ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone 2021 | Theme: Intersectionality, Disability, and Arts Education ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone 2021 | Theme: Intersectionality, Disability, and Arts Education

Pre-recorded 20-minute Session: The Importance of Anti-Ableist Perspectives in Preservice Art Education: Faculty and Student Perspectives

- EDT
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Jenna Gabriel
Virginia Commonwealth University, Arts in Education Consultant | Special Education Specialist

Jenna Gabriel is a PhD student and Instructor of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research examines applications of critical disability studies to the preparation of preservice arts educators and to the design of justice-oriented arts pedagogies that enable students with disabilities to thrive. A former arts educator and administrator herself, Jenna holds a BFA from NYU/Tisch and an EdM from Harvard University.

Anh Ha
Virginia Commonwealth University, Preservice Teacher

Anh Ha is a preservice teacher in the Art Education program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is minoring in Art History. He believes educators have the power to change the world. Anh is the 2019 recipient of “Art Education’s Theory to Practice Scholarship,” given to students who have demonstrated the ability to translate critical theoretical concepts into meaningful, effective practice.


This session, led by a VCU Art Education instructor and student, will explore the potential of an undergraduate course to develop anti-ableist mindsets and practices in preservice art teachers. The session will provide an overview of the syllabus, which draws on art education, special education, and critical disability studies works in addition to practical application exercises. Participants will learn how to apply a critical lens in examining and reimagining their own lessons from an anti-ableist perspective. Presenters will provide a brief history and critique of how students with learning disabilities are supported within the arts education landscape, as well as practical and anti-ableist strategies that may prove to be effective when working with students with ADHD. In addition to a discussion of future implications, instructional strategies for both preservice teachers and K-12 students will be provided--making this session useful to current faculty and practicing arts teachers alike.

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