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Education and disability: goal is integration

Felisa Peralta, professor of department of Education of the University, gave the second session of the course 'Training to understand disability' organized by Tantaka.

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Felisa Peralta during her speech. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
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The auditorium of the Science Library was full in the second session of the cycle. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
12/02/14 12:20 Juan Andrés Rubert

Under the attentive gaze of hundreds of people who gathered at the auditorium de la Science LibraryProfessor Felisa Peralta tried to explain the perspective from which the world of Education works with people with disabilities. Expectations were high. The event had even had to change location to accommodate more people due to the large number of attendees at the first session. There was no room for a pin, and the talk did not disappoint.

"Disabled people have a lot of possibilities to go very far."

From the outset, Professor Peralta emphasized the role that everyone should play in dealing with a person with a disability. Rather than the things that are done wrong with people with disabilities, she tried to focus the speech on what is done right and what should be done in certain situations. The session began with the reading of a letter from a child, aware of his 'difference' from other children. Professor Peralta affirmed that "disabled people have many possibilities to go very far", but that it is necessary for everyone to show solidarity and contribute to make this a reality.

During the deployment of information on disability from the point of view of the Education, Felisa Peralta highlighted that much progress is being made in the modalities of schooling adapted to people with disabilities, as well as specialized teachers. On the other hand, she also said that physical barriers for the disabled are being eliminated, that is, much effort is being put into the creation of special services and adapted materials to create a real and stable support in today's society, in which integration is also important. "They are people who need our support, but they need to have self-esteem. Our work is to educate them so that they can act on their own," he said, referring to teachers. To complement the explanation, several videos were shown about people with disabilities, examples of overcoming and models of integration.

Professor Felisa Peralta ended her speech showing the positive and respectful language that should be used with disabled people; and concluded by stating that "we all need financial aid at some point", and that "the worst disability is the one of not having a heart".

Our work is to educate people with disabilities so they can act for themselves."

status During the question and answer session, some of the attendees, parents of children with disabilities, raised doubts about the real possibilities of integration and the current Education in relation to people with disabilities. The teacher accepted the criticisms raised and defended that "not everything that is being done is right", but not "everything is being done wrong". She affirmed that integration has to be a possibility and an option, because each case is different. "For one child it may be better to receive Education in an ordinary center, because it is prepared for their specific needs; and for another, because of their circumstances, it may be better to receive Education in a specialized center".

Undoubtedly, the session left no one indifferent.