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Reflection #2: Communication Experience

For my “silent experience”, I was at my job. I work as a crew member on boats cruising out of Baltimore and Annapolis. My tasks during my silence included cleaning the boat and assisting the captain with necessary tasks, with help from another crew member. I was only able to be silent for the minimum of 2 hours due to my requirements at work. The other crew member and I had to communicate to delegate the different tasks. The captain and I also had to communicate to find out if there were any specific jobs/areas of the boat he wanted us to take care of. I used my cell phone to text when possible. I also used pen and paper to communicate back and forth with the captain and crew. I used my hands a lot to point, which helped with the communication process slightly. 

 

This assignment was a bit more challenging than I expected. My coworkers understood my assignment so they were helpful. However, I slipped up a lot and would forget I couldn’t verbally give answers, instructions, or ask questions. They cooperated with the rules very well and did not respond to anything I verbally communicated. I am not a huge fan of texting, especially when whatever is being said would be much easier to explain over the phone or face-to-face. The task of only texting or using pen and paper to communicate got frustrating not long into the 2 hours. It was difficult to fully explain what I wanted to say through that method.

 

My appreciation for the blessings I have, specifically the gift of speech, was greatly improved from this assignment. I found losing the ability to speak for just 2 hours was much more challenging than I was prepared for. I also realized how lucky we are to have different types of technology to assist with effective communication. I have a greater respect for all people that have any kind of disability or factor that doesn’t allow for them to communicate freely, effectively, or communicate at all. I like to talk a lot, so it was quite a challenge to lose that ability. It unfortunately caused me to not want to communicate as much because it was more difficult to do so. 

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Blog Reflection #1: Initial Thoughts on Inclusion

“In 1975, Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act guaranteeing for the first time that all students with disabilities would receive a public education,” (Villa, v). This law’s name was changed to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990. I believe this was the starting point for inclusion in education.

My definition of inclusion comes from the legal definition of least restrictive environment (LRE). Students with disabilities and/or are handicapped will be educated with children who are not, as long as it is appropriate, helpful, and it is the right choice. These students can use aids and services to assist in success in a regular classroom.

I believe inclusion is a great idea. Children with and without disabilities can benefit from it. Both will get to experience very useful and important things that can be applied in and outside the classroom. Patience, understanding, social skills, and cooperation are some that come to mind. These advantages apply to the general population.

I think more extreme disabilities would be more difficult to use inclusion with. A disadvantage that could come with using inclusion with children with more severe disabilities is that they could become overwhelmed or frustrated if they are over stimulated. Another disadvantage would be a lack of learning. If the children with disabilities are requiring more help, it can be distracting to those without. If the children without disabilities are moving too quickly, talking, playing, etc. it could be a distraction to those with disabilities and those who need to pay more attention.

Here is a link with some resources for teachers who use inclusive classrooms: http://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/articles/inclusion/effectiveteach/

 

Sources:

Villa, Richard A., and Jacqueline S. Thousand, eds. Creating and inclusive school. ASCD, 2005.