Infusing Disability Studies within Special Education: A Personal Story

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JoDell R Heroux


disability studies, special education, teacher preparation


Special education has historically been understood as a service provided to students with disabilities who are perceived to be too impaired to successfully progress in the general education curriculum and classroom. This perception has been reinforced through teacher preparation programs that rely heavily on the medical model of disability to prepare both special and general education teachers. While there is an increased push both legislatively and socially for more inclusive practices in education, this over-reliance on the medical model does little to nurture inclusive attitudes and worse, perpetuates deficit assumptions of disability. This paper seeks to explore how the infusion of Disability Studies into the teacher preparation curriculum might be used to foster more inclusive attitudes.
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