Disability Studies and Inclusive Pedagogy

The interdisciplinary research field of Disability Studies understands “disability” as shaped by societal barriers and responses to different physical, sensory, mental and psychological states. It seeks to understand and promote social change by analysing processes of exclusion and discrimination. Disability is conceptualised as a diverse experience that overlaps intersectionally with other social inequalities like class, gender, age and background.

The research topics of the Disability Studies and Inclusive Education team are rooted in the social, cultural and educational sciences. They explore the lived realities of people with disabilities in different geographical and institutional contexts as well as the legitimacy of knowledge about disability, difference and normalcy. Within the field of education, research focuses on social, cultural and professional practices that promote self-determination and inclusion.  

Disability Studies have a long history at the University of Innsbruck, having been established through the activism and research of Professor Volker Schönwiese and his colleagues. The labour market integration project bidok.ac.at and its barrier-free digital library were established in 1997 in cooperation with the Disability Studies and Inclusive Education teaching and research area. Our team is responsible for co-publishing the first German-language journal of Disability Studies launched in 2021: Zeitschrift für Disability Studies/ZDS Journal of Disability Studies.



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