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A journey towards inclusive education; a case study from a ‘township’ in South Africa

Rosemary Luger, Debbie Prudhomme, Ann Bullen, Catherine Pitt, Martha Geiger

African Journal of Disability; Vol 1, No 1 (2012), 5 pages. doi: 10.4102/ajod.v1i1.15

Submitted: 09 May 2012
Published:  18 September 2012


The purpose of this case study was to relate part of the journey to appropriate education for two young children with physical disabilities in a low socio-economic peri-urban informal settlement – or ‘township’ – in South Africa. The part of the on-going journey described here spanned four-and-a-half years and included the two children, their families, their teachers, their community and a small team of rehabilitation professionals working for a non-profit organisation in the area. The rehabilitation professionals’ goals were to provide support for the children, their families, their current special care centre and the school(s) they would attend in the future. The steps from the special care centre, to a mainstream early childhood development (ECD) centre for both of them, and then on to (a) a school for learners with special educational needs (LSEN) for one child and (b) a mainstream primary school for the other, are described. Challenges encountered on the way included parental fears, community attitudes and physical accessibility. Practical outcomes included different placements for the two children with implications and recommendations for prioritised parent involvement, individual approaches, interdisciplinary and community-based collaborations. Recommendations are given for clinical contexts, curricula and policy matters; for research and for scaling up such a programme through community workers.

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Author affiliations

Rosemary Luger, Chaeli Campaign, Plumstead, South Africa
Debbie Prudhomme, Chaeli Campaign, Plumstead, South Africa
Ann Bullen, Chaeli Campaign, Plumstead, South Africa
Catherine Pitt, Chaeli Campaign, Plumstead, South Africa
Martha Geiger, Chaeli Campaign, Plumstead Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


inclusive education; mainstreaming; parent involvement; community-based collaboration; interdisciplinary teamwork


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ISSN: 2223-9170 (print) | ISSN: 2226-7220 (online)

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