PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON CHALLENGES FACED BY HEARING-IMPAIRED IN INCLUSIVE PRIMARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of the study was to explore parents’ concerns, challenges and level of satisfaction for successful inclusion of children with hearing impairment in regular primary schools of Pakistan. The study was qualitative in nature. Ten parents of children with hearing impairment studying in inclusive schools were purposively selected as a sample from six districts of the Province Punjab. Semi-structured interviews were conducted for data collection. The analysis came up with six themes: aspects of hearing impairment and integration of learners, manifestations of hearing impairment, adapting content, adapting instructional strategies, adapting assessment, and institutional support. Findings revealed that teachers of inclusive schools had insufficient knowledge about hearing impairment and integration of these learners in inclusive classrooms. Similarly, teachers lack knowledge of manifestations of hearing impairment i.e., cognitive, social and emotional development. Teachers had limited knowledge and training of adapting curriculum content, instruction and assessment for effective inclusion of children with hearing impairment. Inadequate and absence of supportive services in the institutions were revealed as major factors for exclusion, absenteeism, and high dropout rate of these struggling learners. However, parents commented in favor of inclusive schools for their children despite of the current deficiencies reported by them.