Diverging Ideologies of Disability: A Critique of Literature on Inclusive Literacy
Keywords:inclusive literacy, disability, Critical Disability Studies, language ideology
Although the concept of literacy has continued to evolve through the work of innovative scholars and educators, conventional understandings of literacy still abound within published scholarship. Pushing past these traditional notions of literacy, a small subset of scholars has advocated for a broadened conceptualization of literacy. Labeled inclusive literacy, this relatively new approach to literacy draws from both socially and cultural situated literacy practices (Street, 1984) and multimodal literacy practices (Kress & VanLeeuwen, 2001), as it takes into account diverse symbol systems and acknowledges literacy’s part in daily practices. Further, inclusive literacy values all literacy experiences and works to include children with disabilities, a group that is so often overlooked in regard to literacy learning (Flewitt et al., 2009). Grounded in Critical Disability Studies and language ideology theories, this literature review seeks to explore the diverging disability ideologies found in research published on inclusive literacy practices and the ways researchers position students with disabilities. Specifically, this analysis examines the myriad ways scholars take up or fail to acknowledge the term disability as a means to understand the ways that language use is connected to disability ideologies (Irvine & Gal, 2000).