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Moving on from ramps?: the utility of the social model of disability for facilitating experiences of nature for disabled children

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalDisability and Society
Journal number5
Volume25
Number of pages10
Pages617-626
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Experiences of nature have been shown to be beneficial for disabled children; however, opportunities for disabled children to experience nature are often limited. The social model of disability may provide a theoretical base for increasing access to nature for pupils at Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools. Using results from interviews conducted with teachers from seven SEN schools, considered alongside responses from interviews with staff from six environmental centres, this paper seeks to identify the specific constraints that may act upon the opportunities for disabled pupils to visit environmental centres. The research finds that a ‘medicalised’ approach to access may impede upon environmental centres’ ability to cater effectively to the needs of SEN school groups. Dialogue between environmental centres and SEN school teachers is recommended as a means of facilitating SEN school group access.