Foundations for Teaching About Disability and Ableism
This chapter discusses the theoretical and conceptual orientations to disability, ableism, equity, and justice that form the foundations for this book. It provides an overview of paradigms, or models, of disability, primarily the social model and the medical model. It introduces and describes the field of disability studies in education (DSE) as an area of educational inquiry driven by social models of disability and grounded in activism. The authors argue that understanding cultural, social, and environmental barriers to people with disabilities is a necessary first step in disrupting ableism. Teachers are invited to rethink the constructs of disability and normality, and to create opportunities for K–12 students to do the same. Overall, the authors make a case for teachers and students working together toward the dismantling of ableism and the building of inclusive schools and communities.