Characteristics of students with physical disabilities from their teachers’ perceptions: A study on the conceptual parameters of the international classification of functioning, disability and health
Características de alunos com deficiência física na percepção de seus professores: Um estudo sob os parâmetros conceituais da classificação internacional de funcionalidade, incapacidade e saúde
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As school is understood as a social nucleus, identifying how teachers characterize the disability of their students constitutes an important focus of research, since these conceptions shape the educational attitudes and the approaches available. The objective of this study was to identify how teachers characterize the physical disability of their students and discuss possible implications of the perceptive tendencies involved in this characterization. Nine students with physical disabilities aged between six and twelve years old and their teachers participated in this study. Diagnoses included Cerebral Palsy, Congenital Malformation and Myelomeningocele. The research was conducted in six Elementary Schools of the regular school system, located in the hinterland of the state of São Paulo, from November to December 2014. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview, whose script was developed based on three categories under the conceptual parameters of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, namely: functions and structures of the body, activity and participation, environmental factors. Data were analyzed through content analysis and statistical analysis. Content analysis showed a predominance of focus in the activity and participation category. However, the Chi-square test demonstrated that the difference was not statistically significant. Still, the study points to a perceptive movement of the teacher toward the biopsychosocial focus of functionality since it shifts the focus from bodily attributes to functionality and then considers the need to invest in Assistive Technology resources for the student’s successful school performance.