Classroom Inclusion Handbook for Students With Physical and Health Disabilities

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glessner


inclusion, handbook, physical disabilities, school, special education, assistive technology


Research has shown that inclusive learning environments are beneficial for all students (Best et al., 2010; Janney & Snell, 2013; Kurth & Gross, 2014; Murawski & Dieker, 2013). Despite the evidence supporting the practice of inclusion, many students with disabilities spend the majority or entirety of their school day in a special education classroom or even in a separate school (Janney & Snell, 2013). Although there are many barriers to successful inclusive classrooms for students with physical and health disabilities, they can be sorted into three general themes: (a) architectural, including physical aspects of buildings that are inaccessible; (b) tangible, such as scheduling constraints, assistive technology, room arrangement, and staff training; and (c) mindset barriers in which people have a lack of knowledge or preconceived notions about students with disabilities and inclusive teaching practices.

For this project, an online handbook was created to assist school teams when working with students with physical or health disabilities. Research indicates that teachers want to know more about students and their disabilities, but they often feel ill-equipped to teach them in the general education setting (Singh, 2007). Although providing an exhaustive list of disabilities and accommodations is infeasible, the online handbook provides background information about neuromotor impairments, degenerative diseases, and orthopedic impairment; discusses common barriers to successful inclusion; and outlines assistive technologies that may benefit students with physical and health impairments. Additionally, hyperlinks embedded within the handbook provide more sources of information.