The Inaccessible Road Not Taken: The Trials, Tribulations And Successes Of Disability Inclusion Within Social Work Post-Secondary Education
Keywords:Disability, Inclusion, Accessibility, Education, Social Work, Curriculum, Activism
The authors share a common vision with respect to social justice and disability rights, displaying a common interest in making professional post-secondary education more responsive to persons with disabilities. While the focus of this research and advocacy is stemming from the work of the Canadian Association of Social Work Education, Persons with Disabilities Caucus, the authors believe it is transferable and applicable to any faculty, school or department within an academic setting. Within this paper, the authors will highlight eighteen years of work by the caucus including the initial formation of this group, a small group of academics across Canada who joined together with the purpose of transforming post-secondary social work education into an accessible, inclusive environment for disabled persons. Further, the authors will report on research findings related to disability inclusion within Canadian schools of social work, drawing upon the data from the initial survey in 2003 (Dunn, Hanes, Hardie, & MacDonald, 2006), with the primary focus on the most recent survey in 2010 – 2011. Finally, the authors will conclude this paper by presenting the barriers they faced while bringing about curricular and structural changes and the lessons learned from their journey. In essence, they will demonstrate how academics can unite to challenge post-secondary institutions in becoming more accessible to persons with disabilities.
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