Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA):
Playing a musical instrument often gives a child the opportunity to communicate at a level that may be higher than he or she could through speech.
In addition to learning how to play an instrument, a child may also learn about his or her body in relation to the space around them and develop muscle memory.
“An Act to amend Part 4 of the Education Act 1996; to make further provision against discrimination, on grounds of disability, in schools and other educational establishments; and for connected purposes” (legislation.gov.uk).
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines disability as follows; “A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has an effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
SENDA enables children with disabilities legal rights to the same opportunities in education (music education) as their mainstream peers.
Parkwood Hall Steelband is an example of a school that provides music tuition to pupils who have Special Educational Needs. All pupils who play in the steelband have Special Educational Needs ranging from severe to moderate learning difficulties or have Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The school actively promotes equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people by giving the pupils the chance to perform once a month at schools in and around its locality. This opportunity also encourages the participation by disabled people in public life and helps to eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability.