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Inclusive Education: An Investigation into the Inclusion of Students with Severe to Profound Hearing Impairments at three General Education Secondary Schools in the Educational District of Victoria, South Trinidad

Inclusive Education as Transformation

Author Information:

Joan Lawrence

Dr. Elna Carrington Blaides
The University of the West Indies, St Augustine


Joan Lawrence, inclusive education, severe hearing impairment, profound hearing impairment, social model of disability

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 7
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)


The purpose of this multi-site, phenomenological, qualitative case study investigation was two-fold. It sought to unearth and describe the experiences of major stakeholders: students with severe to profound hearing impairments, their parents and teachers, regarding the inclusion of the students at their regular secondary schools. This study also sought to discover whether barriers as identified in the Social Model of Disability, the framework for this study, were embedded in their experiences. The model indicated that persons with disabilities encountered environmental, attitudinal and organizational barriers, and the model was used as a guide to investigate the experiences of the major stakeholders. The literature review informs several open-ended questions which reveal the participants? experiences. This research project is of great significance as it adds to the sparse literature that already exists globally on inclusive education for students with hearing impairments. Furthermore, this investigation is significant to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region, as up to the time of writing no studies related to the inclusion of students with severe to profound hearing impairments in secondary schools were located locally or regionally. The investigation revealed the majority of stakeholders had negative experiences regarding the inclusion of the students under study. Though few stakeholders had positive experiences, the inclusion of students with severe to profound hearing impairments in secondary schools is generally not consistent with the ideals of inclusive education.