The Disability Studies in Inclusive Education open textbook is a collaborative initiative led by editors Judith McKenzie, Chantal Samuels, Kofi Nseibo and Amani Karisa in the Including Disability in Education in Africa (IDEA) Research Unit, along with editorial assistant Jes Graham and members of the DOT4D team.
The textbook content originates from the Disability Studies in Education course developed as part of the Teacher Empowerment for Disability Inclusion project, which started in the Division of Disability Studies at UCT in 2017.
The course was developed with active participation from academics, teachers, parents and persons with disabilities, as well as other community stakeholders such as NGOs. Through a process of consultation and learning design, the course convenors were able to bring together a range of skills and expertise by drawing on scholars in the field of Disability Studies as well as specialist educators who are experts in educational strategies designed to meet the learning needs of children with disabilities. Many of the course lecturers were persons with disabilities themselves.
The intention of this textbook is to increase the disability confidence of teachers in both mainstream and special schools so that they feel empowered to engage with disability in their classrooms. It does this by locating disability in a social context and understanding disability as a social identity that often leads to exclusion. The authors also provide the basic understanding and tools for teachers to work with children with disabilities through understanding the nature of their impairment and strategies to meet their learning needs.