Mueller speaks with WPR about need for role models in special education

In an interview for Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Morning Show” in December, UW–Madison’s Carlyn Mueller discussed the need for more adult role models in special education classrooms.


Mueller is an assistant professor of special education in the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. Her research focuses on disability identity development in school contexts, including development of the disability community in special education, disability representation in curriculum, and intersectionality of race and disability identity. 

According to the WPR report: “efforts to improve special education can involve making facilities more accommodating or meeting legal requirements. But research suggests adults with disabilities also see needs for greater representation in classrooms and more connection to other people with disabilities.”

Mueller has interviewed adults with disabilities for her research. They say that students in special education “need more representation of disability in school curriculum, more role models of people with disabilities in life to tell (them) what it’s going to be like as an adult with a disability, and better connections to other people with disabilities in (their) community.”

Listen to the full WPR report to learn more. 

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