Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Lisa G. Driscoll, Pamela S. Angelle

Committee Members

Sonya D. Hayes, Tara C. Moore


The purpose of this critical policy analysis was to examine the alignment of 16 selected countries’ national level inclusive education laws and policies to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities article 24 Education. The first part of the study examined the laws and policies of Shogren and Turnbull’s (2014) core concepts of disability laws, which apply to article 24. The core concepts examined were (1) antidiscrimination, (2) integration, (3) individualized and appropriate services, and (4) prevention and amelioration. The second part of the study assessed the laws and policies for possible exclusions for students with disabilities. Lastly, countries’ policies were compared based on the Human Development Index, which is an effective application to examine the government’s policy priorities and helps provide the culture and context of the country (United Nations, n.d.-b).

The outcomes of this study provided a basis for understanding these 16 selected countries’ national level education policies concerning the core concepts of disability law and exclusionary language and practices for students with disabilities. For the core concepts, the primary finding indicated that individualized and appropriate services was the most neglected core concept. This finding was particularly true for medium developing countries on the HDI scale. Explicit indicators included integration versus inclusive education, segregated learning environments, rigid and inflexible curriculum, negative labeling, denied access to general schools, lack of physical access to community general schools, lack of support for assessments, use of school fees, and a lack of student rights. Implicit exclusionary indicators found within the policies included lack of individualized supports, medical model/deficit-based assumptions, lack of teacher training, lack of accountability, lack of student rights, lack of access to the general education setting, and lack of support for assessments. The most common exclusionary indicators were a lack of accountability and the use of segregated learning systems. This empirical data is useful for policymakers, disability advocates, education leaders, and future researchers.

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