Related Topics:  Special Education ; Inclusion; Diversity; Disability Studies

Special Education is education for students with disabilities, in consideration of their individual educational needs, which aims at full development of their capabilities and at their independence and social participation.

Disability Studies: Initiated by disabled activists, artists, and scholars, the field of disability studies began as part of the disability rights movement with the aim of challenging oppressive disability discourses and policies, and promoting disability identity and culture. It honors the lived experiences, distinct cultures, and self-representations of disabled people as opposed to pervasive stereotypical representations. Disability studies has played a key role over the past three decades of advancing disability arts, visual culture, and literature, policy and law, and sociocultural appreciation of disability as a legitimate and worthwhile way of being.

 Inclusive Education – also called inclusion – is education that includes everyone, with disabled and non-disabled people learning together in mainstream schools, colleges and universities.

Historically, the term inclusion in U.S. federal law emphasizes the inclusion of disabled students in an otherwise able-bodied classroom and curriculum. More recently, inclusion has been defined “as a student with an identified disability, spending greater than 80% of his or her school day in a general education classroom in proximity to nondisabled peers” (Baglieri et al., 2011, p. 2125). However, we emphasize that inclusion, when conceived with the deficit model in mind, justifies sorting people according to their differences (Kraft & Keifer-Boyd, 2013). A more democratic and productive notion of inclusion must include the perspectives of disabled people in curriculum through art, narratives, and terminology that convey inclusion as equitable, not “special.” In disability studies, however, inclusion means that disability is “fully recognized as providing alternative values for living that do not simply reify reigning concepts of normalcy” (Mitchell & Snyder, 2015, p. 5). To envision inclusion as qualitative rather than quantitative, or rather than simply adding more bodies into an existing order, a qualitative shift is characterized by how the inclusion of disabled people can change the order itself. Such a qualitative shift can be realized in art education through a discursive shift from “special” to “equal,” such as the inclusion of artists with disabilities in the curriculum that introduces a body of first-person perspectives that speaks to the experience of the social and cultural realities that construct disabled experience. The inclusion of such perspectives embodies a disruptive potentiality, a qualitative shift, reframing limiting perspectives that contribute to the marginalization of disabled experience. Conversation, collaboration, and coordination among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with disability communities are essential for far-reaching impact on the wide range of constituencies who are or could be involved with the arts. Access and equity research concerns issues of accessible and inclusive education and access for people with disabilities to art experiences and arts careers. A disability justice policy must be developed in conversation with the individuals who are affected by policy, using a variety of forms of data and questions that stem from collaborative inquiry of practitioners, researchers, and disability communities ( Excerts from Karen Keifer-Boyd, Alice Wexler, Jennifer (Eisenhauer) Richardson and Flavia Bastos, "Disability Justice: Rethinking 'Inclusion' in Arts Education Research," Studies in Art Education, 59(3). Used with permission from National Art Education Association.)

 Left: Dancehearts members trying out the T/Act "thingies" Photo credit: Andrew Best-Dunkley

Right: Still image from Stage Lab video, Disability on Stage project/ Yvonne Schmidt, Sarah Marnucci, Sara Bocchini, and Demis Quadri. Photo credit: Dante Carbini / Accademia Teatro Dimitri SUPS



Baglieri, S., Bejoian, L. M., Broderick, A. A., Connor, D. J., & Valle, J. (2011). [Re]claiming “inclusive education” toward cohesion in educational reform: Disability.

Kraft, M., & Keifer-Boyd, K. (2013). Including difference: A communitarian approach to art education in the least restrictive environment. Reston, VA: The National Art Education Association.

Mitchell, D., & Snyder, S. (2015). The biopolitics of disability: Neoliberalism, ablenationalism and peripheral embodiment. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.



Around The world:


Open access books, and papers about  Inclusion and Diversity ( InSEA members suggestions) 




CCTV live stream report on "Reversed Inclusive A/r/t Education Show" in Dec., 2018 ( Jun Hu research)

CCTV News report on "Reversed Inclusive A/r/t Education: Hand in Hand" in June., 2018 ( Jun Hu research)

Zhejiang TV News report on "Reversed Inclusive A/r/t Education: Tactile Paintings of the Blind" ( Jun Hu research)
Zhejiang Provitional Juvenile Correctional Jail report: ( Jun Hu research)