Winning and Re-Winning: Recommendations for Inclusive Education Reform for Students Labelled as Disabled in Alberta’s Schools

W John Williamson, Chris Gilham

Abstract


Alberta Education has been engaged in reviews and reforms of special education, and attempting to describe and move toward more inclusive ways of supporting students with disabilities since 2008. These efforts have, at times, resulted in the production of more progressive inclusive education policies and, at times, seemed somewhat halting. The obstacle to realizing policies that are more consistently inclusive, the authors believe, has been a continuing tendency toward deficit understandings of disability. In this paper, the authors critique recent inclusive education reform and current policy documents in light of ongoing barriers to inclusion, both in practices in schools and in continuing deficit-based tendencies in some current policy statements and resource manuals. The authors conclude by making a series of recommendations, including a consideration of the activist discipline of Disability Studies in Education, to guide continuing reform efforts along more genuinely inclusive lines.

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References


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