Élèves handicapés

how best to adapt their daily life to school?

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In May 2023, the Senate drew up the inventory of the education of students with disabilities. The current system allows a significant increase in dedicated financial and human resources. In doing so, new arrangements are needed to accommodate a growing number of students. We tell you everything in this article.

A 220% increase

Every child has the right to access education in an ordinary environment, as close as possible to their home. He is also entitled to a continuous and adapted school career. This is what the “handicap” law of February 11, 2005 states.

The law of July 8, 2013 on the refoundation of schools strengthens the rights of disabled students by enshrining the principle of inclusive education. A framework for the reception of handicapped pupils emanates from these laws. According to the Senate report filed on May 3, 2023, the number of these children increased between 2004 and 2022.

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It thus went from 134,000 to 430,000. a 220% increase in nearly 20 years. This report has drawn up an inventory of the schooling of pupils with disabilities. For this, he approaches the organizational functioning of this schooling.

Its cultural approach to taking disability into account as well as the role of those accompanying disabled students. The number of new students with disabilities would be around 6%according to the report.

Disabled students
A young female teacher works with a schoolboy with Down syndrome sitting at his desk and using an electronic tablet in an elementary school classroom, front view, close-up – Photo Credits: iStock

And this, while the latter indicates :

“The growth rate of the number of human assistance notifications is twice as fast. »

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Human aid and its limits

Over the years, the use of human assistance has become the main means of school inclusion. Moreover, the rapporteur welcomes the increase in this human assistance, which translates into support for disabled pupils.

125,000 people accompanying disabled students (AESH) frame them. Their mission is to support students with disabilities at school, in the acts of daily life and in access to learning.

That being so, there are limits to this system of human help :

  • The prescriptions for human accompaniment have no direct link with the handicap of the child
  • Impossibility of countering the flow of AESH prescriptions from departmental homes for disabled people (MDPH)
  • Inappropriate management of AESH. In number, the latter represent the second most represented profession within the national education system.

In addition to these three criticisms, the report reveals that the presence of AESH sometimes acts as a screen between the child and his teacher or classmates. This keeps the child in a form of dependence on his AESH.

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Students with disabilities: 6 recommendations to promote inclusion

In response to the problems created by the increase in the number of ESH, the report proposes get out of the quantitative logic of “all human aid”. We should therefore move towards a more qualitative approach centered on the needs of the child to accompany him towards academic success and greater autonomy.

The report highlights 6 recommendations to promote the inclusion of students with disabilities :

  • The development of accessibility in schools. This involves adapting school supplies to handicapped pupils.
  • Simplification of administrative procedures for supporting the education of disabled students by grouping them together in a single file.
  • The resumption by the State of the financing of human support expenses for students with disabilities at lunchtime. This must be done in the name of national solidarity.
  • The adjustment of the use of AESH according to the needs of the students.
  • Better support for families. This requires at least one quarterly meeting between the teaching team, the AESH and the parents.
  • The reassessment of the means of operation of the departmental houses for the disabled (MDPH) with regard to the increase in their workload.
Disabled students
Happy schoolchildren stand in a hallway while a schoolgirl sits on a wheel chair – Photo credits: iStock

Pupils with disabilities: adapting the school to disability

Concerning the adaptation of the school to the handicap, the senator Cédric Vial underlines that it is the obligation of the school and therefore it must be made a priority. Cédric Vial is the rapporteur of the report. Indeed, if we want to integrate handicapped pupils into school, it is necessary to go through the accessibility of the buildings and the adaptation of the pedagogy.

This should not rely solely on specialized support staff. The senator affirms that the compensation by human aid should act only as a complementalthough it is essential.

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The senator also advocates the establishment ofa mandatory initial training of one week before taking up the position. He also wants an ambitious continuing education plan so that the function of AESH becomes a real profession.

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