‘’If inclusion is the goal for students with disabilities, then art classes should be a
high priority. The arts can level the playing field, because children with difficulties in
academic subjects might excel at drawing, painting, acting or dancing and singing.’’
states Special Education teacher/ blogger Nancy Bailey in the Importance of Art for
Students with Disabilities
On my second year of studies, I had the privilege of creating and taking part in a show primarily for children with special needs. The performance included sounds made from different sources and not just instruments, colourful textures, swings, and a storyline which allowed the audience’s participation. It was a very interactive and multi sensory experience. I hope everyone gets the opportunity at some point in their lives to watch children with disabilities participate in artistic games.
The joy in their eyes, their smiles and laughter and clever ideas would fill your heart forever! And interestingly, I myself observed what Nance Bailey states in the Importance of Art for Students with Disabilities. Although the show was eventually performed to both physically and mentally abled and disabled students, their reactions were the same, and all children participated and enjoyed it equally! They worked, and played, and laughed together, the experience brought them closer.
Sadly, due to many of the school reforms affecting education, many public schools have discontinued art programs. The overall push is to get rid of credentialed art teachers and use general education teachers to teach art and blend it into regular lessons. While integrating art into the regular class can make instruction interesting, the arts should stand alone. Public schools need art programs to bring balance to the curriculum. Students with disabilities, like all students, need art instruction and opportunities to express themselves through the arts.
We are very proud of our recent ‘Music & Drama for students with SEN’ launch. Our customised, immersive, and multi sensory music and drama activities are led by highly experienced teachers. We help students improve their confidence and wellbeing through their involvement with arts, and create a safe space in which they can be themselves and feel included. A disability should not get in the way of a child enjoying a fulfilling life.
We are inclusive. We are supportive. We are creative. We are ARTeach.
See you in the classroom!
Danay Bouzala, Director of Drama
Bailey, N. Misguided Education Reform: Debating the Impact on Students. (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing, 2013) 119-120