Inclusive education at Universitas Negeri Surabaya: Perceptions and realities of students with disabilities


    Khofidotur Rrofiah , Ransom Tanyu Ngenge , Sujarwanto Sujarwanto , Ima Kurrotun Ainin




How to Cite

Rrofiah, K., Ngenge , R. T., Sujarwanto, S., & Ainin, I. K. (2023). Inclusive education at Universitas Negeri Surabaya: Perceptions and realities of students with disabilities. International Journal of Special Education, 38(2), 14–25.


Promoting inclusive higher education in Indonesia continues to face significant challenges for students with special needs related to physical accessibility, socio-cultural barriers and stigmatisation. Employing a qualitative case study approach, we delve into the perspectives and real-life experiences of students with special needs at Universitas Negeri Surabaya (UNESA). Leveraging Zoom, we conducted semi-structured interviews with fifteen students struggling with deafness, blindness, physical disabilities, autism, quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. Three primary themes emerged: the need for suitable accommodations, opportunities for social integration, and the availability of university resources. We conclude that despite some improvements, students with special needs at UNESA continue to encounter impediments in pursuing higher education. Our findings underline the necessity for further policy development and enhanced backing from the academic community to foster inclusive education at UNESA, thereby catering to the academic aspirations of students with special needs.


disability, inclusion, perceptions, realities, social justice

Author Biographies

Khofidotur Rrofiah, Universitas Negeri Surabaya

Khofidotur Rofiah is a lecturer in Special Education Department, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, Indonesia. Currently, she is PhD candidate in Pedagogical University of Krakow, Poland. Rofiah is interested in researching inclusion practices in Indonesian higher education, fun in teaching and learning,  teachers attitudes toward inclusive education and developing keyword sign system- signalong indonesia.

Ransom Tanyu Ngenge , Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland

Ngenge Ransom Tanyu is a third-year Ph.D. candidate studying Political Science and Public Administration at the Pedagogical University of Kraków. Ransom Tanyu holds an M.A. in International Security Management from the Berlin School of Economics and Law, M.Phil. in Public Administration from the University of Bergen and B.Sc. in Political Science with a Minor in History from the University of Buea.

Sujarwanto Sujarwanto, Universitas Negeri Surabaya

Sujarwanto, is Professor of Special Education at Universitas Negeri Surabaya,Indonesia,  is a Head of the Managing Committee of The Association of the Special Education Indonesia, and a Senior Consultant for Inclusive school Development within the Ministry of Religious Affairs. His Research interests include inclusive educational management and leadership, the development of students with physical disabilities and students with emotional and behavioural disorder, and assessment for children with special needs. He and Prof Kieron Seehy recently published a Book Chapter titled Overcomeing adversity for disabled students in higher education in Indonesia (2023), by Routledge and is the reviewer of Inclusive Education Journal.   

Ima Kurrotun Ainin, Universitas Negeri Surabaya

Ima Kurrotun Ainin, is an orthopedagogue from Universitas Negeri Surabaya UNESA currently serves as a secretary in the disability division at the UNESA innovation unit. her undergraduate education was taken at the UNESA special education department and master's at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia UPI Bandung taking the same major. currently pursuing adaptive physical education in the doctoral program.


IJSE Vol 38, No: 2, 2023

Volume 38, Number: 2, Year 2023 of International Journal of Special Education