Conceptualizing Disability Inclusion

  • Sailaja Chennat


Situating social inclusion in the framework of diversity, this chapter introduces the reader to the philosophy and practice of inclusion discussing the conceptualizations and the inherent disconnects in the practice of inclusion in the society. Discussing the diversity in terms of types of disabilities and the degrees and levels of disability in each disability category, the dictum ‘inclusive education for all’ is demystified and the significance of special schools for different disability categories in the continuum of educational settings for children with disabilities has been emphasized. Critique on disability and marginalization has been presented next flowing into an analysis of societal response to persons with disabilities during the past few centuries: extermination to human rights-based approach. Finally, inclusive education has been discussed, delineating between what is and what is not inclusion, teacher attributes for successful inclusion and the practice of buddy culture and reciprocity in schools. Initiatives in India to promote inclusive education have been discussed, following which the necessary adaptations required in our teacher education programmes, both pre-service and in-service segments, have been presented. The latest global trends for facilitating inclusive education have been briefly presented at the end of the chapter.


Philosophy of inclusion Diversity Exclusion Models of disability Buddy culture Neurodiversity Universal design of learning Differentiated teaching 


  1. Albert, B. (2004). The social model of disability, human rights and development. Retrieved in August, 2018 from
  2. Amundson, R. (2000). Against normal function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 31, 33–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chennat, S. (2017). Understanding inclusion, Unit 1: Diversity and inclusion, Block 1. In Creating an inclusive school. Delhi: IGNOU.Google Scholar
  4. Daily, E. (2017). Strategic litigation impacts: Equal access to quality education. Retrieved from
  5. Degener, T., & Quinn, G. (2002). A survey of international, comparative and regional disability law reform. In M. L. Breslin & S. Yee (Eds.), Disability rights law and policy: International and national perspectives (pp. 3–129). Hague: Brill.Google Scholar
  6. Ghai, A. (2015). Rethinking disability in India. New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Government of Australia. (1992). Disability discrimination act. Federal Register of Legislation. Retrieved from
  8. Government of India. (2009). The right of children to free and compulsory education (RTE) act. New Delhi: Ministry of Human Resource Development, April 8, 2010.Google Scholar
  9. Government of India. (2019). Draft framework for implementation of the Samagra Shiksha, an integrated scheme for school education. Retrieved from
  10. Joshee, R. (2010). A framework for understanding diversity in Indian education. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 6, 283–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moren, M. (2019). Universal Design of Learning (UDL): What you need to know. Retrieved from
  12. Oliver, M. (2004). The social model in action: If I had a hammer. In C. Barnes & G. Mercer (Eds.), Implementing the social model of disability: Theory and research (pp. 18–31). Leeds: The Disability Press.Google Scholar
  13. Pfeiffer, D. (2002). The philosophical foundations of disability. Retrieved from
  14. Pfeiffer, D. (2003). The disability studies paradigm. In P. Devlieger, F. Rusch, & D. Pfeiffer (Eds.), Rethinking disability: The emergence of new definitions, concepts and communities (pp. 95–110). Antwerpen: Garant Uitgevers.Google Scholar
  15. Slorach, R. (2011). Marxism and disability. International Socialism Journal, 129, 111–136. Retrieved from in October, 2018.Google Scholar
  16. Theresia, D. (2016). Disability in a human rights context. Laws, 5(3), 35. Retrieved from Scholar
  17. The Understood Team. (2019). Assistive technology that’s built into mobile devices. Retrieved from
  18. Tomilson, C. A. (2019). What is differentiated instruction?. Retrieved from
  19. UNICEF. (2007). Promoting the rights of children with disabilities. Innocenti Research Centre. Retrieved from on 6th April 2019
  20. United Nations. (2006). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Retrieved in December, 2018 from
  21. United Nations. (2018). UN flagship report on disability and development. Retrieved in December, 2018 from
  22. World Health Organisation/World Bank. (2011). World report on disability. Summary Report. Geneva: WHO. Retrieved in December 2018 from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sailaja Chennat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations