Sharing Stories and New Experiences through the Creation of Audio Art

The Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle, Washington, has a long history of working with students with disabilities to create audio art in a variety of formats. The hands-on arts experiences they offer to students provide a way to share stories and create something new. Executive Director Joan Rabinowitz says students in both the organization’s … Continue reading Sharing Stories and New Experiences through the Creation of Audio Art

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Missouri Educators Support Student IEP Goals Through High School Play Productions

The arts can be a way to break down silos and boundaries in schools, something Brad Walkenhorst and Barb Raney recognized when they first started working on theater programs at Northview High School in Florissant, Missouri. Northview is a school for students ages 14-21 with a range of disabilities, and Walkenhorst and Raney saw how … Continue reading Missouri Educators Support Student IEP Goals Through High School Play Productions

Tools for Nourishing a Radically Inclusive Arts Learning Environment

By Aysha Upchurch The demographic landscape in schools has been undergoing major shifts. The United States Census projects that by 2020—less than two years from now—the majority of youth under the age of 18 will be people of color.[1] Additionally, the Department of Education has been tracking the number of students with disabilities and noted … Continue reading Tools for Nourishing a Radically Inclusive Arts Learning Environment

Peer Partners in the Elementary Art Classroom Lead to Growth for Students With and Without Disabilities

Jonathan Hale was teaching art at both Jordan Valley School, a school for students with severe and multiple disabilities, and Sprucewood Elementary School in Utah’s Canyons School District when he had an idea—what if he brought students from Jordan Valley into the art classroom at Sprucewood to work in grade level peer pairs? Hale, an … Continue reading Peer Partners in the Elementary Art Classroom Lead to Growth for Students With and Without Disabilities

Making Arts Learning Accessible for Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision: An Interview with Dr. Jeremy Johnson

The visual arts have historically presented challenges to individuals who are blind or have low vision, with barriers to participation in both art appreciation and art creation. Dr. Jeremy Johnson, an assistant professor of art education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, identified the need to remove these barriers for students who are blind … Continue reading Making Arts Learning Accessible for Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision: An Interview with Dr. Jeremy Johnson

Breaking Down Barriers Through Storytelling: an Interview with Sherry Norfolk

Sherry Norfolk is an award-winning storyteller, author, and teaching artist. She performs and leads residencies and workshops internationally, introducing children and adults to story making and storytelling. She is also the co-author and co-editor with Lyn Ford of a new book, Storytelling Strategies for Reaching and Teaching Students with Special Needs. Here, she discusses the … Continue reading Breaking Down Barriers Through Storytelling: an Interview with Sherry Norfolk

NTID Program Encourages Students’ Creativity and Literacy Skills

From May to August, 2017, theater professionals from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) presented a theatrical script writing program to students who are deaf and hearing students closely connected to deafness. The ten-hour program, held at five sites in Maryland, New York, and Florida, offered students a creative way to explore their … Continue reading NTID Program Encourages Students’ Creativity and Literacy Skills

Urban Artisans Prepares Students with Disabilities for Careers, In or Out of the Arts

It was more than 16 years ago that staff at ArtMix in Indianapolis, Indiana, and officials in the Indianapolis Public Schools identified a need to better prepare students with disabilities age 16-22 for life after school. Knowing that the arts could train students in pre-vocational skills and aid in personal growth, ArtMix began its Urban … Continue reading Urban Artisans Prepares Students with Disabilities for Careers, In or Out of the Arts

IRT Theater’s Westside Experiment Offers Career Development Opportunity to Deaf Students

In July 2017, New York City’s IRT Theater wrapped up their sixth annual Westside Experiment summer intensive for high school age youth. This two-week career development program pairs experimental theater artists with adolescents working to find to find their identity and voice. For the first time in 2017, IRT made the Westside Experiment fully accessible … Continue reading IRT Theater’s Westside Experiment Offers Career Development Opportunity to Deaf Students

The Musical Theater Project Demonstrates the Value of Building Evaluation into Programs from Day One

When leaders at the Musical Theater Project in Northeast Ohio decided they wanted to expand their Kids Love Musicals! residency program to serve students with disabilities, they were deliberate in their planning. They sought out resources and expertise from peer arts organizations already working with students with disabilities, and they attended professional development sessions on … Continue reading The Musical Theater Project Demonstrates the Value of Building Evaluation into Programs from Day One