Examining the physical environment of Ghanaian inclusive schools: how accessible, suitable and appropriate is such environment for inclusive education?
The extent to which inclusive schools can physically and pedagogically include children with disability and special educational needs or otherwise is also identified to depend largely on the physical environment. This descriptive, mixed methods study reports empirically driven data on the nature, accessibility, suitability and appropriateness of the physical environment of inclusive schools, and how these impact inclusive education (IE). A purposively selected sample of 164 teachers, with wide-ranging teaching experience was surveyed through a questionnaire. Observation data were also collected to complement the survey data. Study findings revealed that the physical environment of most ‘inclusive schools’ was of a poor quality, less accessible for children with physical and other sensory motor disability, and less suitable for most physical activities, including sports, and physical education for all children. Teachers, therefore, called on Government and the Ghana Education Service to urgently improve ventilation systems, decorations and colour in inclusive schools. They also highlighted the need for good architectural designs to facilitate effective natural and artificial illumination in classrooms and buildings, modification of facilities, and redesigning the physical landscape of schools to promote accessibility and use for all children, regardless of disability. The findings have implications for universal design environments for IE.