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Article
Tangible First Steps: Inclusion Committees as a Strategy to Create Inclusive Schools in Western Kenya
Disability and the Global South (2016)
  • Michelle L. Damiani, Hartwick College
  • Dr. Brent C. Elder, Rowan University
  • Theophilus O. Okongo, Ministry of Education, Kenya
Abstract
This paper provides one example of forming an inclusion committee in Kenya toward the vision of creating inclusive primary school campuses. We suggest the development of inclusion committees as a potential innovative strategy and a critical element of community reform toward disability awareness, and to increase access to primary school education for students with disabilities. The formation of the inclusion committee followed a member-driven process for identifying barriers to educational access for students with disabilities, prioritizing the needs within their local context, determining a plan of action to address these needs within existing community resources, and gaining access to new resources. Recognizing access to equitable education as a universal human right supported by local and international legislation, this paper works within the tensions that exist between Western constructs of education and how they are applied in post-colonial countries in the global South. Our findings suggest that establishing diverse participation among stakeholders led to even more inclusive representation; that inclusion committee actions led to local and national level involvement with the initiative; and that community-driven progress toward inclusive education presented both strengths and challenges in terms of sustainability. Finally, we discuss implications for under-resourced schools, including those in the global North. 
Keywords
  • Inclusive education,
  • inclusion committee,
  • Kenya,
  • global South,
  • critical disability studies,
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Publication Date
Fall September 13, 2016
Citation Information
Michelle L. Damiani, Brent C. Elder and Theophilus O. Okongo. "Tangible First Steps: Inclusion Committees as a Strategy to Create Inclusive Schools in Western Kenya" Disability and the Global South Vol. 3 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 865 - 888
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brent-elder/5/