“I don’t like to be told that I view a student with a deficit mindset”: Why it Matters that Disability Studies in Education Continues to Grow
In this article I use personal narrative to provide a commentary on the value of Disability Studies in Education (DSE). Through a mixture of recollections, observations, and descriptions, along with engagement with scholarship in the fields of both special education and DSE, I highlight ways in which I and other scholars have utilized the latter in our daily professional practices. First, I describe the point in my educational career when I came into contact with Disability Studies (DS). Second, I share the beginnings of how DSE came into existence through the work of a coalition of critical special educators. Third, I provide instances of DSE in action, highlighting a recent in-service presentation and other examples. Fourth, I explain why DSE is needed to protect and develop conceptualizations of disability outside of the traditional special education realm. Fifth, I illustrate the benefits of DSE’s interdisciplinary nature. Finally, I assert that DSE provides a visionary lens for improving educational practices for students with disabilities. In closing, I advocate for DSE’s continued growth in helping change deficit-based understandings of disability that continue to pervade education and society.
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