Defining Special Education | Written Essays
and Special Educational Needs, Institute of Education, University of
Within the Russian Institute of Defectology there are 20 laboratories,each one focusing on a different type of disability, such as visualimpairment, partial hearing, motor impairment, mental handicapand developmental backwardness. The Institute and its laboratorieshave two main functions: firstly to carry out research and relatedclinical work and secondly to pioneer special teaching methodsand textbooks for particular disabilities. The Institute provideseducational materials, textbooks and in-service education forspecial schools and teachers across the whole of Russia. It shouldbe noted that the functions which the Institute now performs forRussia were until August 1991 provided for the whole of the SovietUnion. The implications of this very high level of centralisationin the context of the geography of the former Soviet Union andindeed even for the Russian Republic are considerable. For examplechildren may still have to travel through seven time zones forspecialised assessment at the Institute. This was the structureof a state controlled system of special scrutiny and intervention.
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