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Inclusive Education for Students with Intellectual Disability


DJK Cornelius ,

Navajyothi Trust Institute of Mental Retardation, Chennai-600098, IN
About DJK

Mr. Cornelius has been actively engaged in rehabilitation of the disabled for over four decades. He founded the Navajyothi Trust, which is dedicated to rehabilitation of persons with mental retardation in 1969. He currently serves as the Trust’s Vice Chairman and Technical Advisor. He has served on many expert and advisory committees of the government and has been closely associated with the National Institute for Mentally Handicapped at Secunderabad. Mr. Cornelius was also a founder member and the President of the Spastic Society of Tamilnadu.

His signal contributions have been in educational and vocational training programmes for adolescent adult persons with mental retardation and the setting up of appropriate work environments for them. He developed the DVTE (MR) course (recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India) to train teachers for post-school programmes for persons with mental retardation.

He has addressed many national and international seminars on rehabilitation and writes on issues related to special education, general education and teacher training. He has also served as the Director of Education Enrichment and as an Education Consultant to many schools.

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Janaki Balakrishnan

Navajyothi Trust Institute of Mental Retardation, Chennai, IN
About Janaki

With credentials in psychology and education, Mrs. Janaki Balakrishnan has been working in the field of mental retardation for over 10 years that includes three years of international teaching. Her past activities include serving as a Committee Member in Maithree (An Association of Parents of Exceptional Children) and Honorary Consultant to Krupa (An Adult Residential Facility for Persons with Mental Retardation). She has worked as guest faculty in instructional technology and curriculum and teaching in special education at Bala Vihar Training School for Special Educators.

Mrs. Balakrishnan also participated in various professional development workshops and has conducted two continous rehabilitation education programmes for special educators. Her interests include research, educational technology & writing.

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This paper traces briefly the evolution of Inclusive Education for students with special education needs (SEN) and discusses some significant challenges in its implementation. While the aim of Inclusive Education is to include all children with SEN in mainstream schools, there are many challenges that have to be overcome for their education to be meaningful. This paper focuses primarily on the inclusion of students with intellectual disability, since they are likely to be the largest number with special education needs in ‘inclusive’ schools. It offers the outline of a curriculum that may be derived from the mainstream one in use, and suggests a model that emphasises the replacement of age / grade placement, as is the present practice, with experience and maturity underpinning learning in persons with intellectual disability. The proposed model needs, of course, to be field-tested.

How to Cite: Cornelius, D. and Balakrishnan, J., 2012. Inclusive Education for Students with Intellectual Disability. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 23(2), pp.81–93. DOI:
Published on 16 Aug 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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