“Welcome to our school” : collectively dreaming of disability justice in education using drama-based youth participatory action research

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Young, Jacob Taylor

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Educational research on creating accessible and inclusive schools for disabled students has often left out the voices of those students who are most impacted by injustice in schools. Principals of disability justice argue that truly liberatory education must include leadership from all members of the learning community, including disabled students. This MFA Thesis examines a semester long project, where autistic young adult students and staff at an 18+ Transition School in Austin, TX use playbuilding and performance to co-research and dream about how schools can better support students with disabilities. Using a case study design, I explore the experiences of the four autistic student researchers in the project. Through qualitative methods of thematic analysis and coding, this thesis interrogates the presence and absence of disability justice principles within our shared research. Specifically, I use my reflective practitioner notes and the words and experiences of the disabled student co-researchers to offer insights and recommendations about how to create more inclusive and just schools for all.


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