Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Special Education

Committee Chair

Janet Spybrook

Second Committee Member

Janet Finke

Third Committee Member

Craig Hughes


Students with moderate to severe disabilities are often left out of arts programs, especially in rural areas where resources are limited and drama, music and art classes are often not available. This action research study focused on a small group of students in a self-contained classroom in a high school. The classroom teacher worked with a teaching artist to start an art program for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Even though there are limited resources in rural areas, it is still possible to create a quality arts integration program which requires planning and effective collaboration with other teachers and artists. This study showed an increase in student interest in art and an increase in knowledge of basic art skills. Arts integration, even at the very basic level can have a positive impact on students with moderate to severe disabilities in the self-contained classroom.