Intersectional Aspects of Education at the Nexus of Disability and Forced Migration: Perspectives of Parents, Educational Experts, and School Authorities in Greater Vienna

Seyda Subasi Singh, Camilla Pellech, Alexandra Gutschik, Michelle Proyer, Iris Maureen O'Rourke

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Although Austrian statistics inform about the distribution of students among different school types based on either their special education needs or their (forced) migration background, the group facing the disadvantages of both situations is almost invisible in the national context. There is a lack of data about the intersection of the kind of schooling (integrative setting, inclusive settings, or special education classes), gender, nationality, or first language use. In order to learn about the current educational practices and challenges in the Austrian context, parents of disabled children from a refugee background as well as educational experts and school authorities were interviewed. Findings showed that there is only a little awareness of the intersectional aspects of disability and forced migration among educational experts and school authorities, while the diagnosis of special education needs suffers from the complexity of the situation. Additionally, parents' lack of information, as well as the need to improve collaboration and increase the availability of translation services, multilingual counseling, or service provision in general were other aspects that this study found. Parents perceived school choice as a key decision and findings underlined that their worries, also as a result of past experiences, affected current decision-making regarding their children's education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number423
Number of pages19
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2021

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504021 Migration research
  • 503034 Inclusive education


  • SEN diagnosis
  • inclusive education
  • migration and disability
  • special education needs (SEN)
  • Migration and disability
  • Inclusive education
  • Special education needs (SEN)

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