$0 – $15

Students with Disability: Creating a Welcoming School For All

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Event description
This discussion will unpack understandings of disability and outline how students with disability can feel a sense of belonging at school.

About this Event

Inclusive practice is much more than access to a classroom. It must include meaningful participation and a sense of belonging. We begin by asking participants the beguilingly simple question 'What is disability?' and unpacks how the understanding of disability influences:

  • Curriculum
  • Learning/ behaviour plans
  • Sexual education
  • Placement within the school system
  • Communication with the student and his/ her parents or representatives
  • Human rights

Participants will be encouraged to think critically about dominant educational narratives about disability, how each of us learned about disability and where we locate ourselves in this construct. We will explore how the understanding of disability within the school context may differ from that held by people with disability and parents of children with disability, and how this can be problematic for our relationships between schools and communities. Therefore, this discussion takes into account the larger sociocultural and historical landscape of disability.

Each participant will be provided with a questionnaire derived from Darling's (2013)work on 'Disability and Identity: Negotiating Self in a Changing World' to complete privately prior to the workshop. The results of this questionnaire are not necessarily intended to be shared, but rather are utilised as discussion points. Through this task participants can determine whether their understanding of disability is congruent with the social or medical model of disability. The implications of this view of disability will be discussed in relation to education and belonging, and most importantly, the voice of people with disability. The session will end with practical ideas to create a safe place for students with disability.

Intended Audience:

Teachers, assistants, parents and anyone interested in disability, identity and human rights.


Dr Leanne Longfellow is a former teacher and currently supports teachers to provide inclusive classrooms as well as assisting with parental advocacy. She is also a parent of a young adult with disabilities. She has presented at Australian and international educational conferences, taught in a university context and completed her doctoral research on the education of students with disability at UniSA in 2018.

Testimonials from previous workshops:

'I loved that the topics covered and information expressed was applicable to all students not just those with special needs. It’s a whole class approach too! Very practical!' Nicole Zacher

'I liked the way the professional learning was presented with strategies to support behaviours.' Amelia Pickard

'Clear and to the point. Relatable to school environment. Do-able'. Marie Foreman'

Full of information and examples, scenarios and ideas to take away. Talk time at the end of the session was good to be able to discuss different strategies'. Leesa

'I liked the examples during the slideshow. Breakdown of behaviour management strategies used now and overtime and how they have/ haven’t worked.' Alison McConachy

'Informative. Practical ideas for students with learning disabilities.' Helen Braley

'The strategies were clearly set out and identified and explained thoroughly.' Emily Shepherd

'This workshop exceeded all my expectations.' Abbie Kemp

Participants who paid for a ticket will receive:

A certificate of attendance referenced to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Participants need to be actively involved in the discussion to receive the certificate.

Completing this workshop will contribute one hour of professional learning addressing Standard 7:4 'Engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities' from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation.

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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