Edited By Scot Danforth
Chapter 3: Teaching for the Disability Rights Movement
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Teaching for the Disability Rights Movement
• What are the ethical goals of the disability rights movement?
• How is the disability rights movement like or unlike other civil rights movements (e.g., African Americans, women, Latinos, LGBT community)?
• How can knowledge of the disability rights movement inform the actions of inclusive educators today?
Disability studies scholars David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder (2000, p. 3) observe, “One might think of disability as the master trope of disqualification.” A disability places an individual in unending jeopardy of social exclusion. Students with disabilities receiving instruction in general education classrooms might be viewed as having trapdoors beneath their desks. At any moment, the educators can pull the lever. The door flops open, and the student drops down a shaft leading to a segregated special education setting.
If inclusion is an overly optimistic classroom placement for an individual who is viewed as lacking qualities of normality, then this scenario makes sense. If inclusion is a reluctant social experiment, then retreating when challenges arise is understandable.
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