chapter  26
14 Pages

Doing a (Dis)Service: Reimagining Special Education from a Disability Studies Perspective


The fi eld of special education has historically situated itself within either a humanistic discourse of care and support or within an advocacy-based orientation of civil rights, espousing “ideologies of cure, care, benevolence, charity, control, [and] professionalism” (Ware, 2004, p. 2). Special education in the United States can also be linked to advocacy efforts, oftentimes on the behalf of parents, who rallied against the widespread discrimination, marginalization, and outright exclusion of their children with disabilities. Given its roots in advocacy and educational rights, special education can be thought of as having social justice aims.