Inclusive Capital & Deaf Services - Yosemite National Park

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This presentation discusses a study of the US National Park Service’s support for learners with disabilities, and examines two case studies of support services at Yosemite National Park, California and the Statue of Liberty, New York. The presentation aims to contribute to the debate on cultural education for learners with disabilities, and to provide a model that can be used to design educational support at cultural heritage sites. The research was informed by two research questions:

1. How do people with disabilities develop cultural practices through learning?
2. How does the US National Park Service engage people with disabilities through education?

The methodology used for the study was grounded methodology, an adapted form of grounded theory. This methodology employs three phases of analysing data (the open, axial and selective phases), and encourages the evolution of culturally deduced theories in unique institutional settings as a cultural anthropology. The data from this study is analysed through a model of inclusive capital, which is designed to facilitate cultural inclusion of people with disabilities, such as vision or hearing loss. This model analyses cultural inclusion through the development of inclusive behaviour and habits through the following five developmental stages:

1. Connecting and bonding with a network of people.
2. Learning inclusive capital through networks.
3. Collecting information that points to or later leads to knowledge.
4. Physical or virtual access to spaces and places.
5. Physical and virtual mobility.

Analysis of the data using this model found that learners with disabilities developed cultural practices and habits that were often guided by their earliest experiences of bonding with families and close friends. Furthermore, models of practice in the two cultural heritage sites followed a largely practical, material model of providing quantifiable facilities and education for visitors with disabilities. It is concluded that although models of inclusion are evolving quickly in cultural heritage sites, more must be done to support young children in national parks. Furthermore, where possible cultural heritage sites should do more to work with families and communities to develop learning through bonding.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018
EventEducational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS)
Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA)
International Conference 2018: Joy of Learning in a Complex World
- National Institute of Education 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 12 Nov 201814 Nov 2018


ConferenceEducational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS)
Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA)
International Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleERAS-APERA International Conference 2018
Internet address


  • Deaf
  • deafness
  • Yosemite
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Inclusion


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