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Beyond the Essential Other: Engaging Disability Intersections in Teacher Education

Alfredo Artiles of Stanford Graduate School of Education, Khiara Bridges, UC Berkley School of Law and Sonya Ramsey of University of North Carolina at Charlotte will join moderator John Blackwell of Virginia State University in presenting the 2021 Annual Meeting Deeper Dive session, “Critical-Race Theory and Countering Political Culture,” Thursday, February 25, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In this article, Artiles discusses the power of disability through its longstanding historical links with race, and outlines the transformations needed in teacher education so that future teachers are prepared to understand and engage thoughtfully with the complexities of disability and its intersections.

Disability touches the lives of all human beings in one way or another during their lifetime. It is not surprising, therefore, that most societies deploy protections and supports for people with disabilities. But just as disability constitutes an object of protection, it is necessary to remember that disability can also be used as a tool of stratification. This is most clearly observed in contexts in which disability intersects with other markers of difference, such as race. The dual nature of disability is a neglected consideration in the analysis and responses to this condition, particularly in the context of teacher education. Indeed, most preservice teachers are rarely exposed to the complexities of this duality and its implications.

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