The Inclusion of Deaf Children in Malaysian Primary Schools: Parents’ Experiences and Advocacy


Malaysian law has developed to improve the support received by pupils with disability. A national review of policy and provision for pupils with disability and their families is gathering momentum. This article draws on the findings of a study conducted in three primary schools, involving interviews with seven parents, five school leaders, five mainstream teachers, five specialist teachers and three teaching assistants in the most developed state, Selangor, Malaysia. The study was guided by the following research question: ‘What are stakeholders’ experiences of the inclusion of deaf children in mainstream schools?’ Findings revealed that networking can help parents to build confidence and social capital in order to better support their children. This emerging trend among parents to advocate and take a leading role in supporting their children’s educational needs demonstrates a concerted effort to encourage the acceptance of children with diverse needs. Professionals working with deaf children need to be trained to deal with the different opinions about which mode of communication to use, where to educate a deaf child, and what are the best methods to use to teach deaf children, because these have been ongoing sources of controversy and seem likely to continue to be debated. One way to understand the inclusion of deaf children is from the perspective of ‘dimensions of inclusion’. These dimensions include location, curriculum, language and communication, acoustics, amplification, friendship and socialisation and are all inter-related.


Deaf children; inclusion; inclusive education; malaysia


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