Introduction: Disabled Children – Contested Caring
ByAnne Borsay, Pamela Dale
Pages 14

This introduction presents an overall view of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book starts from the premise that the experiences of disabled children, are fundamentally different from those of disabled adults. It is further argued that the distinctive voice of the disabled child has been silenced by both the historical marginalization of disabled people and the focus of the disability rights movement on adult priorities. Paradoxically the recent policy commitment for inclusion can also work to the detriment of people with special needs as there is pressure to open up specialist resources, often acquired at great difficulty in the past through dedicated fund-raising, to general access. These issues and debates, and different perspectives on them, help explain the 'subjectivity and contingency of historical accounts' noted by Felicity Armstrong in her survey of research and literature relating to the history of the education of disabled children. The chapter conveys overall view of the book.