The Revision of Laws and Regulations
In 1984, the President announced the Special Education Act. In 1997, the Act was revised. The Act vowed to provide students with physical and mental disabilities, as well as those gifted and talented students with appropriate education, and the legislative belief. In 2009, the Act was revised again, which aimed at establishing a special education administrative support network and refining special education quality.
The Establishment of the Middle Project of Special Education
In response to the development trends of special education, and the related issues of low birth rate, the Ministry of Education established a comprehensive forward-looking special education environment. In August 2018, the Middle Project of Special Education (Academic year 107-111) included 7 implementation strategies as follows:
1. Reviewing laws and regulations of special education, and implementing comprehensive administrative measures.
2. Carrying out inclusive education, and strengthening adaptive guidance.
3. Mastering teacher cultivation for special education, and enriching teaching materials.
4. Organizing teaching resources, and promoting adaptive sports.
5. Improving campus environments, and creating barrier-free campus environments.
6. Establishing transition systems, and perfecting support functions.
7. Enhancing special education quality, and fortifying the connection with the international world.
The Establishment of Specific Units, and Fees of Expense
Until 2003, in the aspect of the administrative system, authorities at all levels established specific units responsible for special education by surmounting all difficulties. According to laws and regulations, designated budgeting of special education has been operated in standard portions by specific responsible personnel and within special fees, to undertake special education.
The Study Placement of Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities
The main principles of study placement of students with physical and mental disabilities in primary, junior high, and senior high schools are satisfying students’ needs, and reducing all environmental limitations as much as possible. To carry out the study placement for students with physical and mental disabilities in primary and junior high educational stages, related measures concerning teaching principles guidelines, methods, human resources provisions and assistance have all been regulated. In addition, to increase the rights to education for graduating junior high school students with physical and mental disabilities to entering in senior high schools, the revised Admission Guidance Regulations of Accomplished Education in Primary and Junior High Schools for Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities were announced in December 2000. The 4-Year Project of Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities 12-Year Study Placement was finalized in April 2001, and started to be implemented in the academic year 90. Additionally, on August 22, 2013, the Admission Guidance Regulations of Accomplished Basic Education for Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities were revised and renamed as the Admission Guidance Regulations for Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities. Students with physical and mental disabilities can enter senior high schools to continue their studies through multiple admission programs, such as exam-free admission, selective school and student recruitment, the bonus 25% of total grades and of selective examination subjects in admission, and additional 2% for student recruitment total number. Except for studying voluntarily in special education classes in senior high schools or the vocational high school department in special education schools, all administration authorities of education can regulate measures of admission study placement according to the actual requirements of students with physical and mental disabilities.
Furthermore, to respond to the MOE promotion policy of the 12-Year Basic Education, the Admission Guidance Program for Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities in Senior High & Vocational High Schools was set up in 2007. To enable students with physical and mental disabilities to attend upper secondary education, and to respond to the policy of equality of education and the special needs instruction, the time limitation of accepting education has been prolonged. Since the academic year 103, the special needs instruction of study placement for students with physical and mental disabilities has been implemented. The current paths of adaptive guidance of study placement include: the study placement in special education schools, the study placement in centralized special education classes of regular senior high and vocational high schools, and the study placement in regular senior high and vocational high schools.
The Increase of Rights to Education for Students with Physical and Mental Disabilities Entering Colleges and Universities
To promote the admission opportunities for students with physical and mental disabilities entering colleges and universities, not only can students participate in the multiple-admission program, but they also can take part in the annual College Entrance Exam for Physically and Mentally Disabled Students implemented by the Ministry of Education. Since the academic year 96, independent recruitment examinations for students with physical and mental disabilities have been carried out, according to students’ different physical and mental conditions, so as to provide students with diverse admission opportunities to colleges and universities.
The Creation of Barrier-free Environments in Campuses and The Provision of Comprehensive Assisted Device Services
To gain more understanding of the barrier-free facility requirement in schools at all levels, and to conduct the revised appropriate dedicated budget amounts, the Ministry of Education established the Barrier-Free Environment Promotional Program Team. The current situations and problems of barrier-free environments in schools at all levels and at all city or county governments have been reviewed every year. Each school and local governments should organize and plan the overall and annual improvement projects. The improvement modes would be carried out respectively by years, and by sessions. Schools should apply for MOE subsidies following the subsidization principles of barrier-free campus environment improvement.
In addition, to provide comprehensive educational device services for students with physical and mental disabilities, the Ministry of Education has consigned related issues to educational device centers of colleges, universities, senior high, and vocational high schools. The computer educational training for students with visual disabilities, and the facility consultation and repair specific phone line program were consigned to universities during 2016-2019 as follows:
1. The consignment to Tamkang University for implementing the aforementioned affairs.
2. The consignment to National Kaohsiung Normal University for implementing the education device center for students who have hearing impairments and communication disorders.
3. The consignment to Chung Shan Medical University Hospital for implementing the education device center for students who have physical impairments.