Art and Integration: What Can We Create?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stuart J. Schleien, Professor & Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In 1975, Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) proposed specific and far-reaching remedies to the then prevalent practice of segregating children with severe disabilities in institutions or special schools. Central among the remedies is the emphasis on placement in a least restrictive environment. This emphasis has produced the leverage needed to move many children with severe disabilities from segregated to integrated settings, particularly to integrated schools. However, strategies that can make integrated activities, such as an art activity, successful in terms of fostering social interactions between dis abled and nondisabled participants are in very short supply. Indeed, in the 12 years that have transpired since P.L. 94-142 passed, researchers have discovered more about what not to do than what to do to make integrated programming successful. For example, there is now ample evidence that physical proximity alone rarely brings about positive heterogeneous interactions. Without proper structuring of an interaction situation for cooperative participation, nondisabled individuals sometimes see peers with disabilities in negative and prejudiced ways (Novak, 1975), feel discomfort and uncertainty in interacting with them (Jones, 1970), and, during interactions, sometimes show feelings of rejection toward them (Iano, Ayers, Heller, McGettigan, & Walker, 1974).

Additional Information

Therapeutic Recreation Journal
Language: English
Date: 1988
Art, Autism, Museums, art therapy, integrated schools, social interaction, autistic children

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