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Belonging and connection of school students with disability

ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
TRUSCOTT, Julia
February 2014

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All students want to feel like they belong and that they are valued in their school community. School is a centrally important place to young people — not only where they learn fundamental academic knowledge, but also where skills in making and keeping friends, relating to peers, and social justice principles are learnt and practiced. What happens when young people feel like they don’t belong?

 

This paper examines a series of key issues about belonging and connection for students with disability and demonstrates research that shows:

• Feeling a sense of belonging and connection makes a positive difference to school life

There are a number of key elements to belonging and connection — friendship, peer acceptance, capability, being valued and supportive relationships with key adults

• When belonging and connection are threatened, there are several areas in which the impact is seen. The friendships of students are limited; they are lonely; the places they can go within the school are controlled; there are tensions in negotiating support relationships; students feel and are excluded; and kid’s strengths aren’t seen by other students or adults in their school communities

• Bullying is a particularly strong threat to a felt sense of belonging and connection

 

The paper is also available at https://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Disability and sanitation : soap and toilets

JONES, Hazel
JANSZ, Shamila
August 2008

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This paper presents water, sanitation and hygiene issues in the context of disability. It examines the implications for WaterAid's work, what issues need to be considered, and the comparative advantages of different starting points and approaches. It would be useful for practitioners interested in inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives for people with disabilities

Young children, HIV/AIDS and gender : a summary review

BHANA, Deevia
BRIXEN, Farhana Farook
2006

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(From forward) Studies point to the existence of a global HIV/AIDS emergency among young people. An estimated 6,000 youths a day become infected, an average of one new infection every 14 seconds. The most socially and economically disadvantaged young people appear to be especially at risk of infection, and young women in developing contexts are at the greatest risk. The rate of HIV infection among girls is rapidly outstripping the rate among boys. Girls already account for nearly 60 percent of the infections in sub-Saharan Africa, where the pandemic is most virulent. This paper adopts the hypothesis that this pandemic can be confronted already in early childhood. During the first eight years of life the foundations are set for the capacities, beliefs and attitudes that support individuals in later life. In early childhood, people can therefore more easily learn and integrate appropriate risk avoidance behaviours that may prove useful in the global war on HIV/AIDS. The earliest years may represent a window of opportunity for the successful implementation of HIV/AIDS reduction and prevention programmes

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