Thinking Outside the Circle: Accessibility and education in Witch Hat Atelier

No witch left behind.

A boy sits instead a broken glass bottle. He presses a hand to the side of the bottle. Just outside of it, a girl in a witch's hat presses her hand to the bottle as well, the two trying to touch through the glass.

Witch Hat Atelier begins with the premise that “anyone can become a witch” and then spends practically every volume introducing us to someone who’s been told “no, actually, you can’t,” whether because of their family, their learning speed or style, their physical abilities, or their mental health. Thankfully, the series always proves these naysayers wrong, telling hopeful stories not about “overcoming” differences, but working with and even embracing them.

Using its “magical school” premise, Witch Hat Atelier explores diversity among students and argues for the importance of accessibility throughout society, but especially in education. With supportive mentors and a focus on individual accommodation, anyone really can wield their own kind of magic.

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