Inclusion is usually defined “as a student with an identified disability, spending greater than 80% of his or her school day in a general education classroom in proximity to nondisabled peers” (Baglieri et al., 2011, p. 2125). This term, although seemingly benign and even beneficial, is nevertheless the outcome of polarized and divided terminologies. As a result, inclusion within the public school system can suggest not belonging. In this article I examine the invisible barriers to children’s full inclusion and participation hidden within the terminology and practices of special education, and suggest how the arts might be a natural ally in establishing student empowerment and equality in the classroom.
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