Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference
Edited By Peter Smagorinsky, Joseph Tobin and Kyunghwa Lee
Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference challenges assumptions that view people of difference to be "abnormal," that isolate attention to their difference solely in the individual, that treat areas of difference as matters of deficiency, and that separate youth of difference from the mainstream and treat them as pathologized. As outsiders to mainstream special education, the authors of this collection take a more social and cultural perspective that views the surrounding social environment as at least as problematic as any point of difference in any individual. Most of the scholars contributing to this volume work with preservice and inservice teachers and grapple with issues of curriculum and pedagogy. One of the primary audiences we hope to reach with this book is our colleagues and practitioners who have not made special education or disability studies the focus of their careers, but who, like we, are determined to engage with the full range of people who attend schools. Dismantling the Disabling Environments of Education: Creating New Cultures and Contexts for Accommodating Difference can be a valuable text for undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, as it addresses key issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and differentiated approaches to educating the full range of students.
Chapter Four: On Becoming a Number: Lessons Learned While Adjusting to Life with Multiple Sclerosis (Dorothy Bossman)
| 78 →
On Becoming a Number
Lessons Learned While Adjusting to Life with Multiple Sclerosis
There is a burden that we the chronically ill in general and we the physically handicapped in particular carry. In every interaction, our baggage includes not only our own physical infirmity but the sense of infirmity we evoke in others and their consequent incapacity to deal with us.
—ZOLA (1982, p. 202)
I have never had much interest in medicine. I remember taking a career aptitude test in high school and being surprised to see “general practitioner” at the top of the list of suggestions. I imagine my love of school and my concern for the welfare of others led to that result, but a medical doctor was never a viable career choice for me. First, I was shy, and the thought of touching the bodies of strangers made me squeamish. Second, I was terrified by hospitals and most medical procedures (during my only attempt to donate blood, just the sight of the needle had made me faint). I wonder how different it would have been to develop Multiple Sclerosis (MS) if I had been starting a career as a physician when it happened, rather than one as a teacher. Would I have denied and hidden my symptoms for as long as I did? Would I have been better prepared to face the ever-evolving forms of...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.