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While focusing on students with disabilities and special educational needs, special education has always addressed a wide variety of people of all ages, cultural and social contexts, and variegated needs. The common thread of its diverse endeavors has been to uncover the conditions within which individuals and groups are disadvantaged and excluded from society. Furthermore, the aim of special education is to find ways and develop methods to support all those who need additional assistance within the context of socialization and (institutionalized) education. Doing so allows for marginalized persons to better express their opinions and needs and actively participate in society.

This broad understanding of special education is reflected in the notion of inclusive education. Inclusive education embraces all aspects of heterogeneity and diversity and explores its origin, effect, and implications on education. Accepting and celebrating diversity is its fundamental principal. In that spirit, inclusive education provides an integrated framework on disability, diversity and heterogeneity.

The conference explores how the perspective of inclusive education can provide new ways to think about special education and special educational needs and how to embed them into a broader framework.