Human Diversity and Human Rights Disability Studies

Human Diversity and Human Rights

Disability Studies


Response posts are expected to be at least 200 words each

Required Textbooks:

Garcia-Irate, E., McConkey, R., & Gilligan, R. (2016). Disability and human rights: global perspectives. New York: Palgrave.
Obrien, R. (2001). Crippled Justice. The History of Modern Disability Policy in the Workplace. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Please discuss any ways in which you personally have benefitted (or may potentially benefit in the future) from inclusive education practices, even if you consider yourself to be nondisabled.  In addition, considering all of the stakeholders involved, please discuss the challenges of inclusive education and describe some situations where you think that inclusive education may not be the best practice. 


Joseph Szekely,

There are several ideas that come to mind when I reflect on inclusive education throughout my life. Back in high school many of my peers that had a disability didn’t have a lot of interaction with their non-disabled peers. I remember, there was a class you could take where you volunteered and worked with these students which mostly involved walking around the schools and talking with other students in the halls. This is the largest benefit that came into play, both for the disabled and able-bodied students. The class itself taught many of the non-disabled students about disability as well as how able-bodied these students were. The benefit for students with disabilities was best told by the Cape Verde video. In this video, you could see how socialization improved the lives of these students and expanded their futures. I believe that we are all stakeholders in this conversation because we all stand to benefit from inclusive education. When the material is hard and it needs to be repeated or slowed down for a student with a disability it allows all the students to hear it again or hear it in a different way, all of which improves learning. In the Cape Verde video and the Ted Talk, you can also see how integrated learning helps us to empathize and see the world through a different lens. To change our conceptions of what is considered “normal” and shift our ideas away from ignorant ways of thinking.

There could be several challenges that come along with inclusive educational programs that should be considered as well. Depending on the student’s disability there could be challenges around physical movement, cognitive, or challenges with seeing or hearing. Each case is unique to each student and thus should be discussed with both the students, teachers, and parents to make sure that they have the resources and tools to succeed. However, some things could be avoided and not practiced. For example, putting time restraints on exams for students that have a cognitive disability or PE classes where students could be put at a disadvantage to their peers.


Ashley Ellenz,

I really like this discussion prompt because I feel as if I have benefitted from inclusive educational practices in many different ways. When I was a senior in high school, I decided to peer tutor in a senior special needs classroom, which included a full class of disabled students who were going to graduate that year. I did one semester of peer tutoring in that classroom, and the next semester I was asked if I would take a digital media class with a student who had down syndrome and basically help her with the class as well as help her integrate into the general education classroom. Since I needed to fulfill that credit anyways, I agreed and did the class along with this student. We learned how to operate a camera and photoshop and we did many partner projects together. My experiences with this student forever changed my outlook and views towards disabled people, as I saw that she was no different of a student than me or any other student in the school. I believe that her educational inclusion with me in that classroom throughout the semester benefitted me in the long-run because it really shaped my views towards disabled people for the better. I think that educational inclusion practices can have that same affect for many other non-disabled people and benefit them as well.

As I have mentioned before, I work full-time as a para-educator in a disabled classroom. While there is some integration and inclusive education practices that occur within the classroom, there are some situations that inclusive education may not be the best practice. This is because there are some disabled students that have severe behavioral issues and are, or can be dangerous to themselves or other students. I think the scenario of having a dangerous student with behavioral issues is a possible challenge when it comes to inclusive education because without constant supervision in a general education classroom, the student could harm themselves or others.

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