Promoting Social Inclusion of Children and Their Families wit ...

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Abstract

Acquiring a meaningful experience is a goal for many families accessing community spaces. Community engagement is not accessible to all. Families of young children and individuals with disabilities may find it particularly difficult to fully participate in their community. Barriers exist for young children with special needs and their families in participating in community engagement, which may be particularly true in rural settings where resources are limited. This paper highlights how students from a university participated in a project where they learned about the benefits of social inclusion for young children and their families. The students applied what they learned about inclusionary practices for designing spaces in an art museum. Collaborators from the museum, university, and architecture firm created pathways for community engagement in a rural community-based setting. The outcomes have implications for promoting the inclusion of members of a rural community.