Teacher Tips for Inclusive Classrooms | Cerebral Palsy Guidance (2023)

Home > Cerebral Palsy > Living With Cerebral Palsy > Teacher Tips for Inclusive Classrooms

Last Updated: May 06, 2022

This article has been fact checked by a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.

For any content issues please Contact Us.

Being included—in the classroom, in the family, in recreation, in social events—is important for anyone, but for children, it plays a significant role in healthy emotional, physical, and social development. For children living with a disability, like cerebral palsy, being included is more complicated than for other children. Teacher tips for inclusive classrooms are so important for making kids feel more welcome.

A child with cerebral palsy not only has every right to inclusion in school like other children, they actively need inclusion.[1] While it is great for other children to actively include those who seem different, the responsibility comes down to the adults, particularly the teachers.

(Video) Cerebral Palsy in the Classroom | Pecha Kucha Presentation

Teachers need to ensure all children get a full educational experience and have every opportunity to participate, learn, and grow.

Although teachers understand this responsibility, they don’t always have the knowledge or experience, especially working with particular disabilities like cerebral palsy. Every teacher can use advice and tips to help them build and create more inclusive learning experiences:

  • Get to know the needs of every student. Every student is a unique individual with different abilities, and teachers know this, but it is still easy to make assumptions and generalizations about students with disabilities. Cerebral palsy causes a wide and varied range of issues, and each child truly has their own limitations and abilities. When teachers are better aware of the needs of each student, inclusion is easier and more natural.
  • Assign seating. When children are allowed to choose their own seating positions, the classroom can become segregated. A child with a disability and low self-esteem may choose a seat in the back corner every time, next to a similarly quiet student. Pair up disabled students with more outgoing children and encourage more engagement.
  • Instead of asking for volunteers, call on students randomly. Asking for volunteers to participate in solving problems or discussions can lead to exclusion with only the most vocal and assertive students stepping up. Make sure all children are called upon and push each student to participate in everything.
  • Provide group discussion time. Teachers may find that calling on students randomly is difficult at first, and that those who don’t like to speak up lack confidence. By giving students time to discuss a problem or question quietly with their desk mates, they get a chance to gather their thoughts and prepare to be called upon. Alternatively, a quiet, reflective minute for all students before answering questions can also be helpful.
  • Use personal response devices. Another way to get all students involved in answering questions and participating is to use response devices. These are handheld systems or apps on tablets, which students can use to input an answer that will then appear on a projection screen. The teacher can then see that everyone has input an answer.
  • Expose students to diversity. Many classroom lessons showcase professionals in subject areas, like scientists, athletes, or musicians. Choose a variety of people in professional fields of all races, genders, and even abilities. Representation is very powerful. When a disabled child sees an independent, successful disabled adult, it sends an encouraging message.
  • Vary teaching strategies. This is important for all students, not just those with disabilities who tend to be excluded more often. All children learn in different ways, so various instructional strategies, like lecturing, reading, videos, interactive apps, small group work, projects, and discussions, help include everyone.
  • Make classrooms physically accessible. For some students with cerebral palsy, the only disability could be a lack of mobility. Simply having enough space to get around easily can increase inclusion. Make sure there is plenty of space between desks and other obstacles so that a child with a wheelchair, walker, or other devices can move as freely as any other student.
  • Provide inclusive playgrounds. The most inclusive playgrounds were designed that way, and often teachers can only work with what they have. They can make existing playgrounds more inclusive, though, by providing guided activities that involve all students and in which all can participate, regardless of ability level.
  • Be proactive—and active—about bullying. Bullying is a greater risk for disabled children than others, and it can lead to long-term harm. In the short term, it can cause a student to become even more excluded and withdrawn. Teachers must address bullying through education, awareness, and acting when there are any signs that it is happening.
  • Combat discriminatory language immediately. Do not tolerate any discriminatory language against anyone by gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, or disability. Sending a clear message that this kind of negative language is not tolerated in a classroom makes it safer for all students. It also educates students who may not realize how damaging their language can be.
  • Provide choice in sports and recreation. Students with physical disabilities, like cerebral palsy, are routinely left out of physical activities. Even those with limitations can participate, although they may need modifications or assistive devices. The choice is important in sport. If the only offerings are baseball or football, it may be impossible for everyone to participate. Provide more options for recreation, and more students can be included.
  • Communicate with parents. Sometimes parents can provide insights that teachers can’t get from observing students in the classroom or that students are too shy to share. Parents can tell teachers, for instance, if a child has been struggling to read the board from her seat in the room or if she feels intimidated by a particular student.
  • Practice collaborative teaching. Collaboration between teachers is so important in providing the best opportunities for all students, but it is not always encouraged. Whenever possible, general and special education teachers should collaborate on creating ways to make every classroom more inclusive for every student.

Inclusion in the classroom—and in school in general—is essential for every student at every age. Not being included can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, lack of social engagement, and academic, emotional, and physical development deficits.

Exclusion is often not intentional, but to ensure that students who are too often left out get all the opportunities of other students, teachers have to be active participators in inclusion.

Lifelong Financial Assistance for Your Child's Birth InjuryCerebral Palsy

Get Help Now

(Video) Meaningful Inclusion in Early Childhood

References

  1. A guide to disability rights laws. (2020, February). U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section
    Retrieved from: https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm

'); }); //anchor scrolling jQuery('.footnote-label') // Remove links that don't actually link to anything .not('[href="#"]') .not('[href="#0"]') .click(function(event) { // On-page links if (jQuery('.sources').length > 0) { jQuery('.source-fade-overlay').hide(); jQuery('.sources').height('auto').animate({height: 'auto'}, 0); } if ( location.pathname.replace(/^\//, '') == this.pathname.replace(/^\//, '') && location.hostname == this.hostname ) { // Figure out element to scroll to var target = jQuery(this.hash); target = target.length ? target : jQuery('[name=' + this.hash.slice(1) + ']'); // Does a scroll target exist? if (target.length) { // Only prevent default if animation is actually gonna happen event.preventDefault(); jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: target.offset().top - 250 }, 500, function() { // Callback after animation // Must change focus! var $target = jQuery(target); $target.focus(); if ($target.is(":focus")) { // Checking if the target was focused return false; } else { $target.attr('tabindex','-1'); // Adding tabindex for elements not focusable $target.focus(); // Set focus again }; }); } } });

Teacher Tips for Inclusive Classrooms | Cerebral Palsy Guidance (2)

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Sarah Schulze, RN, CPNP

Sarah Schulze, RN, CPNP is a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She has extensive experience working with pediatric patients in primary care as well as adolescent mental health.

See Full Bio

(Video) Accommodations and Modifications for Students with Disabilities

FAQs

What are some teaching strategies that can be used in an inclusive classroom? ›

Provide a safe space (physically and emotionally)
  • Provide a sensitive environment.
  • Provide encouragement and guide learning.
  • Provide a quiet area.
  • Express positive regard and support.
  • Facilitate student voice, autonomy and independence.
  • Set clear classroom expectations.

What are five elements of best practice in relation to inclusion? ›

Five essential elements have emerged in looking at inclusion: relationships, shared experiences, advocacy, a sense of identity, and transparency.

What are the 7 pillars of inclusion? ›

About 7 Pillars of Inclusion
  • Access.
  • Attitude.
  • Choice.
  • Partnerships.
  • Communication.
  • Policy.
  • Opportunities.

How do you accommodate students with physical disabilities in the classroom? ›

Possible accommodations include:
  1. Relocating a class or lab to an accessible building/space.
  2. Audio recorder or notetaking assistance.
  3. Accessible seating or table in the classroom.
  4. Scribe for Scantrons and/or essay exams.
  5. Additional time for completing exams.

How do you accommodate students with disabilities in the classroom? ›

Assisting Students with Disabilities
  1. Include a Disability Statement on Your Syllabus. ...
  2. Follow the Instructions on the Accommodation Determination Letter. ...
  3. Meet with the Student in Private. ...
  4. Protect Student's Privacy. ...
  5. Provide a Safe and Fair Learning Environment. ...
  6. Use Student Disability Services as a Resource.

How can teachers implement inclusivity in their classrooms? ›

Respect Diverse People

Establish respect for the values of diverse peoples by using specific examples. Examples that demonstrate a respect and appreciation for diverse peoples and cultures. Use language that is gender neutral or takes into consideration the gender identity of students.

What are the four 4 key elements of inclusion? ›

The principle of inclusion is a component of accessibility, availability, acceptability and adaptability.

What are the 3 pillars of inclusion? ›

Gallup's research finds that there are three requirements that must be present in each of the strategies.
  • Employees are treated with respect. A culture of inclusiveness is rooted in respect. ...
  • Employees are valued for their strengths. ...
  • Leaders do what is right.
17 Sept 2018

What is the role of teacher in inclusive school? ›

In an inclusive classroom, teachers work together to provide specially-abled children or students from diverse cultures and races with appropriate support to encourage their genuine and valued participation. The concept of inclusive education embraces human diversity at the ground level of a country's education system.

What are some inclusion strategies? ›

Use these inclusive classroom strategies to help get you started with building a positive classroom culture:
  • Get to Know Your Students and Let Them Get to Know You. ...
  • Create a Safe Space for Students to Share. ...
  • Deliver Instruction in a Variety of Ways. ...
  • Choose Relevant Literature. ...
  • Invite Guest Speakers to Share Their Stories.

What are the principles of working inclusively with disabled children? ›

The Principles of Inclusion promote equity, access, opportunity and the rights of children and students with disability in education and care and contribute to reducing discrimination against them2.

What is inclusive pedagogy? ›

Inclusive pedagogy at its core is a student-centered approach to teaching that faculty create an inviting and engaging learning environment to all the students with varied backgrounds, learning styles, and physical and cognitive abilities in the classroom.

How do you inspire inclusion? ›

Ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace
  1. Be aware of unconscious bias.
  2. Communicate the importance of managing bias.
  3. Promote pay equity.
  4. Develop a strategic training program.
  5. Acknowledge holidays of all cultures.
  6. Make it easy for your people to participate in employee resource groups.
  7. Mix up your teams.
21 Jun 2022

What are examples of inclusion? ›

Inclusion is defined as the state of being included or being made a part of something. When multiple people are all invited to be part of a group, this is an example of inclusion. Inclusion is about honouring diversity, not ignoring it.

What strategies will you use to maximize the benefits of diversity in the classroom? ›

How do you Manage Diversity in the Classroom?
  • Get to Know Your Students. ...
  • Maintain Consistent Communication. ...
  • Acknowledge and Respect Every Student. ...
  • Practice Cultural Sensitivity. ...
  • Incorporate Diversity in the Lesson Plan. ...
  • Give Students Freedom and Flexibility.

What steps should be taken to implement inclusive education? ›

In summary, then, the steps to inclusion in schools I recommend are as follows:
  1. Be clear about the direction you want to take;
  2. Make use of existing skills and knowledge;
  3. Develop a shared language of practice;
  4. Promote a respect for difference; and.
  5. Share responsibility for leadership.

What is the role of teacher in inclusive education? ›

In an inclusive classroom, teachers work together to provide specially-abled children or students from diverse cultures and races with appropriate support to encourage their genuine and valued participation. The concept of inclusive education embraces human diversity at the ground level of a country's education system.

What are some inclusion strategies? ›

Use these inclusive classroom strategies to help get you started with building a positive classroom culture:
  • Get to Know Your Students and Let Them Get to Know You. ...
  • Create a Safe Space for Students to Share. ...
  • Deliver Instruction in a Variety of Ways. ...
  • Choose Relevant Literature. ...
  • Invite Guest Speakers to Share Their Stories.

What is the effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners? ›

What are the most effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners?
  • Provide a variety of differentiated instruction methods. ...
  • Create flexible seating arrangements. ...
  • Allow for different communication styles. ...
  • Encourage student collaboration. ...
  • Use positive reinforcement. ...
  • Modify assignments as needed.
14 Apr 2022

What is the role of a teacher in a diverse classroom? ›

An effective teacher shoulders the arduous responsibility of interacting with a large number of students as a single unit. He has to fully comprehend that he is dealing with students from dissimilar backgrounds, each with their unique tradition of culture, upbringing, religion, attire and language.

How can you promote diversity equity and inclusion in the classroom? ›

8 meaningful equity in the classroom strategies
  1. Start with yourself. ...
  2. Model equity for your students. ...
  3. Be flexible with online learning. ...
  4. Address inappropriate remarks. ...
  5. Create an equitable classroom environment. ...
  6. Accommodate different learning styles. ...
  7. Examine your teaching materials. ...
  8. Give students a voice.
3 Jun 2022

How do you accommodate students with physical disabilities in the classroom? ›

Possible accommodations include:
  1. Relocating a class or lab to an accessible building/space.
  2. Audio recorder or notetaking assistance.
  3. Accessible seating or table in the classroom.
  4. Scribe for Scantrons and/or essay exams.
  5. Additional time for completing exams.

How inclusive education is helpful for a disabled child? ›

Inclusive education is based on the principle that all children should learn together, regardless of difference. Inclusive education recognises the capacity of every person to learn, including people with disabilities, and acknowledges that each person has different strengths, requirements, and learning styles.

What makes inclusive education successful? ›

Successful inclusive education happens primarily through accepting, understanding, and attending to student differences and diversity, which can include physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional.

What are four responsibilities of a teacher in an inclusion classroom? ›

  • 1 Accommodate Inclusion Students. Inclusion teachers must accommodate special education students as indicated on their Individualized education plans (IEPs). ...
  • 2 Modify Assignments and Tests. ...
  • 3 Collaborate With the Regular Education Teacher. ...
  • 4 Address Parental Concerns. ...
  • 5 Complete Required Paperwork.

What are the qualities of an inclusive teacher? ›

11. Who's the Best?
  • Has a thorough knowledge of child development.
  • Has many teaching skills and strategies.
  • Knows how to adapt curriculum, activities, and materials so that all children can participate.
  • Develop positive relationships with the children and their families.
  • Use developmentally appropriate strategies.

Which skill is most important in teaching inclusive education? ›

The findings of the study showed that the most important skills that should be acquired in inclusive classes are self-acquaintance, communication, and empathy. Keywords: Inclusive education, empathic skill, students with special needs.

Videos

1. CEREBRAL PALSY MANAGEMENT- FAMILY EDUCATION, HANDLING & CARE, POSITIONING, CARRYING TECHNIQUES
(Dr.Ravi's health lab)
2. CEREBRAL PALSY //CREATING an INCLUSIVE SCHOOL //B.ED 2 year
(KANHA STUDY POINT)
3. Stories from the Classroom: Words Matter
(The PROGRESS Center)
4. How to teach students with different challenges in a classroom setting?
(Eblity)
5. 2021 Duncan Seminar - Equity and Ableism: Social Determinants of Health in Cerebral Palsy (CP)
(Seattle Children's)
6. Feeding advice and tips for developmental difficulties - Autism, Downs Syndrome & Cerebral Palsy.
(Gympanzees )
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kieth Sipes

Last Updated: 12/31/2022

Views: 6426

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kieth Sipes

Birthday: 2001-04-14

Address: Suite 492 62479 Champlin Loop, South Catrice, MS 57271

Phone: +9663362133320

Job: District Sales Analyst

Hobby: Digital arts, Dance, Ghost hunting, Worldbuilding, Kayaking, Table tennis, 3D printing

Introduction: My name is Kieth Sipes, I am a zany, rich, courageous, powerful, faithful, jolly, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.