Special education and human rights
in Australia: how do we know about
disablement, and what does it mean
OverviewMany educators fail to see educational disablement as an issue of human
rights. For them, the education of the so-called 'special educational needs'
student is a technical issue to be played out through a highly bureaucratized
medical model of diagnosis and treatment which is described and pursued
through a redistribution of resources and 'expert' personnel. That this is so
is not surprising. Our understanding of disability has been shaped by an
ensemble of powerful knowledge that establishes impairment as individual
defect and disabled people as objects for treatment and research by
professional experts. Knowing disability and disablement (Oliver, 1990) in
education has not been responsive to the growing body of disability studies
led by disabled researchers. For this reason understanding disablement in
schools and other educational sites remains incomplete. Most importantly
the knowledge, for too many educators, is not undergirded by an
established principle of political struggle for 'rights of passage'.
IntroductionPrior to the formal announcement of the 3 October 1998 federal election in
Australia, the political psyche seemed fixed on issues of 'race'. The confluence
of a number of factors contributed to this disposition:
|• ||The successes of the Mabo and Ors v. The State of Queensland (1992) and Wik
High Court ruling (1996) that native title could coexist with pastoral rights
and pastoral leases, which, in turn, led to subsequent state and federal
native title legislation (Native Title Act 1993).|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Disability, Human Rights and Education: Cross Cultural Perspectives.
Contributors: Felicity Armstrong - Editor, Len Barton - Editor.
Publisher: Open University Press.
Place of publication: Philadelphia.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 119.
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