Student wellbeing for those with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities: Same, same but different?

  • Gordon Stuart Lyons
  • Michele Cassebohm


The nature of student wellbeing, although now subject to some consensus, continues to engender debate. To improve student wellbeing, widely regarded to be an overarching non-academic outcome of schooling, it is generally argued that it must be consensually conceptualised in order to be operationally defined and made measurable. The new Australian Curriculum puts forward common educational curriculum and outcomes for all students – including those outcomes implicitly and explicitly related to student wellbeing, but for students with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities this is, argues the author, philosophically and practically problematic. The author puts forward a research-based conceptualisation of subjective wellbeing for these students and recommends this as a basis for guiding a continuing research agenda to improve their wellbeing.