology

In our research we used qualitative method study. The first step was a literature review. We did summary and critical analysis of the relevant available researches. Then interviewed students and teacher staff from other universities (Thematic analysis) for a deeper understanding and formulating research questions.

The next step in research was done by the method of the Internet questioning of 2250 students (18–23 years) of the Ural Federal University (Russia)

Teaching staff and students (two hundred fifty in each groups) was interviewed.

This questionnaire assessed teachers' and students attitudes regarding the integration of students with disabilities in the higher education system in Russia. It included items on different dimensions that the current examining their contribution to the success of the program, in terms of social and educational climate and in terms of this unique and challenging population's ability to independently perform in an academic environment.

3. Results

Scruggs and Mastropieri, among the most important researchers in the field of teachers' attitudes to inclusion, summarized many research studies on the subject and indicated that there is no consistency in the readiness of teachers and educators to include students. Research carried out in Russia has produced similar findings [1].

Even if the educational institution has a clear policy that aims for inclusion and even if there are a range of aids and tools to assist the functioning of the mainstreamed student, unless the teacher believes in inclusion and his position encourages the idea, the student's inclusion will not be successful. A teacher who does not believe in inclusion will, at the most, aspire to bring the student to academic achievements that are easier to demonstrate. In this way, it will also appear to the management that the mission was fulfilled. Yet academic achievements are only one facet of inclusion. We discovered that negative attitudes of the teacher caused them to feel that the inclusion had failed, while positive attitudes were accompanied by positive feelings.

There were some difficulties in establishing contact between ordinary students and students with disabilities. The opportunity to establish contact was possible in 6% with students with psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia) and in 23% with students with sensory disorders. Only 30% of respondents in UrFU could get acquainted with people with disabilities. The remaining 70% expressed their readiness to enter into contact with them. There is a positive correlation between the age of respondents and the number of previous contacts with disabilities people with a positive attitude toward students with disabilities.

It is also important to know the attitudes of the teaching staff and students regarding the integration of students with disabilities. Do they think that it is positive for everyone? Is a university can give a help to these students? What academic and social climate is suitable for these students? This research requires special attention to the discussion of issues such as personal relationships (interactions, relationships, support), personal development (education, personal capacity, performance); Self-efficacy (independence / control, personal goals and evaluate, select); Social affiliation (integration, community participation, role in the community, social support). Studying these and other questions, we can reach an understanding of the nature of these academic integration of students with disabilities.

4. Discussion

Universities are very important in the integration of person with disabilities, not just in university and future orientation, but also in social integration. There is an expectation of academic institutions that can be a springboard to the future and committed to helping developing student identity, combined with psychological and social integration of students with disabilities. In this time, universities find it difficult to adequately help the success of these students. College students, with or without disabilities, are faced with numerous stressful situations within the university environment. For an individual diagnosed with disabilities students, success at this level requires non-traditional supports. With limited knowledge of this disorder, the university staff are faced with a distinct disadvantage in their efforts to outline an appropriate plan. While providing traditional academic assistance is now commonplace, federal laws mandate that universities widen the scope of support so as not to exclude any student from campus activities or programs.

Integration into higher education

Interpersonal relations in the college group can be confronted by the personal qualities of a student with a disability, the negative attitudes of classmates, feelings of estrangement and loneliness due to limited communication experience. Also for the given age conflict of adaptation process is characteristic: between new requirements for the student, conditions and stereotypes of behavior formed before the university. In connection with the violation of psychological safety in the interpersonal relations of the student and teachers, a student with a disability evades the request for help that leads to isolation from the community. Looking at the concept of the psychological security of the educational environment, the factors of the deficit of a disable student socialization is the transformation of pedagogical communication into the construction of the social-pedagogical victimization of the person: (a) socio-psychological inaccuracy of the teacher's personality and the design of its origin, (b) forced relationships in the interpersonal area. The violence found in the pedagogical process, the oppression or attempt to do something against the will of the person increase his resistance. It can be expressed as internal (avoiding social contacts, unbalanced, negative self-attitude, self-aggression) or external (damage to generally accepted norms, violation discipline, disobedience, `acts of disobedience') resistance. This complicates the system of the relationship. As a result, there is a prolonged emotional tension that provokes the search for destabilizing exits from the psychotraumatic state in the form of non-normative professional behavior among teachers and the destructive behavior of a student with a disability. The discrepancy between the ability of a disable student to meet the requirements of academic activity, the academic discipline, the gaps in university education, the passive position in the learning process, the lack of integration between the various subjects and the difficulties in the process of independent work can be the result of home-based education of often or chronically ill child, or training in a correctional school which along with the merits has a number of significant shortcomings in terms of further social integration of the graduate. A significant risk is the inability to take into account individual physiological boundaries (the length of reports, the speed of work on abstracts) during the organization of the educational process on general statements, as well as the lack of necessary experience of teachers for certain manifestations of disability (speech or hearing impairment). The lack of health saving and rehabilitating technologies and their accounting in studies, methods of training, calculating the amount of workload and the peculiarities of the staff schedule of a higher educational institution, as well as in the range of services and the organization of its space make it more difficult for people with disabilities to learn the skills of learning and behavior in an integrated environment, access to special equipment, library, etc. As a result, excessive stress causes a stress situation, a deterioration in the physical and emotional state of the student, exhaustion, a decrease in motivation, the origin of apathy and depression. Students with disabilities experience problems in a variety of areas. The biggest problem for students with disabilities is the constant lack of time. It takes more time for them, so a student with a disability often experiences fatigue and heartache. Students cannot change the ways information is processed, but they can learn to compensate for their disability and use methods that would strengthen their skills. Today, the Urals Federal University trains 156 students with disabilities. We conducted a study among students and teachers of the UrFU, its purpose was to assess the relationship of students and teachers of higher education institutions to students with disabilities and willingness to support them. It was important for us to find out how often students contact with disable people, find out whether there is tension or not during the indicated contacts, determine the possible tension, and also readiness to establish contact and help with learning.

5. Conclusions

In the last few years, integration of disable students into the higher education system in Russia has been mentioned more often. However, little is known about how successful these students have been. Academic studies are a very daunting prospect for those who may not understand why they act differently, and special knowledge about these types of students can bring reassurance and proper support.

The results of the teachers 'survey showed that there is no consistency in teachers' readiness for the inclusion of students with disabilities, as this increases the burden on teachers and requires an individual approach to students with disabilities. A negative attitude of the teacher affects the success of the inclusion. It is seemed that inclusion has come true, but it is not. It needs more work and dedication.

The results attest to the readiness of university students to implement a program of inclusive education and the need for inclusive education to be introduced at earlier stages of education, which will increase the number of contacts with people with disabilities and will help students to prepare for further interaction. Therefore, it is necessary to research additional factors that correlate with students' willingness to introduce inclusive education (gender, social status, self-efficacy, social climate). Given the positive experience of the Ariel University (Israel), it is necessary to organize work with the parents of students from the disabilities, the organization of a committee for the further employment of these students.

References

1 

Lifshitz, H., Glaubman, R., and Issawi, R. (2004). Attitudes towards inclusion: The case of Israeli and Palestinian regular and special education teachers. European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp.171–190.

2 

Sorokin, V. M. (2003). Special Psychology (textbook under the scientific edition of L. M. Shipitsyn), p. 216. SPb.: "Speech".

3 

Vygotsky, L. S. (1995). Problems of Defectology, ch. XV, pp. 71–81. Moscow: Education.

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ISSN: 2413-0877