Rethinking Disability and Mathematics

  • Title:Rethinking Disability and Mathematics: A UDL Math Classroom Guide for Grades K-8
  • Author:Rachel Lambert
  • Publication Date:April 09, 2024
  • Grade Level:PreK-12
  • ISBN:9781071926031
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Every child has a right to make sense of math, and to use math to make sense of their worlds.

Despite their gifts, students with disabilities are often viewed from a deficit standpoint in mathematics classrooms. These students are often conceptualized as needing to be fixed or remediated. Rethinking Disability and Mathematics argues that mathematics should be a transformative space for these students, a place where they can discover their power and potential and be appreciated for their many strengths. Author Rachel Lambert introduces Universal Design for Learning for Math (UDL Math), a way to design math classrooms that empowers disabled and neurodiverse students to engage in mathematics in ways that lead to meaningful and joyful math learning. The book showcases how UDL Math can open up mathematics classrooms so that they provide access to meaningful understanding and an identity as a math learner to a wider range of students. Weaved throughout the book are the voices of neurodiverse learners telling their own stories of math learning.

Through stories of real teachers recognizing the barriers in their own math classrooms and redesigning to increase access, the book:

  • Reframes students with disabilities from a deficit to an asset perspective, paving the way for trusting their mathematical thinking
  • Offers equitable math instruction for all learners, including those with disabilities, neurodiverse students, and/or multilingual learners
  • Applies UDL to the math classroom, providing practical tips and techniques to support students' cognitive, affective, and strategic development
  • Immerses readers in math classrooms where all students are engaged in meaningful mathematics, from special education day classes to inclusive general education classrooms, from grades K-8.
  • Integrates research on mathematical learning including critical math content such as developing number sense and place value, fluency with math facts and operations, and understanding fractions and algebraic thinking.
  • Explores critical issues such as writing IEP goals in math

This book is designed for all math educators, both those trained as general education teachers and those trained as special education teachers. The UDL Math approach is adapted to work for all learners because everyone varies in how they perceive the world and in how they approach mathematical problem solving. When we rethink mathematics to include multiple ways of being a math learner, we make math accessible and engaging for a wider group of learners.

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