Naming and Claiming: The Tension Between Institutional and Self-Identification of Disability
The relationship between the social construction and self-identification of disability is complex and has been integral to the work of critical disability scholars (Ben-Moshe, Chapman & Carey, 2014; Davis, 2013; Erevelles, 2011; Yergeau, 2018). In 2006-07 and 2016-17, the Toronto District School Board conducted a student census and asked students to identify whether they had a disability that was assessed by either their doctor or school. Interestingly, the proportion of students who self-identified as having a disability was only a fraction of those who had been institutionally identified (formally and informally) through special education. Additionally, among students within special education, distinct trends emerged around who was likely to self- identify across class, income, gender and racial categories.
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