Diversity, Difference, and Disability: Conceptual Contradictions and Present Practice in Inclusive Schooling for Students with Disabilities
Keywords:Diversity, disability, inclusion, special education, inclusive schooling
Debates about diversity, disability, and inclusive schooling redound in the contemporary field of special education. The argument in this paper holds that disability stands apart from other forms of diversity and cannot be viewed as simply one cross-cutting issue to be pursued alongside race, gender, ethnicity, language, and culture. Disability is governed by numerous contexts. The complex, variable, and contingent nature of disability demands different approaches and different remedies than those apt for other identity markers. We ground these ideas within the context of inclusive schooling for students with disabilities and conclude that the nature and needs of disability preempt the current stress on diversity and general classroom placement.