An inclusive curriculum consists of programmes of study that are developed, designed, delivered and assessed in a way that minimises barriers to participation and embraces diversity.
Equal opportunities is not about treating everyone the same. It is about recognising that people have different needs and that some people suffer greater levels of disadvantage and discrimination than others do. In the curriculum, it is about positively responding to ‘diversity’ and ensuring equality of opportunities in terms of access, treatment and outcomes. (Ryan,1997, p.5 in Healy at al, 2006)
An inclusive curriculum minimises the possibility of disadvantaging international students. Teaching from an inclusive perspective means minimising the barriers to learning and understanding for students with disabilities and students whose first language is not English. Approaching teaching from an inclusive perspective will therefore improve the learning experience for all students.
An inclusive curriculum also encompasses the social model of disability. This model shifts the focus away from what is ‘wrong’ with an individual and towards the attitudes and structures of society – in other words, disability is a social state and not a medical condition to be ‘treated’. The social model of disability focuses on the barriers created by society and the ways in which these can be reduced and removed, and the following short video explains the is idea further: