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The disappearance of disability? Thoughts on a changing culture

Mackay, Gilbert (2002) The disappearance of disability? Thoughts on a changing culture. British Journal of Special Education, 29 (4). pp. 159-163. ISSN 0952-3383

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Abstract

This paper, originally given as a keynote address at the Scottish NASEN conference in Glasgow, challenges many of the prevailing trends in relation to disability and special educational needs. Taking a broad view of developments since Warnock, and providing a fascinating insight into recent initiatives in Scotland, Gilbert MacKay offers an analysis of five ways in which the notion of disability, and the practical reality of our responses to it, are being unhelpfully removed from the educational arena. While we can all strive to promote forms of inclusion that encompass ever-widening parameters of diversity, no one's interests are served if the implications of individuals' difficulties are simply ignored or wished away. Gilbert MacKay highlights the dangers in some recent trends but also points the way towards a much more responsive and productive future.