Promoting Social Inclusion: Volume 13

Cover of Promoting Social Inclusion

Co-Creating Environments that Foster Equity and Belonging

Table of contents

(19 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xxiv
Content available

Section 1 Social Inclusion: Affirming Value, Rights and Choice

Abstract

Social inclusion incorporates attitudes, expectations and perceptions about what it means to belong to a group. Belonging is embedded in personal beliefs and social structures that set forth criteria that determine how individuals and groups are accorded value and esteem. This chapter explores the constructs of social inclusion, exclusion and belonging with regard to persons in general and more specifically children with disability. It examines the importance of belonging and social inclusion to academic and psychosocial well-being and the effects of stigmatization and exclusion on self-perception, agency and voice. The chapter concludes with a number of evidence-based strategies for creating classrooms, schools and communities in which all are valued, welcomed and belong.

Content available
Abstract

The inclusion movement is predicated on the rights of individuals with disability to full access to communities of choice, ending segregation and separation. However, an uncritical commitment to ‘absolute’ inclusion may undermine the deeper goal of the emancipation of disabled people. In this chapter, we argue that when disabled people come together in groups, those groups are not necessarily evidence of segregation. They may in fact be groups of solidarity. We delineate some of the fundamental differences that determine whether a grouping represents segregation or solidarity, including enforced versus voluntary participation, imposed agenda versus common purpose, shame versus pride and benevolence versus respect. Finally, we suggest that the most important distinction between segregation and solidarity is centred in power; that is, who has the power to determine how people see themselves, what they do together and the issues and the ultimate goal they’re working towards. We end the chapter with suggestions to facilitate communities of solidarity grounded in social justice.

Content available
Abstract

The social inclusion of youth is addressed from the perspective of goal-directed action in order to understand and foster it effectively. Conceptualized from the perspective of contextual action theory (CAT), the specific understanding of action as levels, perspectives and systems provides the basis to unpack the complexity of human action. One pertinent action system is identified as project. It refers to a series of actions over time with the same goal. Using this understanding, the social inclusion of youth is described though the joint actions and projects between youth and non-familial adults. These joint actions and projects include advocating for youth, providing instrumental knowledge and encouraging community involvement and civil engagement. CAT is also used to conceptualize and conduct research on the social inclusion of youth. Specifically, the action project method was used to describe the joint projects of both youth with disability and immigrant youth as these projects involved the youth’s social inclusion.

Content available
Abstract

This chapter discusses the notions of equity, hope and sense of belonging and their vital roles in enhancing student engagement. The main focus is to present how hope, sense of belonging and engagement can be nurtured by putting equity in the centre of what we do in facilitating student learning. In paying careful attention to these concepts, especially in implementing equity as a transformative solution to various educational challenges, educators are warned to be prepared to recognize student diversity and redistribute resources and services to all students who need them, experience anxiety and discomfort as they engage in difficult conversations, value and honour the unique backgrounds of each student, expect cultural mismatches in working with diverse students, use data consistently to inform and differentiate instruction and expect that the work in promoting equity is an ongoing and long-lasting advocacy.

Content available

Section 2 Social Inclusion and Schools: Programs, Perspectives and Practices

Abstract

Current educational contexts in many countries are characterized by high heterogeneity and plurality. The inclusion of students who represent a range of life experiences, including migration, psychological difficulties, low socio-economic status or disability, has required schools to support diversity through identifying different ways of enhancing learning through personalization of instruction and attention to the needs of individuals at different stages of their lives. Despite knowledge of the advantages of diversity, in educational contexts in which students with disabilities or other vulnerabilities have been included, micro- and macro-exclusion and victimization phenomena continue to be experienced. It is essential, therefore, to identify effective interventions with the goal of reducing stereotypical views of difference and disability and enabling students to learn to collaborate, play and work with others. This chapter explores a number of evidence-based programmes and interventions to promote more inclusive environments from kindergarten through university, emphasizing the importance of mutual support and valuing of diversity, ensuring greater social justice for all.

Content available
Abstract

This chapter presents one family’s journey to seek an inclusive education for their son. It highlights the essential role of home–school and parent–professional collaboration, especially during key points of transition. It also focuses on the importance of social inclusion and belonging, examines the value of friendships and illustrates how inclusion can promote reciprocal interactions that benefit all.

Content available
Abstract

Preventing and tackling bullying effectively are important agenda for schools to safeguard all children’s well-being, engagement and sense of belongingness. Children perceived to be different from their peers tend to have a higher risk of being bullied at school, in particular, children with disabilities. It can be challenging for teachers to stop bullying that targets children with disabilities. This chapter considers bullying as a barrier to ensuring inclusive and quality education for everyone. It draws on findings from an ethnographic study concerning the status of inclusion of children identified as having learning difficulties in mainstream schools in China, by listening to what children and teachers have to say (Wang, 2016). The study found that the child participants were subject to forms of bullying. They found it useful to gain support from others when bullying happened, and they showed empathy towards peers’ well-being. The teacher participants reflected on the dilemmas and challenges of dealing with bullying and were keen to share experiences about what they found helpful in addressing the issue. The chapter discusses how insights about bullying learned from children and teachers can be used to inform the enactment of inclusive pedagogy. It is concluded that an inclusive pedagogical response that recognizes every child’s voice is necessary for tackling bullying and co-creating an inclusive environment.

Content available
Abstract

Inclusive education is promoted internationally as the most effective way of educating all children. Concurring with this, parents increasingly seek out inclusive schooling for their child with disability, rather than placement in a special segregated facility. There is, nonetheless, enormous diversity between countries and regions in the form that this takes, depending upon local policies, contexts and government and school commitment to an inclusive approach. Listening to the voices of parents and self-advocates from different regions about their personal experiences when endeavouring to access an inclusive schooling option can provide greater clarity about the process and how easy it is for families to take this route. The following stories are told by four parents from different countries and one self-advocate about their journey to access an inclusive education for a child with a disability.

Content available
Abstract

This chapter presents a recently completed study that focused on how classroom teachers in Nigeria are developing inclusive practice. Qualitative data were generated through the use of semi-structured (non-participant) classroom observations and follow-up interviews with 12 teachers. The framework for participation (Black-Hawkins, 2014; Black-Hawkins, 2010) was used as a theoretical framework to guide the process of data generation, data analysis and interpretation of the research findings. Data findings illustrate how a mixture of beliefs and knowledge influence what teachers do in classrooms. Although both factors interact and influence teachers’ actual practice, it also emerged that the most important factor influencing teachers’ actions is the teacher’s understanding of what learning is and the processes through which learning can effectively take place for all children.

Content available

Section 3 Securing Presence: Dignity, Agency and Voice

Abstract

This chapter presents a research method for operationalizing a human rights approach with children with disability in developing countries that confronts the tension between a universal human rights discourse and local knowledge and customs. This research was undertaken in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Through methods of data collection, analysis of data and the dissemination of findings, the focus was on utilizing human rights concepts and ideas in a way that enabled the local meanings and experiences of children to be re-interpreted against the Articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Findings could then be presented in a manner that communicated effectively with governments and local and global organizations, while also honouring the particular experiences of children with disability. Such an approach is, of course, subject to critique and ongoing adaptation.

Content available
Abstract

Narrative assessment is a strengths-based approach that stories children’s learning and makes visible teaching and relationships that are critical to quality education. This case study explores narrative assessment in the learning area of literacy in a New Zealand primary school. Listening to a child’s voice means, he can be an active participant in his learning and engage in the rich curricular opportunities alongside his peers. As his capabilities and communicative skills are made visible, meaningful relationships develop within the classroom community. In this case study, narrative assessment supports authentic belonging in a culture where care and respect are valued.

Content available
Abstract

What currently constitutes participation in schools? Who decides what ‘counts’ as engagement and who is excluded by and in those decisions? When and how do those ideas change? How can broadening conceptualizations of voice, agency and participation – driven by the voices of individuals who do not rely solely on verbal speech to communicate – foster inclusivity in schools and community? In this chapter, we draw from our experiences as researchers, scholars, educators, colleagues and friends who live and work alongside non-speaking and unreliably speaking 1 people who type, point or use other forms of augmentative and alternative communication. We lay out foundational concepts underlying experiences of neurodivergent communicators, followed by illustrative examples and action steps for change. Geared towards educators and support professionals working to sustain spaces more inclusive of a range of voices in schools, this chapter continues a productive conversation within the Disability Studies in Education (DSE) community around inclusivity in research and in practice.

Content available
Abstract

Children and adults with hearing loss (HL) need not always experience social exclusion. A combination of equipment, assistive technology and appropriate strategies can both mitigate obstacles to inclusion and empower children and adults to become successful and self-reliant. A family shares their reflections and strategies from the experience of living with, and supporting others affected by, HL for over 30 years.

Content available

Section 4 Transition to Higher Education and Employment

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.

Content available
Abstract

According to the social justice model of disability, inclusion is about securing civil and human rights for individuals with disabilities. To that end, supported decision-making is a person-centred process that allows individuals to take control of their own choices and increases their ability to live self-determined lives. Utilizing a case-study approach, this chapter examines the differences between guardianship and supported decision-making and explores how one individual who had been placed within a guardianship format, embraced a more supported decision-making framework through self-selecting a group of family, friends and professionals to serve in an advisory capacity. Through this approach, he regained control of decision-making, assumed the ‘dignity of risk’ associated with decision-making and restored his right to self-determination.

Content available
Abstract

Researchers have found that enhanced self-determination can contribute to integrated employment and social inclusion outcomes for adults with disabilities. This chapter will provide an overview of the Self-determined Career Design Model (SDCDM) and research on its implementation. The SDCDM is an evidence-based career design model implemented by a facilitator (e.g. school professional, community service provider, or any supporter) to enable young people with disabilities to design their career trajectory. The SDCDM has the three phases: (1) set a goal, (2) take action and (3) adjust goal or plan. The SDCDM promotes social inclusion by enabling young people with developmental disabilities to leverage their strengths, interests and resources available to reach self-selected career-related goals. The chapter will specifically consider factors (e.g. culture, family background) that influence the development and expression of self-determination and goal-directed behaviour across the lifespan. A case study of the implementation of the SDCDM with two young women with developmental disabilities who participated in a larger study examining the impact of the SDCDM on employment outcomes will be used to demonstrate the use and impact of the model.

Content available
Abstract

Although work has a fundamental role in the individual’s psychological well-being, the vast majority of mental health service users are not in employment. This is the result of various barriers that impede their work re-integration process despite their desire to work. Apart from the illness’ symptoms, these barriers are strongly associated with the negative effects of long-term unemployment, the negative stereotypes and attitudes towards mental health service users and the fear of losing disability benefits. There are several occupational intervention models aiming at vocational rehabilitation of mental health service users. Arguably, the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment has proved to be more effective compared to other models. This chapter presents an innovative career counselling approach that combines elements from the IPS model and from the newly emerged career theories that have been developed to address today’s world of work challenges. This model was developed by the Pan-Hellenic Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Work Integration (PEPSAEE) in Greece during the recent major economic crisis. Further implications of the model’s implementation regarding vocational rehabilitation of mental health users as means for social inclusion are discussed.

Content available

Index

Pages 239-245
Content available
Cover of Promoting Social Inclusion
DOI
10.1108/S1479-3636201913
Publication date
2019-06-04
Book series
International Perspectives on Inclusive Education
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78769-524-5
Book series ISSN
1479-3636