Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Stefanie Snider

Second Advisor

Mollie Bolton

Third Advisor

Kelly Scheffer


This paper examines the transformative potential of integrating Disability Studies into the Art Curriculum, establishing “The Universal Art Class” as a framework for creating engaging and inclusive lessons tailored for diverse learners. The exploration begins by illuminating the foundational principles of Disability Studies and its relevance in the context of art education. Subsequently, the study navigates the intersection of Disability Studies and Art Education, highlighting the significance of this interdisciplinary approach in fostering a more inclusive learning environment. The research expands on practical strategies for integrating inclusivity into the art curriculum. These strategies encompass adaptations and modifications, collaboration, and observation and reflection.

Through a meticulous examination of inclusive lesson planning, this paper highlights the contributions of contemporary artists with disabilities including Stephen Wiltshire, Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Yinka Shonibare, and Tony Quan aka Tempt1. By showcasing these artists achievements, the study aims to inspire educators to incorporate diverse perspectives into their teaching methods, promoting a broader understanding of artistic expression.

The insights derived from this project contribute to the ongoing discourse on inclusive education and indicate the necessity of embracing diversity within the art classroom. The Universal Art Class model encourages educators to rethink traditional approaches. This framework aims to foster an environment where every learner, regardless of ability, can actively participate and flourish and to ensure that art education remains a dynamic and inclusive experience for all students.

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