Listening to young people with physical disabilities' experiences of education

Michael Curtin, Gill Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a general acceptance that inclusion is morally and ethically the most appropriate form of education. However, more research needs to focus on how best to accommodate and support the educational needs of all students, including those with physical disabilities. Listening to young people with physical disabilities talk about their educational experiences is one way to do this. The aim of this research was to investigate the life stories of a small number of young people with physical disabilities, in particular focusing on their educational experiences. Nine young people, between the ages of 10 and 13 years, who used a manual or powered wheelchair and had the cognitive ability to participate in a series of biographical interviews, were recruited. They collaborated in the writing of their life stories. One theme identified in the analysis of these life stories was their educational experiences. The results highlight that the participants held mixed views about their education. The four who attended a segregated special school were generally positive about their experiences.Participants who had attended a mainstream school talked about positive and negative experiences.Individual and differing perspectives on friendships and the ethos of their school were noted. It issuggested that young people with physical disabilities need to be considered as individuals and that if schools are to achieve the goal of inclusion they need to develop ways to accommodate each individual's needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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physical disability
Disabled Persons
Education
education
experience
school
Wheelchairs
inclusion
Research
cognitive ability
friendship
Interviews
Students
acceptance
interview
student

Cite this

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Listening to young people with physical disabilities' experiences of education. / Curtin, Michael; Clarke, Gill.

In: International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2005, p. 195-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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