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Belonging and connection of school students with disability

ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
TRUSCOTT, Julia
February 2014

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All students want to feel like they belong and that they are valued in their school community. School is a centrally important place to young people — not only where they learn fundamental academic knowledge, but also where skills in making and keeping friends, relating to peers, and social justice principles are learnt and practiced. What happens when young people feel like they don’t belong?

 

This paper examines a series of key issues about belonging and connection for students with disability and demonstrates research that shows:

• Feeling a sense of belonging and connection makes a positive difference to school life

There are a number of key elements to belonging and connection — friendship, peer acceptance, capability, being valued and supportive relationships with key adults

• When belonging and connection are threatened, there are several areas in which the impact is seen. The friendships of students are limited; they are lonely; the places they can go within the school are controlled; there are tensions in negotiating support relationships; students feel and are excluded; and kid’s strengths aren’t seen by other students or adults in their school communities

• Bullying is a particularly strong threat to a felt sense of belonging and connection

 

The paper is also available at https://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

Inclusive education

CORPS, Hannah
September 2012

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This policy brief provides an overview of Handicap International’s 2012 policy paper on inclusive education which explains Handicap International’s current work on inclusive education and offers perspectives for the period 2011-2015
PP Brief No 8

Inclusive education (background paper)

CORPS, Hannah
CERALLI, Gilles
BOISSEAU, Sandra
July 2012

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"This policy paper explains Handicap International’s current work on inclusive education and offers perspectives for the period 2011-2015. The primary aim is to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the topic and sufficient knowledge to undertake concrete, positive actions towards inclusion. This policy paper draws upon Handicap International’s experience in the field of education since 1998 and prior to that, its experience of working with former development partner Action Nord Sud (ANS) 2. It takes into account the outcomes of baseline field assessments, meetings with partners and donors, feedback from educational professionals, decision-makers and policymakers, and importantly, the views of children with disabilities and their families"
PP No 8

School readiness : helping communities to get children ready for school and schools ready for children

October 2001

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This is a brief introduction to the concept of school readiness with a focus on the US. It presents a framework for community involvement in supporting children's transition to school, based on an 'ecological' view of child development. A variety of factors relating to the child development are considered and explored, including the different roles played by the child's family, early childhood care and education, schools, neighborhood, and the wider society

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