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Special Education Today in South Africa

Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe

ISBN: 978-1-78441-096-4

Publication date: 16 September 2014


The chapter on special education in South Africa initiates with a very comprehensive historical account of the origins of special education making reference to the inequalities linked to its colonial and racist past to a democratic society. This intriguing section ends with the most recent development in the new democracy form special needs education to inclusive education. Next, the chapter provides prevalence and incidence data followed by trends in legislation and litigation. Following these sections, detailed educational interventions are discussed in terms of policies, standards and research as well as working with families. Then information is provided on regular and special education teacher roles, expectations and training. Lastly, the chapter comprehensively discusses South Africa’s special education progress and challenges related to budgetary support, staff turnover, and a lack of prioritizing over the number of pressing education goals in the country’s provinces.


Naicker, S. (2014), "Special Education Today in South Africa", Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 397-429.



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