Mainstreaming physically handicapped children : a curriculum for teacher education

Public Law 94-142 requires inservice education for regular classroom teachers in order to carry out-the intent of the law…to mainstream physically handicapped youngsters and to provide them with an appropriate education. The purpose of the project was to develop a curriculum for an inservice education program for regular classroom teachers of elementary age children in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Inservice education was designed to provide teachers with information from a medical viewpoint on visual handicaps, hearing handicaps, orthopedic handicaps, and other health impairments such as seizures, cerebral palsy, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. The curriculum included description, etiology, medical treatment, and prognosis of each handicap, as well as information regarding learning problems and behavior problems which may occur in the classroom and on the playground. In addition, it discussed problems concerning adjustment to the physical plant in the school. A questionnaire was designed to indicate the concerns of teachers regarding mainstreaming; these were incorporated into the curriculum. It was apparent that teachers would be more cooperative in accepting the handicapped child as a member of the regular classroom if they were provided with proper resource support which included resource specialists, and basic information on the child's capabilities and limitations. It was this knowledge that provided the perspective for the development of the curriculum.