Paving the Way to Success: A Visual Guide for Students with Disabilities in the Inclusive Music Classroom

Project Abstract A middle school in an urban area of San Diego is preparing itself for inclusive education practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities in general education classrooms. The district and school administrators are eager to start including students with disabilities with their general education peers and have sought the counsel of Dr. Jacque Thousand on how to smoothly and effectively create an inclusive culture over a two or three year time frame. The district has taken some preliminary steps towards inclusive schooling and is starting to include students with mild to moderate disabilities with their peers in general education settings grades K-8. In the Fall of 2016, all students with mild to moderate disabilities will be included into the elective courses of music, art, and computer coding. An Education Specialist on campus has a music background. She understands that her students will require appropriate scaffolds in order to access the content taught in general education music classes, particularly in academic vocabulary. The district is in a low socioeconomic area that has little resources for their elective programs in music. Using a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach, this project focuses on developing a visual guide that meets the needs of all students, including students with disabilities and English language learners in general education music classes. Keywords: academic vocabulary, inclusion, music education, multiple intelligences theory, music picture dictionary, special education, students with disabilities.