Every learner and every teacher have a unique blend of personal characteristics and background factors that change with time and context, and affect the experience of living and developing. Traditionally, the education of learners with disabilities focused on the nature of specific conditions in an attempt to alleviate barriers to learning.
The impairment, and not the impact thereof on participation at school or at home, was emphasised. A more contemporary view is to focus on the strengths, attitudes and abilities of children within meaningful contexts. Believe that all can achieve addresses inclusion as the foundation for education in an attempt to celebrate diversity in the classroom, to capitalise on the strengths each learner brings to the learning–teaching dyad, and to welcome every family member as part of the broader classroom community.
Believe that all can achieve embraces the core values of the South African Constitution – freedom, dignity and equality. It shares best practice, evidence-based techniques and strategies in an effort to build a deeper understanding of the core challenges and possible solutions. Narratives, case studies, screening checklists, engaging illustrations and examples provided in the book enable the teacher to translate theory into actuality in the classroom. The chapters on challenging behaviours; intellectual, learning, physical and sensory disabilities; autistic spectrum disorders, and medical conditions add a wealth of information and a ready reference.
Believe that all can achieve is aimed at students and teachers in the field of inclusive education.
Seeing children with disabilities at work has taught me that there are many things they do that I thought they could not do. From this experience I now know that I would have no problem employing a person who is mentally or physically challenged. I ask God to help all of us have a better understanding and to see them as normal. I also ask that inclusion becomes part of many schools because I truly believe we can all benefit from inclusion.
MOTHER OF A TYPICALLY DEVELOPING CHILD IN AN INCLUSIVE SCHOOL
Everything must be done in the best interests of the child.
BILL OF RIGHTS, 1996