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It’s Not All about Coursework: Narratives of Inclusion and Exclusion among University Students Receiving Disability Accommodations

Promoting Social Inclusion

ISBN: 978-1-78769-524-5, eISBN: 978-1-78769-523-8

ISSN: 1479-3636

Publication date: 4 June 2019

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore perceptions of exclusion and inclusion among students registered with the office of disability services at a large urban university in the United States. Our goal is to extend the current discourse on inclusion in higher education settings by drawing attention to social and cultural participation as an underemphasized aspect of educational inclusion and by bringing the perspectives of university students themselves into the discourse. While the general consensus among our interviewees seemed to be that schools and universities do a reasonably good job of developing classroom accommodations to meet their individual academic needs, stigma and social exclusion persist in damaging ways, in and outside of the classroom. A number of participants found solace and empowerment in interactions with other students with disabilities and suggested that until the forces of exclusion and stigmatization can be entirely eradicated, disability-friendly social and cultural activities and spaces designed by and for students with disabilities might provide an oasis of relief in a disabling world. Thus, we conclude that in addition to working towards the ultimate goal of making all aspects of university life disability-friendly, universities might better serve needs of current students by providing social spaces in which students with disabilities can socialize with each other and through which they might co-create and promote their own agendas for future institutional change.

Keywords

Citation

Maconi, M.L., Green, S.E. and Bingham, S.C. (2019), "It’s Not All about Coursework: Narratives of Inclusion and Exclusion among University Students Receiving Disability Accommodations", Promoting Social Inclusion (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 181-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-363620190000013014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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