The Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) in the School of Education, University of Birmingham has received funding through the BRIDGE initiative to forge a collaboration with the Department of Special Education in the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. 

Both departments have rich research traditions and teaching programmes in the field of inclusion, disability, and teacher preparation. They also both share the view of a teaching-research nexus with research-informed teaching and teaching-informed research.

The funding for the year long project will enable sharing of teaching approaches and pedagogies and development of collaborative programmes. It will also provide an opportunity for the exploration of collarative research projects which will initially focus on two distinct areas: Disability and widening participation in Higher Education and the family role and understanding of disability.