GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award (UBCV Non-Thesis Graduate Work)

Contagion and Antidote: Changing Locations of "Risk" in BC Public School's Discourse on Disability 2012

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Anika	
  Stafford	
   University	
  of	
  British	
  Columbia	
   	
   Contagion	
  and	
  Antidote:	
  	
   Changing	
  Locations	
  of	
  "Risk"	
  in	
  BC	
  Public	
  School's	
  Discourse	
  on	
   Disability	
   	
   After	
  several	
  years	
  of	
  working	
  in	
  supported	
  childcare,	
  autism	
  home	
  support	
   programs,	
  and	
  as	
  a	
  Special	
  Education	
  Assistant	
  in	
  public	
  schools,	
  I	
  noticed	
  I	
  was	
   beginning	
  to	
  “break”—not	
  from	
  the	
  stress	
  of	
  working	
  with	
  high	
  needs	
  kids,	
  but	
  from	
   the	
  constant	
  unchallenged	
  emphasis	
  on	
  “normalizing”	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities.	
  	
  One	
   morning	
  a	
  well-­‐intentioned	
  (and	
  otherwise	
  skilled	
  and	
  dedicated	
  professional)	
   colleague	
  commented	
  in	
  the	
  staff	
  room	
  that	
  one	
  child,	
  “sometimes	
  does	
  really	
  well,	
  but	
   other	
  times	
  he	
  really	
  looks	
  autistic.”	
  	
  My	
  reply,	
  “some	
  days	
  I	
  do	
  well	
  too,	
  but	
  other	
  days	
   I	
  really	
  look	
  like	
  a	
  dyke”	
  was	
  an	
  excellent	
  signal	
  to	
  me	
  that	
  it	
  was,	
  perhaps,	
  time	
  for	
  me	
   to	
  have	
  avenues	
  to	
  expound	
  critical	
  reflection	
  on	
  the	
  system	
  I	
  was	
  working	
  within.	
  	
  	
   	
   Introduction:	
  Critical	
  disabilities	
  studies	
  and	
  activism	
  has	
  asserted	
  the	
  radical	
  notion	
  that	
  disability	
  is	
  not	
  a	
  contagion	
  to	
  be	
  isolated	
  or	
  pathology	
  to	
  be	
  cured	
  by	
  the	
  antidote	
  of	
  able-­‐bodied	
  influence	
  but	
  rather	
  part	
  of	
  a	
  spectrum	
  of	
  human	
  experience.	
  	
  Within	
  this	
  framework,	
  the	
  main	
  obstacles	
  encountered	
  by	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  are	
  often	
  institutional	
  practices	
  that	
  do	
  not	
  allow	
  room	
  for	
  ways	
  of	
  being	
  that	
  fall	
  outside	
  cultural	
  norms.	
  	
  Spanning	
  over	
  a	
  hundred	
  years	
  of	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  students	
  with	
  disabilities	
  in	
  the	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Board,	
  the	
  structure	
  of	
  education	
  for	
  students	
  with	
  intellectual	
  disabilities	
  still	
  operates	
  from	
  the	
  goal	
  of	
  eradicating	
  disability.	
  Significant	
  changes	
  have	
  been	
  made	
  within	
  the	
  school	
  system,	
  whereby	
  the	
  residential	
  model	
  that	
  removed	
  students	
  from	
  their	
  peers	
  and	
  community	
  has	
  been	
  replaced	
  by	
  an	
  “inclusion”	
  model	
  in	
  which	
  students	
  with	
  disabilities	
  are	
  “supported”	
  within	
  their	
  mainstream	
  classrooms.	
  	
  However,	
  while	
  this	
  is	
  often	
  framed	
  as	
  a	
  progressive	
  victory,	
  the	
  construction	
  of	
  disability	
  as	
  pathology	
  remains.	
  	
  	
   The	
  first	
  half	
  of	
  this	
  article	
  examines	
  some	
  of	
  the	
  history	
  of	
  public	
  schools	
  in	
  British	
  Columbia	
  and	
  ways	
  these	
  institutions	
  took	
  part	
  in	
  constructing	
  able-­‐bodied,	
  male-­‐privileged,	
  white-­‐supremacist,	
  heterosexual	
  norms	
  delineating	
  who	
  was	
  deemed	
  eligible	
  for	
  citizenship.	
  	
  In	
  the	
  second	
  half	
  of	
  the	
  article,	
  I	
  focus	
  on	
  current	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  disability	
  and	
  inclusion	
  in	
  public	
  schools	
  taken	
  from	
  a	
  presentation	
  by	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Board	
  Autism	
  and	
  Inclusion	
  consultants.	
  	
  	
  While	
  arguing	
  the	
  importance	
  of	
  “inclusion,”	
  they	
  do	
  so	
  with	
  the	
  goal	
  of	
  erasing	
  difference	
  rather	
  than	
  shifting	
  normative	
  conventions	
  for	
  student	
  behaviour,	
  cognition	
  and	
  learning	
  styles.	
  	
  It	
  is	
  not	
  my	
  intention	
  to	
  use	
  historical	
  context	
  to	
  show	
  how	
  “terrible”	
  the	
  past	
  was	
  compared	
  to	
  the	
  present,	
  nor	
  do	
  I	
  wish	
  to	
  parallel	
  the	
  present	
  as	
  “just	
  as	
  bad”	
  as	
  the	
  past.	
  	
  Rather,	
  it	
  is	
  my	
  goal	
  to	
  illustrate	
  the	
  legacy	
  that	
  continues	
  to	
  be	
  enacted	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  propose	
  further	
  development.	
  	
  I	
  conclude	
  with	
  a	
  narrative	
  of	
  an	
  instance	
  in	
  which	
  my	
  work	
  at	
  a	
  Vancouver	
  public	
  school	
  was	
  situated	
  in	
  a	
  way	
  that	
  could	
  challenge	
  the	
  trend	
  toward	
  normalization	
  replicating	
  dominant	
  status	
  quos.	
  	
  Early	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  disability	
  and	
  Vancouver	
  public	
  schools	
  located	
  the	
  “risk”	
  of	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  as	
  dwelling	
  within	
  their	
  potential	
  to	
  “infect”	
  able-­‐bodied	
  children,	
  endangering	
  their	
  development	
  of	
  good	
  moral	
  character.	
  	
  Recent	
  discourse	
  has	
  relocated	
  the	
  “risk”	
  to	
  dwell	
  in	
  exclusion—purporting	
  that	
  without	
  an	
  inclusion	
  model,	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  lack	
  the	
  normalizing	
  influence	
  of	
  their	
  able-­‐bodied	
  peers	
  and	
  are	
  therefore	
  “at-­‐risk”	
  of	
  further	
  disability.	
  While	
  location	
  of	
  “risk”	
  has	
  changed,	
  it	
  is	
  a	
  categorical	
  shift	
  rather	
  than	
  one	
  reflective	
  of	
  a	
  more	
  radical	
  change	
  in	
  the	
  construction	
  of	
  disability.	
  	
  	
   Disability	
  as	
  Contagion	
  In	
  “Sacred	
  Daemons”	
  Nic	
  Clarke	
  addresses	
  the	
  period	
  of	
  1870-­‐1930	
  as	
  a	
  pivotal	
  historical	
  window	
  in	
  which	
  childhood	
  was	
  generally	
  re-­‐conceptualized	
  as	
  “emotionally	
  priceless,”	
  or	
  rather	
  sacred,	
  as	
  opposed	
  to	
  children	
  being	
  “objects	
  of	
  utility.”	
  	
  However,	
  Clarke	
  writes,	
  “while	
  normal	
  children	
  were	
  coming	
  to	
  be	
  seen	
  less	
  as	
  economic	
  units,	
  the	
  defective	
  child	
  was	
  still	
  being	
  judged	
  in	
  economic	
  terms”	
  (74).	
  	
  Children	
  with	
  intellectual	
  disabilities	
  were	
  discussed	
  as	
  economic	
  liabilities,	
  at	
  least	
  in	
  part	
  as	
  a	
  result	
  of	
  their	
  exclusion	
  from	
  notions	
  of	
  citizenship.	
  	
  Children	
  seen	
  as	
  likely	
  to	
  grow	
  up	
  to	
  be	
  what	
  was	
  considered	
  “citizens”	
  in	
  Canada	
  were	
  afforded	
  the	
  above-­‐mentioned	
  status	
  of	
  “priceless.”	
  	
  However,	
  intellectual	
  disabilities	
  placed	
  a	
  child	
  outside	
  such	
  eligibility,	
  resulting	
  in	
  their	
  status	
  as	
  those	
  for	
  which	
  citizens	
  must	
  “pay.”	
  	
  In	
  a	
  1929	
  letter,	
  the	
  Provincial	
  Health	
  Officer	
  made	
  such	
  views	
  explicit	
  in	
  his	
  thanks	
  for	
  the	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Medical	
  Officer’s	
  “remarks	
  in	
  regard	
  to	
  the	
  financial	
  loss	
  owing	
  to	
  the	
  presence	
  of	
  retarded.”	
  	
  Nic	
  Clarke	
  contextualizes	
  the	
  differential	
  value	
  afforded	
  to	
  students	
  within	
  the	
  relationship	
  between	
  public	
  education	
  institutions	
  and	
  eugenics	
  discourse.	
  The	
  Eugenics	
  movement,	
  which	
  was	
  dominant	
  throughout	
  Canada	
  at	
  this	
  time,	
  endorsed	
  the	
  segregation	
  of	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  from	
  public	
  school/mainstream	
  classrooms.	
  	
  Key	
  actors	
  in	
  the	
  movement	
  included	
  groups	
  as	
  divergent	
  as	
  “the	
  National	
  Council	
  of	
  Women	
  of	
  Canada,	
  the	
  United	
  Farm	
  Workers	
  Association,	
  and	
  the	
  Canadian	
  National	
  Committee	
  for	
  Mental	
  hygiene,	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  individual	
  medical	
  and	
  educational	
  professionals	
  and	
  legislators”	
  (67)	
  Clarke	
  quotes	
  a	
  speech	
  from	
  the	
  Women’s	
  Canadian	
  Club	
  at	
  the	
  Empress	
  Hotel	
  in	
  1917:	
  “All	
  mentally	
  defective	
   persons	
  are	
  antisocial	
  in	
  the	
  sense	
  that	
  their	
  presence	
  in	
  the	
  community	
  means	
  disruptions,	
  disorder	
  and	
  dependency”	
  (68).	
  	
  	
   Framing	
  disability	
  as	
  “antisocial”	
  allowed	
  justification	
  for	
  removing	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  from	
  their	
  communities.	
  Once	
  these	
  children	
  were	
  removed,	
  framing	
  disability	
  as	
  a	
  contagion	
  to	
  be	
  isolated	
  could	
  be	
  further	
  established	
  without	
  actual	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  to	
  distract	
  from	
  the	
  picture	
  that	
  was	
  being	
  constructed.	
  Clarke	
  writes:	
  First,	
  attempts	
  were	
  made	
  to	
  segregate	
  mentally	
  deficient	
  children	
  from	
  their	
  ‘normal’	
  peers	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  prevent	
  them	
  from	
  ‘infecting’	
  the	
  ‘fit’	
  with	
  their	
  ‘defective’	
  characteristics.	
  	
  Second,	
  education	
  programs	
  for	
  the	
  ‘defective’	
  were	
  designed	
  to	
  ensure	
  that	
  they	
  were	
  not	
  burdens	
  to	
  society	
  rather	
  than	
  to	
  make	
  them	
  ‘well-­‐rounded’	
  adults.	
  	
  Third,	
  the	
  segregation	
  of	
  mentally	
  deficient	
  children	
  into	
  separate	
  classes	
  allowed	
  for	
  their	
  control	
  and	
  supervision	
  (88).	
  	
  With	
  disability	
  established	
  as	
  a	
  contagion,	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  were	
  judged	
  not	
  as	
  citizens	
  (or	
  humans),	
  but	
  as	
  pathogens	
  that	
  had	
  a	
  cost	
  requiring	
  economic	
  management.	
  	
  This	
  framework	
  facilitated	
  education	
  within	
  institutions	
  to	
  be	
  supervisory	
  rather	
  than	
  well	
  rounded.	
  The	
  supervisory	
  and	
  control	
  based	
  nature	
  of	
  separation	
  is	
  reflected	
  in	
  Foucault’s	
  critique	
  of	
  educational	
  institution’s	
  disciplinary	
  history.	
  Foucault	
  writes,	
  “The	
  whole	
  indefinite	
  domain	
  of	
  non-­‐conforming	
  is	
  punishable”	
  (178-­‐179).	
  	
  Non-­‐conformity	
  worthy	
  of	
  punishment	
  involved	
  disability	
  as	
  a	
  site	
  of	
  non-­‐normative	
  identity	
  to	
  be	
  treated	
  as	
  contagion	
  best	
  isolated	
  from	
  the	
  rest	
  of	
  the	
  population.	
  	
  This	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  children	
  with	
  intellectual	
  disabilities	
  was	
  part	
  of	
  larger	
  discourse	
  surrounding	
  exclusionary	
  citizenship.	
  In	
  “White	
  Supremacy	
  and	
  the	
  Rhetoric	
  of	
  Educational	
  Indoctrination:	
  A	
  Canadian	
  Case	
  Study,”	
  Timothy	
  J.	
  Stanley	
  writes	
  about	
  how	
  such	
  exclusions	
  were	
  investments	
  in	
  building	
  notions	
  of	
   citizenship	
  and	
  nation.	
  	
  In	
  his	
  analysis	
  of	
  the1920s,	
  he	
  describes	
  BC	
  as	
  a	
  white	
  supremacist	
  state.	
  	
  Stanley	
  writes,	
  “First	
  Nations	
  people	
  (North	
  American	
  ‘Indians’)	
  and	
  Asians,	
  unlike	
  Whites,	
  were	
  politically	
  disenfranchised,	
  barred	
  from	
  certain	
  occupations	
  and	
  free	
  associations,	
  confronted	
  by	
  legalized	
  discriminations	
  and	
  subjected	
  to	
  random	
  violence”	
  (39).	
  The	
  explicit	
  violences	
  were	
  normalized	
  through	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  institutionalized	
  practices.	
  	
  Without	
  people	
  of	
  colour	
  and	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  present,	
  curriculum	
  could,	
  again,	
  construct	
  citizenship	
  to	
  their	
  exclusion,	
  and	
  naturalize	
  de-­‐humanizing	
  discrimination.	
  The	
  education	
  system	
  was	
  then	
  not	
  only	
  complicit	
  with	
  such	
  exclusions	
  but	
  was	
  part	
  of	
  creating	
  them:	
  State-­‐controlled	
  schooling	
  was	
  integral	
  to	
  the	
  construction	
  of	
  supremacist	
  hegemony	
  in	
  B.C..	
  As	
  state	
  schooling	
  became	
  a	
  mass	
  phenomenon,	
  the	
  school	
  came	
  to	
  be	
  one	
  of	
  the	
  chief	
  vehicles	
  for	
  indoctrinating	
  the	
  population	
  of	
  the	
  province	
  in	
  supremacist	
  ideology.	
  	
  School	
  textbooks	
  were	
  particularly	
  important	
  in	
  transmitting	
  a	
  nexus	
  of	
  ideas	
  about	
  patriotism,	
  citizenship	
  and	
  ‘character’,	
  which	
  made	
  supremacist	
  notions	
  virtually	
  impossible	
  to	
  challenge.	
  	
  	
  The	
  development	
  of	
  “good	
  character”	
  was	
  racialized	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  gendered.	
  	
  Being	
  of	
  good	
  character	
  was	
  framed	
  in	
  terms	
  of	
  embodying	
  imperialist	
  notions	
  of	
  white,	
  gender	
  normative	
  masculinity.	
  	
  In	
  this	
  context,	
  white	
  women	
  were	
  often	
  framed	
  as	
  playing	
  an	
  important	
  role	
  in	
  birthing	
  desired	
  citizens	
  but	
  were	
  still	
  constructed	
  as	
  outside	
  the	
  capacity	
  to	
  embody	
  good	
  Canadian	
  character,	
  as	
  it	
  was	
  often	
  positioned	
  alongside	
  idealized	
  white	
  male	
  masculinity	
  (Einstein).	
  Disability	
  was	
  well	
  woven	
  into	
  this	
  matrix,	
  whereby	
  the	
  “loose”	
  morals	
  of	
  the	
  “feebleminded”	
  were	
  understood	
  as	
  leading	
  to	
  the	
  corruption	
  of	
  “good	
  stock”	
  which,	
  among	
  other	
  things,	
  risked	
  delinquency	
  and	
  homosexuality	
  (Clark,	
  Report	
  to	
  the	
  Metropolitan	
  Board	
  of	
  Health	
  of	
  Greater	
  Vancouver).	
  	
  	
   	
   Able-­‐Bodiedness	
  as	
  Antidote	
  	
  Like	
  many	
  young	
  queers,	
  I	
  moved	
  from	
  the	
  small	
  town	
  in	
  which	
  I	
  was	
  raised	
  to	
  the	
  Nearest	
  Urban	
  Centre	
  at	
  the	
  first	
  moment	
  I	
  could	
  scrape	
  together	
  rent	
  to	
  share	
  a	
  damp	
  basement	
  suite.	
  	
  This	
  was	
  not	
  questioned	
  by	
  anyone—either	
  residents	
  of	
  my	
  hometown	
  or	
  of	
  my	
  subsequent	
  queer	
  community.	
  	
  It	
  was	
  taken	
  for-­‐granted	
  that	
  the	
  city	
  was	
  a	
  more	
  hospitable	
  place	
  for	
  me.	
  	
  The	
  reason	
  given	
  was	
  that	
  the	
  city	
  has	
  more	
  diversity,	
  and	
  given	
  that	
  urban-­‐dwellers	
  are	
  used	
  to	
  experiencing	
  difference,	
  they	
  would	
  then	
  be	
  more	
  accepting	
  of	
  my	
  divergent	
  identity.	
  	
  This	
  argument	
  is	
  reiterated	
  in	
  myriad	
  settings,	
  not	
  the	
  least	
  of	
  which	
  is	
  in	
  Canadian	
  public	
  schools.	
  Rationale	
  for	
  disability	
  inclusion,	
  for	
  multicultural	
  programs,	
  for	
  Gay-­‐Straight	
  Alliances,	
  all	
  posit	
  that	
  if	
  Canadians	
  (assumed	
  here	
  to	
  be	
  Canadians	
  from	
  privileged	
  social	
  locations)	
  experience	
  social	
  difference,	
  discrimination	
  will	
  end.	
  	
  This	
  argument	
  seems	
  to	
  do,	
  at	
  best,	
  half	
  the	
  work.	
  	
  While	
  inclusive	
  education	
  may	
  be	
  an	
  important	
  step,	
  I	
  remain	
  cautious	
  about	
  the	
  way	
  in	
  which	
  it	
  is	
  discussed	
  as	
  the	
  final	
  solution	
  within	
  current	
  educational	
  discourse.	
  	
  Though	
  every	
  small	
  town	
  (as	
  well	
  as	
  urban	
  centre)	
  has	
  a	
  good	
  number	
  of	
  women,	
  and	
  residents	
  are	
  accustomed	
  to	
  encountering	
  women	
  in	
  their	
  everyday	
  lives,	
  sexism	
  is	
  still	
  readily	
  apparent	
  in	
  all	
  such	
  places	
  regardless	
  of	
  said	
  exposure.	
  	
  Evidently,	
  it	
  is	
  not	
  just	
  that	
  presence	
  of	
  those	
  marginalized	
  that	
  creates	
  social	
  change;	
  it	
  is	
  also	
  the	
  discourse	
  surrounding	
  those	
  present	
  that	
  challenge	
  or	
  reinforce	
  oppressive	
  norms/hierarchies.	
  	
  	
  	
  Though	
  currently	
  segregation	
  is	
  generally	
  challenged	
  and	
  inclusion	
  held	
  to	
  be	
  a	
  superior	
  model	
  within	
  public	
  schools	
  in	
  British	
  Columbia,	
  much	
  of	
  the	
  idealized	
   notions	
  of	
  citizenship	
  go	
  unchallenged.	
  	
  The	
  subtlety	
  of	
  privilege	
  (for	
  those	
  benefiting	
  from	
  it	
  on	
  an	
  institutional	
  level)	
  leaves	
  many	
  hierarchies	
  embedded	
  in	
  discourse,	
  particularly	
  in	
  terms	
  of	
  disability	
  remaining	
  framed	
  as	
  a	
  problem	
  with	
  able-­‐bodied	
  norms	
  upheld	
  as	
  the	
  solution.	
  	
  To	
  illustrate	
  this	
  paradigm,	
  I	
  draw	
  from	
  the	
  document	
  “Inclusive	
  Education”	
  (2009)	
  based	
  on	
  the	
  workshop	
  presented	
  by	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Board’s	
  Inclusion/Autism	
  Consultants	
  Pam	
  Neuman	
  and	
  Vicki	
  Rothstein.	
  Both	
  consultants	
  visit	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  schools	
  in	
  the	
  VSB	
  and	
  advise	
  faculty	
  staff	
  on	
  ways	
  to	
  make	
  their	
  classrooms	
  more	
  inclusive	
  of	
  students	
  with	
  disabilities.	
  While	
  I	
  critique	
  the	
  document,	
  I	
  do	
  so	
  with	
  acknowledgement	
  of	
  the	
  barriers	
  they	
  often	
  face	
  within	
  educational	
  institutions.	
  	
  They	
  are	
  often	
  in	
  the	
  position	
  of	
  advocating	
  for	
  increased	
  funding	
  and	
  resources	
  to	
  work	
  against	
  systemic	
  exclusions—from	
  normalizing	
  pedagogical	
  instructional	
  styles	
  to	
  architectural	
  design	
  of	
  the	
  school	
  buildings	
  themselves.	
  	
  	
  Neuman	
  and	
  Rothstein	
  begin	
  with	
  an	
  overview	
  of	
  historical	
  exclusions	
  of	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  from	
  public	
  education	
  institutions.	
  	
  Neuman	
  and	
  Rothstein	
  warn,	
  “It	
  is	
  easy	
  to	
  forget	
  that	
  as	
  recently	
  as	
  1973	
  pupils	
  with	
  IQs	
  of	
  less	
  than	
  50	
  were	
  regarded	
  as	
  uneducable	
  and	
  therefore	
  excluded	
  from	
  the	
  school	
  system.”	
  	
  	
  The	
  phases	
  leading	
  to	
  present	
  inclusion-­‐based	
  models	
  are	
  framed	
  in	
  five	
  “stages”	
  from	
  residential	
  schools	
  to	
  the	
  present.	
  	
  Throughout	
  the	
  overview,	
  mainstreaming/inclusion	
  movements	
  are	
  held	
  as	
  the	
  answer	
  to	
  Canada’s	
  problematic	
  treatment	
  of	
  “Special	
  Education”	
  in	
  the	
  past,	
  without	
  critical	
  investigation	
  as	
  to	
  ways	
  these	
  too	
  could	
  continue	
  to	
  perpetuate	
  exclusionary	
  social	
   norms	
  (though	
  to	
  be	
  fair	
  there	
  is	
  limited	
  time	
  within	
  one	
  workshop	
  slot).	
  	
  The	
  stages	
  are	
  framed	
  as	
  such:	
   Residential	
  Programs	
  The	
  way	
  in	
  which	
  many	
  children	
  with	
  intellectual	
  disabilities	
  and	
  with	
  sensory	
  deficits	
  were	
  taught	
  prior	
  to	
  the	
  normalization	
  movement.	
   Relative	
  Isolation	
  Phase	
  prior	
  to	
  the	
  1970s	
  during	
  which	
  what	
  they	
  term	
  students	
  with	
  exceptionalities	
  were	
  served	
  either	
  outside	
  the	
  public	
  schools	
  or	
  in	
  isolated	
  settings	
  within	
  them.	
   Normalization	
  Movement	
  A	
  widely	
  held	
  belief	
  that	
  all	
  individuals,	
  regardless	
  of	
  any	
  disability,	
  should	
  have	
  as	
  normal	
  an	
  education	
  and	
  living	
  arrangement	
  as	
  possible;	
  opposed	
  to	
  institutionalization.	
  Emerged	
  as	
  the	
  debilitating	
  effects	
  of	
  institutionalization	
  began	
  to	
  be	
  recognized.	
   Integration	
  (or	
  Mainstreaming)	
  Describes	
  the	
  placement	
  of	
  students	
  with	
  exceptionalities	
  in	
  general	
  education	
  classrooms,	
  at	
  least	
  for	
  a	
  portion	
  of	
  each	
  school	
  day;	
  otherwise	
  known	
  as	
  mainstreaming.	
   Inclusion	
  A	
  practice	
  based	
  on	
  the	
  belief	
  that	
  students	
  with	
  exceptionalities	
  belong	
  in	
  general	
  education	
  settings,	
  with	
  support	
  services	
  provided	
  in	
  the	
  general	
  classroom	
  by	
  specialists	
  (Neuman	
  and	
  Rothstein,	
  unpaginated).	
  	
  	
  However,	
  without	
  complicating	
  the	
  unequivocally	
  positive	
  portrayal	
  of	
  normalization,	
  such	
  support	
  can	
  further	
  compound	
  exclusionary	
  practice.	
  	
  Drawing	
  again	
  from	
  a	
  Foucauldian	
  framework	
  of	
  normalization	
  as	
  presented	
  in	
  Discipline	
  and	
   Punish,	
  normalizing	
  practices	
  can	
  also	
  be	
  understood	
  as	
  facilitating	
  the	
  very	
  discriminatory	
  practices	
  that	
  create	
  systemic	
  exclusion.	
  Foucault	
  writes,	
  “The	
  perpetual	
  penality	
  that	
  traverses	
  all	
  points	
  and	
  supervises	
  every	
  instance	
  in	
  the	
  disciplinary	
  institutions	
  compares,	
  differentiates,	
  hierarchizes,	
  homogenizes,	
  excludes.	
  	
  In	
  short,	
  it	
  normalizes”	
  (183).	
  	
  	
  While	
  Neuman	
  and	
  Rothstein’s	
  account	
  of	
  educational	
  restructuring	
  provides	
  a	
  useful	
  way	
  to	
  illustrate	
  that	
  changes	
  in	
  the	
  education	
  system	
  are	
  recent,	
  describing	
  inclusion	
  as	
  the	
  final	
  solution	
  as	
  opposed	
  to	
  a	
  current	
  stage	
  erases	
  ways	
  in	
  which	
  normalizing	
  practices	
  continue	
  to	
  reinforce	
  hierarchies	
  that	
  position	
  disability	
  as	
  a	
   pathology	
  in	
  current	
  models	
  of	
  inclusive	
  education.	
  	
  Indeed,	
  the	
  emphasis	
  on	
  inclusion	
  above	
  all	
  else	
  has	
  been	
  critiqued	
  for	
  positioning	
  disability	
  as	
  perpetually	
  awaiting	
  able-­‐bodied	
  signification—in	
  other	
  words,	
  not	
  acknowledging	
  that	
  non-­‐dominant	
  groups	
  have	
  the	
  capacity	
  to	
  change	
  the	
  mainstream	
  rather	
  than	
  merely	
  waiting	
  for	
  acceptance	
  from	
  it.	
  In	
  Reading	
  and	
  Writing	
  Disability	
  Differently,	
  Tanya	
  Titchkosky	
  critiques	
  this	
  unproblematized	
  emphasis	
  on	
  inclusion.	
  She	
  writes:	
  The	
  assumption	
  that	
  exclusion	
  is	
  the	
  main	
  problem	
  facing	
  disabled	
  people	
  may	
  be	
  a	
  dangerous	
  one,	
  especially	
  if	
  we	
  are	
  to	
  maintain	
  a	
  critical	
  focus	
  on	
  how,	
  and	
  to	
  what	
  end,	
  disability	
  is	
  constituted	
  as	
  it	
  is	
  within	
  the	
  contemporary	
  minority	
  world.	
  	
  One	
  of	
  the	
  dangers	
  of	
  focusing	
  on	
  exclusion	
  without	
  taking	
  into	
  account	
  the	
  inclusionary	
  practices	
  that	
  generate	
  exclusion	
  is	
  that	
  we	
  might	
  be	
  tempted	
  to	
  ignore	
  the	
  constitutive	
  powers	
  of	
  seemingly	
  benign	
  remedial	
  programs,	
  enacted	
  through	
  texts	
  that	
  claim	
  to	
  solve	
  the	
  problem	
  of	
  marginalized	
  people	
  (149).	
   	
  Such	
  exclusions	
  are	
  evidenced	
  in	
  Neuman	
  and	
  Rothstein’s	
  discussion	
  as	
  to	
  the	
  disadvantages	
  of	
  Special	
  Education	
  Classroom	
  Approaches.	
  	
  They	
  advocate	
  for	
  inclusion	
  based	
  on	
  the	
  rationale	
  that	
  within	
  segregated	
  classrooms,	
  “students	
  are	
  isolated	
  from	
  their	
  typically	
  achieving	
  peers;	
  students	
  do	
  not	
  have	
  ‘typical’	
  role	
  models.”	
  	
  Elaborations	
  on	
  this	
  assert	
  that	
  when	
  removed	
  from	
  “typical”	
  role	
  models,	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  have	
  no	
  one	
  to	
  model	
  “typical”	
  behaviour.	
  	
  Elementary	
  school	
  classes	
  for	
  children	
  with	
  autism	
  are	
  discussed	
  as	
  a	
  phase	
  that	
  the	
  school	
  board	
  wants	
  to	
  move	
  children	
  through	
  (and	
  back	
  into	
  mainstream	
  classrooms)	
  as	
  quickly	
  as	
  possible.	
  	
  The	
  reasons	
  focus	
  on	
  the	
  “problem”	
  of	
  children	
  in	
  autism	
  classes	
  becoming	
  more	
  autistic	
  when	
  kept	
  away	
  from	
  the	
  influences	
  of	
  other	
  children.	
  	
  Within	
  this	
  discourse	
  is	
  the	
  unchallenged	
  conflation	
  of	
  autism	
  with	
  a	
  problem	
  to	
  be	
  solved.	
  	
  Upon	
  inclusion	
  into	
  the	
  mainstream	
  classroom,	
  the	
  implied	
  goal	
  would	
  be	
  that	
  the	
  child	
  with	
  autism	
  would	
  (eventually)	
  need	
  no	
  accommodation	
  for	
  their	
  disability.	
  The	
  individual	
  with	
  the	
  disability	
  could	
  be	
   included	
  without	
  inclusion	
  of	
  lived	
  differences	
  they	
  experience	
  based	
  on	
  their	
  disabilities	
  (e.g.	
  a	
  need	
  for	
  breaks,	
  a	
  quiet	
  work	
  environment,	
  alternative	
  modes	
  of	
  communication).	
  	
  	
  The	
  document	
  from	
  the	
  “Inclusive	
  Education”	
  workshop	
  includes	
  a	
  further	
  section	
  on	
  “Knowledge	
  and	
  Skills”	
  that	
  outlines	
  stages	
  in	
  what	
  is	
  perceived	
  to	
  be	
  inclusive	
  curriculum.	
  	
  It	
  frames	
  the	
  stages	
  it	
  presents	
  with,	
  	
  “Our	
  goal	
  is	
  to	
  get	
  to	
  the	
  top.”	
  	
  This	
  graph	
  starts	
  with	
  “Developmental	
  curriculum,”	
  and	
  moves	
  through	
  a	
  hierarchy:	
  “Learn	
  Functional	
  Skills	
  in	
  Atypical	
  Routines;	
  Learn	
  Functional	
  Skills	
  in	
  Typical	
  Routines;	
  Learn	
  ‘Lower	
  Level’	
  Curriculum,	
  ‘Learn	
  Grade	
  Level	
  Curriculum.”	
  	
  Within	
  this	
  graph,	
  a	
  child	
  with	
  developmental	
  disabilities	
  that	
  prohibit	
  grade	
  level	
  work	
  will	
  never	
  be	
  seen	
  as	
  having	
  reached	
  the	
  “top”	
  of	
  inclusion.	
  	
  Inclusion	
  is	
  therefore	
  based	
  on	
  the	
  (gradual)	
  eradication	
  of	
  disability	
  as	
  opposed	
  to	
  space	
  within	
  the	
  curriculum	
  for	
  developmental	
  disabilities.	
  	
  	
  	
  A	
  similar	
  graph	
  delineating	
  goals	
  for	
  social	
  “Membership	
  and	
  Participation”	
  reads	
  as	
  follows:	
  “In	
  and	
  out	
  of	
  class—limited	
  participation	
  with	
  classmates;	
  In	
  class—participate	
  in	
  different	
  routines;	
  In	
  class—participate	
  in	
  some	
  typical	
  routines;	
  In	
  class—participate	
  in	
  all	
  typical	
  routines.”	
  	
  This	
  hierarchy	
  does	
  not	
  reflect	
  the	
  differing	
  ways	
  that	
  disabilities	
  effect	
  mainstream	
  classroom	
  participation.	
  	
  A	
  student	
  may	
  be	
  capable	
  of	
  participating	
  in	
  much	
  of	
  the	
  “typical”	
  routines	
  but	
  require	
  more	
  “out	
  of	
  class”	
  breaks	
  than	
  are	
  generally	
  scheduled.	
  	
  While	
  the	
  site	
  of	
  risk	
  is	
  identified	
  as	
  students	
  continuing	
  to	
  demonstrate	
  identifiably	
  “disabled”	
  characteristics	
  if	
  excluded	
  from	
  mainstream	
  classrooms,	
  what	
  remains	
  undertheorized	
  is	
  that	
  such	
  qualities	
  may	
  unintentionally	
  be	
  positioned	
  as	
  a	
  deficit	
   preventing	
  full	
  participation	
  and	
  membership.	
  	
  According	
  to	
  this	
  graph,	
  if	
  a	
  student	
  participates	
  a-­‐typically,	
  they	
  could	
  then	
  be	
  construed	
  as	
  not	
  having	
  reached	
  the	
  “top”	
  membership	
  in	
  their	
  class.	
  	
  	
   Within	
  hierarchical	
  descriptions	
  of	
  “Knowledge	
  and	
  Skills”	
  and	
  “Membership	
  and	
  Participation”	
  are	
  shadows	
  of	
  exclusionary	
  citizenship	
  from	
  the	
  previous	
  century,	
  as	
  disability	
  continues	
  to	
  connote	
  segregation	
  from	
  full	
  membership	
  to	
  a	
  classroom.	
  	
  In	
  addition,	
  issues	
  of	
  inclusion	
  are	
  still	
  solved	
  with	
  assimilation	
  in	
  a	
  way	
  that	
  upholds	
  able-­‐bodied	
  norms	
  as	
  the	
  solution	
  to	
  difference.	
  In	
  Crip	
  Theory:	
   Cultural	
  Signs	
  of	
  Queerness	
  and	
  Disability	
  Robert	
  McRuer	
  differentiates	
  between	
  the	
  two	
  models	
  (past	
  and	
  present)	
  compared	
  in	
  this	
  article,	
  with	
  a	
  focus	
  on	
  intersections	
  between	
  queer	
  identity	
  and	
  disability	
  and	
  the	
  ways	
  “they	
  share	
  a	
  pathologized	
  past”	
  (1).	
  	
  He	
  theorizes	
  that	
  while	
  past	
  frameworks	
  erased	
  queer	
  and	
  disabled	
  identities,	
  current	
  frameworks	
  are	
  increasingly	
  marked.	
  	
  As	
  with	
  my	
  analysis	
  in	
  the	
  previous	
  section,	
  McRuer	
  describes	
  these	
  processes	
  not	
  as	
  separate,	
  but	
  as	
  mutually	
  constitutive	
  processes	
  for	
  delimiting	
  who	
  is	
  considered	
  viable	
  (or	
  a	
  viable	
  citizen).	
  McRuer	
  writes:	
  The	
  relatively	
  extended	
  period,	
  however,	
  during	
  which	
  heterosexuality	
  and	
  able-­‐bodiedness	
  were	
  wedded	
  but	
  invisible	
  (and	
  in	
  need	
  of	
  embodied,	
  visible,	
  pathologized,	
  and	
  policed	
  homosexualities	
  and	
  disabilities)	
  eventually	
  gave	
  way	
  to	
  our	
  own	
  period,	
  in	
  which	
  both	
  dominant	
  identities	
  and	
  nonpathological	
  marginal	
  identities	
  are	
  more	
  visible	
  and	
  even	
  at	
  times	
  spectacular	
  (2).	
  	
  	
  This	
  speaks	
  directly	
  to	
  work	
  that	
  integration	
  alone	
  did	
  not	
  accomplish.	
  When	
  marginalized	
  subjectivities	
  are	
  no	
  longer	
  erased,	
  but	
  are	
  still	
  marginalized,	
  how	
  they	
  are	
  portrayed	
  becomes	
  critical.	
  Heterosexuality	
  and	
  able-­‐bodiedness	
  are	
  still	
  idealized	
  identities.	
  In	
  this	
  context	
  it	
  is	
  hard	
  for	
  their	
  opposites	
  to	
  be	
  extricated	
  from	
  a	
  position	
  of	
  pity	
  or	
  the	
  expectation	
  that	
  those	
  with	
  such	
  qualities	
  would	
  (or	
  should)	
   prefer	
  to	
  be	
  normal	
  if	
  they	
  could.	
  	
  McRuer	
  describes	
  this	
  as,	
  “A	
  system	
  of	
  compulsory	
  able-­‐bodiedness	
  repeatedly	
  demands	
  that	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  embody	
  for	
  others	
  an	
  affirmative	
  answer	
  to	
  the	
  unspoken	
  question,	
  ‘Yes,	
  but	
  in	
  the	
  end,	
  wouldn’t	
  you	
  rather	
  be	
  more	
  like	
  me’”	
  (9).	
  With	
  curriculum	
  goals	
  that	
  place	
  the	
  eradication	
  of	
  accommodation	
  at	
  the	
  “top”	
  of	
  an	
  “inclusion”	
  hierarchy,	
  the	
  discourse	
  in	
  “Inclusive	
  Education”	
  could	
  serve	
  to	
  uphold	
  the	
  norms	
  that	
  McRuer	
  purports	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  are	
  expected	
  to	
  embody.	
  	
  In	
  Beth	
  Hutchison	
  and	
  Bonnie	
  Smith’s	
  anthology,	
  Gendering	
  Disability,	
  Hutchison	
  discusses	
  the	
  goal	
  of	
  shifting	
  disability	
  from	
  medical	
  and	
  educational	
  discourse	
  that	
  frames	
  it	
  as	
  this	
  kind	
  of	
  lack/limit	
  to	
  disability	
  as	
  a	
  site	
  for	
  productive	
  spaces	
  that	
  shapes	
  identity	
  and	
  forms	
  cultures.	
  	
  She	
  focuses	
  on	
  common	
  ground	
  shared	
  by	
  feminist	
  and	
  disability	
  activism—wherein	
  both	
  movements	
  assert	
  the	
  need	
  to	
  change	
  more	
  than	
  just	
  an	
  inability	
  to	
  be	
  included	
  in	
  the	
  same	
  space	
  as	
  the	
  dominant	
  group,	
  but	
  also	
  to	
  challenge	
  the	
  notion	
  that	
  fitting	
  the	
  mainstream	
  is	
  the	
  ultimate	
  goal.	
  She	
  describes:	
  Disability,	
  a	
  term	
  that	
  has	
  heretofore	
  been	
  so	
  clear-­‐cut	
  to	
  the	
  public,	
  is	
  becoming	
  increasingly	
  polymorphous	
  in	
  the	
  light	
  of	
  a	
  new	
  politics	
  and	
  scholarship.	
  	
  It	
  can	
  suggest	
  a	
  set	
  of	
  practices,	
  kinds	
  of	
  embodiment,	
  interactions	
  with	
  the	
  built	
  environment,	
  an	
  almost	
  limitless	
  array	
  of	
  literary	
  types,	
  frames	
  of	
  mind,	
  and	
  forms	
  of	
  relationships.	
  	
  Gone	
  are	
  the	
  days	
  of	
  a	
  simple	
  and	
  dominant	
  physiological	
  or	
  medical	
  definition	
  of	
  disability.	
  	
  Instead,	
  people	
  have	
  come	
  to	
  see	
  an	
  art	
  of	
  disability—poetry,	
  music,	
  song,	
  literature—and	
  politics	
  of	
  disability	
  that	
  has	
  accomplished	
  path-­‐breaking	
  legislation	
  and	
  effected	
  social	
  change	
  (1).	
  	
  	
  	
  Hutchison	
  and	
  Smith’s	
  anthology	
  calls	
  for	
  reframing	
  the	
  position	
  of	
  neutrality	
  afforded	
  white,	
  able-­‐bodied	
  male	
  scholars	
  and	
  argues,	
  instead,	
  that	
  women	
  and	
  people	
  with	
  disabilities	
  are	
  in	
  the	
  position	
  to	
  create	
  thriving	
  counter-­‐cultures	
  that	
  challenge	
  limiting	
  social	
  norms.	
  	
  Were	
  such	
  a	
  shift	
  away	
  from	
  privileging	
  normative	
   learners/learning	
  styles	
  to	
  be	
  integrated	
  with	
  models	
  of	
  “inclusion”	
  in	
  public	
  schools,	
  the	
  ultimate	
  goal	
  could	
  be	
  for	
  children	
  with	
  disabilities	
  to	
  shift	
  the	
  organization	
  of	
  the	
  larger	
  classroom	
  as	
  opposed	
  their	
  enabled	
  peers	
  being	
  constructed	
  as	
  holding	
  an	
  antidote	
  to	
  their	
  disabilities.	
  Current	
  educational	
  discourse	
  and	
  practice	
  still	
  operates	
  on	
  the	
  basis	
  that	
  student’s	
  assimilation	
  with	
  dominant	
  norms	
  is	
  conflated	
  with	
  student	
  success.	
  	
  Such	
  norms,	
  both	
  social	
  and	
  academic,	
  create	
  barriers	
  to	
  educational	
  models	
  that	
  appreciate	
  possibilities	
  for	
  understanding	
  disability	
  in	
  terms	
  other	
  than	
  that	
  which	
  risks	
  lack/limit.	
  	
   Beyond	
  Risk	
  During	
  my	
  years	
  as	
  a	
  disability	
  support	
  worker	
  with	
  the	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Board,	
  attempts	
  from	
  Special	
  Education	
  Assistants	
  to	
  utilize	
  alternative	
  tools	
  or	
  teaching	
  methods	
  that	
  work	
  for	
  the	
  students	
  we	
  supported	
  were	
  met	
  with	
  criticism	
  from	
  other	
  educational	
  professionals	
  on	
  the	
  basis	
  that	
  we	
  were	
  making	
  the	
  child	
  appear	
  different.	
  	
  While	
  there	
  are	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  examples	
  that	
  depart	
  from	
  this	
  model	
  (included	
  those	
  often	
  advocated	
  for	
  by	
  Inclusion/Autism	
  Consultants),	
  I	
  recount	
  the	
  following	
  instance	
  as	
  one	
  when	
  there	
  was	
  particularly	
  good	
  collaboration	
  between	
  the	
  classroom	
  teachers	
  and	
  myself.	
  	
  Through	
  collegial	
  meetings,	
  room	
  was	
  made	
  for	
  productive	
  spaces	
  of	
  reflection	
  as	
  ways	
  the	
  classroom	
  activities	
  could	
  be	
  restructured	
  to	
  enable	
  meaningful	
  participation	
  for	
  the	
  children	
  I	
  worked	
  with,	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  creating	
  increased	
  self-­‐awareness	
  the	
  rest	
  of	
  the	
  students.	
  	
  The	
  following	
  story	
  is	
  not	
  meant	
  to	
  be	
  elevated	
  as	
  the	
  answer,	
  nor	
  is	
  it	
  free	
  from	
  taking	
  place	
  within	
  the	
  same	
  legacy	
  of	
  discourse	
  of	
  education	
  and	
  disability	
  that	
  I	
  have	
  critiqued.	
  Though	
  undoubtedly	
  potential	
  shortcomings	
  could	
  be	
  found	
  within	
  it,	
  I	
  cite	
  it	
  here	
   as	
  it	
  has	
  moments	
  of	
  departure	
  from	
  dominant	
  modes	
  of	
  framing	
  disability	
  within	
  special	
  education.	
  	
   I	
  was	
  brought	
  into	
  a	
  kindergarten	
  classroom	
  to	
  work	
  with	
  a	
  boy’s	
  “problem”	
  behaviour	
  of	
  climbing	
  bookshelves	
  and	
  hiding	
  under	
  tables	
  and	
  screaming.	
  	
  As	
  a	
  child	
  with	
  autism,	
  processing	
  sensory	
  information	
  was	
  difficult	
  for	
  him.	
  	
  He	
  was	
  climbing	
  bookshelves	
  during	
  transitions	
  between	
  activities	
  (which	
  were	
  hard	
  for	
  him	
  in	
  general,	
  but	
  also	
  caused	
  noisier	
  moments	
  in	
  the	
  classroom)	
  and	
  hiding	
  under	
  tables	
  when	
  he	
  was	
  overwhelmed.	
  Upon	
  brainstorming,	
  the	
  teacher	
  and	
  I	
  set	
  up	
  a	
  quiet	
  corner	
  of	
  the	
  class	
  with	
  a	
  supply	
  of	
  thick	
  headphones	
  to	
  reduce	
  auditory	
  stimulus	
  (the	
  main	
  anxiety	
  trigger	
  for	
  him).	
  	
  We	
  talked	
  to	
  the	
  entire	
  class	
  about	
  how	
  some	
  people	
  love	
  noisy	
  rooms	
  and	
  some	
  people	
  don’t	
  and	
  gave	
  everyone	
  the	
  option	
  of	
  going	
  to	
  the	
  quiet	
  corner	
  and	
  getting	
  headphones	
  when	
  they	
  needed	
  to.	
  	
  They	
  had	
  the	
  option	
  of	
  wearing	
  them	
  all	
  the	
  time,	
  or	
  just	
  in	
  the	
  quiet	
  area	
  during	
  noisy	
  transitions.	
  	
  The	
  teacher	
  began	
  giving	
  two	
  warning	
  times	
  for	
  transitions—one	
  for	
  the	
  children	
  who	
  wanted	
  to	
  clean	
  up	
  early	
  and	
  spend	
  the	
  main	
  (very	
  noisy)	
  clean	
  up	
  time	
  in	
  the	
  quiet	
  area,	
  and	
  one	
  for	
  the	
  rest	
  of	
  the	
  class.	
  	
  Over	
  the	
  following	
  few	
  weeks,	
  many	
  children	
  tried	
  different	
  ways	
  to	
  participate	
  in	
  transitions	
  (the	
  novelty	
  of	
  headphones	
  was,	
  of	
  course,	
  exciting).	
  	
  All	
  but	
  a	
  couple	
  eventually	
  stopped	
  using	
  the	
  quiet	
  area	
  and	
  headphones.	
  	
  The	
  child	
  I	
  was	
  supporting	
  was	
  much	
  more	
  calm,	
  happy,	
  and	
  able	
  to	
  engage	
  with	
  his	
  education	
  with	
  those	
  options	
  provided	
  for	
  him.	
  	
  However,	
  when	
  reflecting	
  on	
  the	
  experience	
  in	
  terms	
  of	
  the	
  historical	
  and	
  current	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  Special	
  Education,	
  there	
  are	
  a	
  few	
  significant	
  departures:	
  the	
  noise	
  in	
  the	
  classroom	
  (not	
  the	
  disability)	
  was	
  the	
   “problem”	
  to	
  be	
  solved;	
  the	
  larger	
  class	
  was	
  shown	
  ways	
  of	
  understanding	
  their	
  own	
  needs—they	
  were	
  not	
  positioned	
  solely	
  as	
  “role	
  models”	
  to	
  the	
  child	
  with	
  autism;	
  there	
  was	
  no	
  goal	
  to	
  eradicate	
  the	
  student’s	
  needs,	
  rather	
  the	
  structure	
  of	
  the	
  classroom	
  changed	
  from	
  one	
  of	
  mainstream	
  “default”	
  to	
  one	
  that	
  accurately	
  represented	
  the	
  needs	
  of	
  its	
  member;	
  finally,	
  the	
  taboo	
  on	
  looking	
  “different”	
  (wearing	
  headphones)	
  in	
  class	
  was	
  removed	
  by	
  increasing	
  options	
  for	
  ways	
  that	
  students	
  could	
  appear	
  at	
  school—instead	
  of	
  looking	
  “different”	
  being	
  seen	
  as	
  “failure.”	
  The	
  student	
  in	
  question	
  was	
  a	
  white,	
  normatively	
  gendered	
  boy.	
  	
  First	
  Nations	
  students	
  in	
  the	
  VSB	
  are	
  still	
  not	
  allocated	
  support	
  on	
  par	
  with	
  white	
  students—female	
  students	
  with	
  autism	
  can	
  slip	
  under	
  the	
  radar	
  of	
  diagnoses.	
  I	
  cannot	
  help	
  but	
  question	
  how	
  he	
  could	
  have	
  been	
  differently	
  situated	
  had	
  he	
  occupied	
  other	
  marginalized	
  identities.	
  	
  	
  However,	
  the	
  pedagogical	
  significance	
  of	
  restructuring	
  the	
  classroom	
  in	
  this	
  way	
  began	
  to	
  disrupt	
  the	
  normalizing,	
  categorizing,	
  aspects	
  of	
  education.	
  	
  While	
  much	
  of	
  the	
  “Inclusive	
  Education”	
  document	
  would	
  support	
  such	
  an	
  approach,	
  the	
  emphasis	
  on	
  the	
  removal	
  of	
  stigma	
  rather	
  than	
  disability	
  challenges	
  discourse	
  regarding	
  difference	
  from	
  “problem”	
  to	
  reframing	
  it	
  as	
  a	
  possibility	
  for	
  self-­‐exploration.	
  	
  Given	
  that	
  the	
  ways	
  public	
  educational	
  history	
  is	
  rooted	
  in	
  eugenics	
  and	
  in	
  privileging	
  constructions	
  of	
  whiteness,	
  heteronormativity,	
  and	
  able-­‐bodiedness,	
  a	
  critical	
  engagement	
  with	
  power	
  as	
  related	
  to	
  identity,	
  which	
  is	
  embedded	
  in	
  normative	
  institutional	
  practices,	
  could	
  have	
  far	
  reaching	
  implications.	
  	
  	
  	
   Conclusion	
  Troubling	
  normalization	
  is	
  nothing	
  new.	
  	
  Feminist,	
  queer,	
  and	
  anti-­‐racist	
  movements	
  have	
  long	
  histories	
  of	
  using	
  such	
  strategies	
  to	
  further	
  equal	
  rights	
  (e.g.	
  gay	
  marriage,	
  pay	
  equity)	
  while	
  others	
  within	
  such	
  groups	
  have	
  challenged	
  that	
  these	
  strategies	
  are	
  incomplete	
  for	
  the	
  purposes	
  of	
  anti-­‐oppression.	
  	
  Many	
  activists	
  have	
  asserted	
  that	
  uncritical	
  “inclusion”	
  based	
  discourses	
  stress	
  marginalized	
  groups’	
  conformity	
  to	
  the	
  mainstream	
  (the	
  individual	
  changing	
  to	
  fit	
  the	
  system)	
  and	
  therefore	
  do	
  not	
  require	
  change	
  from	
  the	
  mainstream	
  to	
  fit	
  the	
  needs/counter-­‐culture/knowledges	
  of	
  those	
  marginalized	
  (the	
  system	
  changing	
  to	
  make	
  room	
  for	
  alternative	
  ways	
  of	
  being).	
  	
  When	
  it	
  comes	
  to	
  education	
  and	
  children	
  with	
  intellectual	
  disabilities,	
  however,	
  “integration/inclusion”	
  is	
  generally	
  presented	
  as	
   the	
  answer.	
   	
  	
   The	
  after-­‐effects	
  of	
  oppressive	
  historical	
  discourse	
  can	
  leave	
  much	
  to	
  be	
  unearthed.	
  The	
  conceptualization	
  of	
  disability	
  as	
  a	
  problem	
  to	
  be	
  solved	
  is	
  often	
  so	
  taken	
  for	
  granted	
  that	
  it	
  is	
  discussed	
  as	
  an	
  inevitable	
  premise	
  upon	
  which	
  other	
  discourse	
  and	
  pedagogy	
  is	
  placed.	
  	
  Connecting	
  discourse	
  surrounding	
  inclusion/exclusion	
  and	
  its	
  investment	
  in	
  creating	
  normative	
  bodies	
  and	
  racialized	
  citizenship	
  with	
  current	
  Special	
  Education	
  discourse	
  on	
  “Inclusive	
  Education”	
  can	
  provide	
  a	
  jumping	
  off	
  point	
  to	
  analyze	
  current	
  assumptions	
  reflected	
  in	
  the	
  limitations	
  of	
  current	
  Special	
  Education	
  discourse.	
  	
   	
   	
   Works	
  Cited:	
  Clarke,	
  Nic.	
  	
  “‘Sacred	
  Daemons’:	
  Exploring	
  British	
  Columbian	
  Society’s	
  Perceptions	
  of	
  ‘Mentally	
  Deficient’	
  Children,	
  1870-­‐1930.”	
  	
  BC	
  Studies	
  144	
  (2004-­‐2005):	
  p.61-­‐89.	
  	
  	
  Einstein,	
  Zillah.	
  	
  Hatreds:	
  Racialized	
  and	
  Sexualized	
  Conflicts	
  in	
  the	
  21st	
  Century.	
  	
  New	
  York:	
  Routledge,	
  1996.	
  Foucault,	
  Michel.	
  	
  Discipline	
  and	
  Punish—The	
  Birth	
  of	
  the	
  Prison.	
  	
  New	
  York:	
  Vintage,	
  1977.	
  Hutchison,	
  Beth.	
  	
  “Introduction.”	
  	
  Beth	
  Hutchison	
  and	
  Bonnie	
  G.	
  Smith,	
  eds.	
   Gendering	
  Disability.	
  	
  New	
  Jersey:	
  Rutgers	
  University	
  Press,	
  2004.	
  p.	
  1-­‐9.	
  Neuman,	
  Pam	
  and	
  Vicki	
  Rothstein.	
  	
  “Inclusive	
  Education.”	
  	
  University	
  Hill	
  Elementary	
  School,	
  Vancouver	
  School	
  Board.	
  	
  25	
  September,	
  2009.	
  MacLaren,	
  Angus.	
  “The	
  Birth	
  of	
  Biological	
  Politics.”	
  	
  Our	
  Own	
  Master	
  Race—Eugenics	
   in	
  Canada,	
  1885-­‐1945.	
  	
  Toronto:	
  Oxford	
  University	
  Press,	
  1990.	
  p.13-­‐27.	
  McRuer,	
  Robert.	
  	
  Crip	
  Theory:	
  Cultural	
  Signs	
  of	
  Queerness	
  and	
  Disability.	
  	
  New	
  York:	
  New	
  York	
  University	
  Press,	
  2006.	
  Provincial	
  Health	
  Officer.	
  	
  Letter	
  to	
  Dr.	
  Harold	
  White,	
  School	
  Medical	
  Officer.	
  	
  January	
  4	
  1929.	
  	
  Vancouver	
  Health	
  Department	
  Fonds.	
  	
  Vancouver	
  City	
  Archives,	
  Vancouver.	
  Report	
  to	
  the	
  Metropolitan	
  Board	
  of	
  Health	
  of	
  Greater	
  Vancouver.	
  	
  	
  	
  Jericho	
  Hill	
  School.	
  	
  1968.	
  	
  Vancouver	
  Health	
  Department	
  Fonds.	
  	
  City	
  of	
  Vancouver	
  Archives,	
  Vancouver.	
  	
   Stanley,	
  Timothy	
  J.	
  	
  “White	
  Supremacy	
  and	
  the	
  Rhetoric	
  of	
  Educational	
  Indoctrination:	
  A	
  Canadian	
  Case	
  Study.”	
  	
  Jean	
  Barman	
  and	
  Mona	
  Gleason,	
  eds.	
  	
   Children,	
  Teachers,	
  and	
  Schools	
  in	
  the	
  History	
  of	
  British	
  Columbia,	
  2nd	
  Edition.	
  	
  Calgary:	
  Detselig	
  Press,	
  2002.	
  p.	
  39-­‐55.	
  	
  	
  Titchkosky,	
  Tanya.	
  Reading	
  and	
  Writing	
  Disability	
  Differently:	
  The	
  Textured	
  Life	
  of	
   Embodiment.	
  	
  Toronto:	
  University	
  of	
  Toronto	
  Press,	
  2007.	
  	
  	
  

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