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Engaging Students With Disability

Exchange information, ideas and inspiration with industry experts and practitioners from the arts and disability network in this interactive two-day forum for teachers, families and artists.

At Sydney Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art


“One of the best (if not the best) I've attended in 10 years of professional learning."

Donald Green, Bega High Support Unit 

About the program 

Explore new ways to connect, engage and inspire students with disability in this practical, artist-led two day forum for teachers and support providers.

Over a series of interactive workshops and sessions led by guest artist Sarah Houbolt and artist educators from the highly regarded MCA Bella Program, delve into the idea of collaboration and discover a range of creative strategies to apply immediately in your classroom.

This is the forum for those passionate about working with students with disability or for teachers who want to learn some tried and tested technique.

Presented by Sydney Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Forum Program

Day 1: Friday 18 August at MCA


Panel Discussion

The MCA Bella Plus Arts Partners program partners an artist with a disability or access requirement with an Artist Educator to work collaboratively over six months on creative and professional skills development. In this discussion, hear from the participants on their experiences working in the creative partnership and what they got out of the program.

Find out more about the MCA Bella Program



Morning tea


MCA Gallery Tour

Explore new ways to connect and engage with contemporary art through a sensory experience in the MCA galleries. Led by MCA Artist Educators and SOH Teaching Artists, discover practical strategies and collaboratively explore how to develop these experiences in your classroom.




Bella Room Workshop

Collaboratively engage with the 2017 Bella Room, Room of Lucky Charms installation in a series of hands-on artmaking, performance and multi-media technology workshops, working along-side the artist Kate Beynon and the MCA Artist Educators.


Reflection on practice

Conclude day one with a focussed reflection and explore the diverse ways the day’s activities can be adapted into different learning settings to work for you and your students.


Day 2: Saturday 19 August at Sydney Opera House


Sarah Houbolt Keynote

Accomplished international circus and physical theatre performer, university lecturer, disability in the arts advocate and self-proclaimed freak, Sarah Houbolt presents a powerful and thought-provoking talk full of box-bending ideas. 


Morning tea


Workshop with Sarah Houbolt

Partake in a hula hooping workshop with Sarah Houbolt and explore a variety of outcomes including wellness, focus, physical dexterity and of course, performance.




Place based response: Exploring Sydney Opera House

Explore the creative links between SOH and MCA


Evaluation session and forum close drinks

Reflect upon your experiences over the two day forum and delve deeper in how to best apply these new ideas and creative strategies for collaborative and inclusive classroom practice.


"My approach with my Special Needs Students has been "revolutionised". I have been given a whole new outlook and the 'tools' to create meaningful, exciting and all-inclusive experiences for my students. I have come away from the forum feeling inspired and enlightened!"

Cindy Dignum
Wauchope Public School

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