Untangling the Racialization of Disabilities
This chapter provides an overview of research on disproportionate representation, various disability models, and intersectionality. It presents a contrapuntal critical reading of intersectionality in the scholarship on the racialization of disabilities across disability models. The chapter discusses the structural and political intersectionality. It focuses on the use of the unitary approach and hybrid narratives. The chapter stresses the complicity of research communities in this conflation by revealing associations drawn between racial minority status and deviance, illness, and depressed abilities. The social model sees the idea of disability as the product of oppression and structural exclusion that should be eliminated. This model regards disability as a social construction, thereby locating disability in society, and drawing distinctions between disability and impairment. Structural conditions in the special education field offer incentives for a unitary approach in disproportionality research. The unitary approach naturalizes the racialization of disabilities, marshalling evidence that conceivably legitimizes racial disproportionality.