Disabilities and Common Sense Approaches
For integration to reach all handicapped students, teachers need to know and provide basic and accurate information about the commoner disabilities and convey common sense approaches to dealing with them. Empathy develops only when typical children gain an understanding of the causes, origins, handicapping effects and consequences of disabilities and feel comfortable interacting with those who have them. Moreover, youngsters can easily become accustomed to providing their handicapped friends with a more “user friendly” environment. As Cohen (1974/1977) stated, “A very simple way to make people feel less uncomfortable with the disabled is to teach them how to behave in the presence of a person with an impairment” (p. 13).