Disability, Health and Wellbeing in education for a post-covid word: lessons from the field

Tuesday 6 December 2022 (12:30-13:30)

Explore some fascinating perspectives into disabled health and wellbeing in education from a fantastic line up of speakers. 

More than just school: Education, health, and wellbeing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Vera Kubenz (University of Birmingham - School of Education)

School closures affected at least 1.5 billion children in 188 countries, but most disabled children did not go to school even prior to the pandemic. This presentation will present the key findings from a semi-systematic review of the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on disabled people in the Global South.  The discussion will explore how the pandemic has exposed the integral connection between education, health, and wellbeing. It will also cover key recommendations of what we can learn from this evidence going forward to ensure education is more accessible to all, both in the Global South and the Global North.

Rethinking Inclusive (Digital) Education: Lessons from the Pandemic to Reconceptualise Inclusion and Wellbeing through Convivial Technologies.

Francesca Peruzzo (University of Birmingham – School of Education)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote education exposed old and new inequities, yet it also represented an opportunity to rethink inclusive education and wellbeing in the digital era. Drawing upon findings from a one-year project DIGITAL in a time of Coronavirus, and featuring interviews with teachers, principals, and community leaders from six countries in the Global North and South (Italy, England, Malaysia, Australia, United States and Chile), this presentation discusses five strategies to rethink inclusion and its relationship with technologies. The aim is to challenge the digital divide in view of future experiences of blended education, and to present the potential of technologies to foster wellbeing, inclusive relationships, and conviviality drawing upon local expertise and pedagogies that empower teachers, communities, and children alike.

Disabled Forced Migrant Students and Inclusive Education in Post-Pandemic Italy

Valentina Migliarini (University of Birmingham – School of Education)

In this presentation, I illustrate how some person-centered strategies, informed by the theoretical perspective of Disability and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit), can reframe inclusive education in Italy through an equity lens. The aim is to provide teachers in mainstream primary schools with practices that inform the design and implementation of Individualized Education Programs and Piano Didattico Personalizzato (Personalized Didactic Plans) through nondeficit, intersectional, and culturally relevant approaches. Drawing on an initial pilot case study carried out in a school in Rome, Italy, during the second lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution analyses the challenges that teachers face in including students at the intersections of race, ability, language, and citizenship. In doing so, the contribution intends to advance critical thinking about the use of inclusive tools, and the importance of reframing them through the DisCrit framework to promote the wellbeing of disabled-forced migrant students- who have been particularly affected by the pandemic.


Vera Kubenz (v.i.kubenz@bham.ac.uk)
Francesca Peruzzo (f.peruzzo@bham.ac.uk)
Valentina Migliarini (v.migliarini@bham.ac.uk)


Francesca Peruzzo


Julie Allan (j.allan.1@bham.ac.uk)