School designs are not putting into consideration students with disabilities. There is a need to build all schools in a way that is inclusive to this demographic of students. The government budget should, therefore, include the allocation of funds for students with special needs.
Funding for school buildings needs to put into consideration students with disabilities. A common trend is that the designing of schools has failed to keep pace with the changing demand for infrastructure in schools. This has been a major problem, especially in public schools, where facilities are not being tailored to meet special needs students who attend these schools.
Need for schools that can handle students with disabilities
Australia, for instance, has set aside $7.53 (A$11) billion on new schools and facilities for the period of 2016 up to 2026. This 10-year plan is meant to address the rising shortage of facilities in the country, with an expected additional 650,000 new students by 2026. These students will need at least 750 new schools to be constructed to accommodate them.
There will be a need for part of this budget to go into ensuring that the building can accomodate students with disabilities easily. A report in 2017 showed that Australia had 18.8 percent of students being provided with adjustments at schools due to disabilities. The majority of these students were also attending public schools.
This report emphasizes the need to design all schools with the ability to handle such cases of students with disabilities. School design should put into consideration that, at some point, the facilities will be shared with students with disabilities. Failing to design the buildings to accomodate them should, therefore, be considered a bad design of the school facilities.
Designing schools explicitly for inclusion will benefit everyone. The process, however, requires commitment from governments, education stakeholders and policymakers who understand the importance of ensuring schools can accomodate everybody.
Consultation with disabled students should also be put into consideration because they understand better the difficulties they go through. This can also act as insight-based evidence that can be very useful for policymakers when allocating funds for building new schools. Inclusivity for students with disabilities, therefore, should always be put into consideration when designing new schools.
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