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Teaching Physics with Disabled Learners: A Review of the Literature


Erin Scanlon

Department of Physics, University of Connecticut


In 2023, the American Institute of Physics published the International Handbook in Physics Education Research: Special Topics which includes a chapter which reviews the

literature about how can support disabled students within physics courses. Included in

the chapter, we reviewed 66 articles focusing on the nexus of physics, disability, and instruction. Within the chapter, we describe findings for practitioners related to laboratory experiences, virtual simulations, direction instruction, demonstrations, textbooks, and general instructional practices as well as findings for researchers related

to investigations of disabled students’ understandings of physics content, research utilizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), experiences of disabled students, and instructors’ experiences teaching disabled students. The chapter also includes critiques of the extant literature as well as implications for practitioners and researchers. In the talk, we will present trends within the extant literature, suggestions of accessible and

inclusive practices, and implications for future research.