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Keywords:

  • social inclusion;
  • deafblindness;
  • secondary school;
  • case study;
  • interviews

This article, written by Leda Kamenopoulou of Roehampton University, reports a research project on deafblindness and inclusion in education. Deafblindness is a rare and therefore significantly under-explored disability. Even less systematic research has focused on deafblind young people enrolled in mainstream schools. The study presented here used a multiple case study and mixed methods design to explore the social inclusion and participation of four deafblind pupils in mainstream placements. Interviews were conducted with the pupils, their parents and selected teachers regarding their peer interactions and relationships. Semi-structured observations of peer interactions during school breaks were also conducted to complement interview data, but due to space constraints, these are not discussed here. Findings from the interviews suggest that the young people were socially present in their schools, but all faced certain issues in terms of being fully included. Both barriers to and facilitators of social inclusion and participation are discussed with reference to implications for research and practice.