Disabling discourses and some implications for parent leadership in special education policy and practice
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The paper aims to explore ways in which mothers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) attempt to voice their concerns about current discourses and power imbalances enshrined in special education policy and provision. Mothers’ narratives are important in making transparent the multiple forms of ‘disablism’ experienced by them in their attempts to negotiate and counteract on behalf of their children deficit-based and discriminatory discourses and professional practices that violate their children’s rights, notwithstanding international and national legal mandates promoting a rights-based approach to disability. Their narrated subjugated agency in disability politics highlights the imperative to introduce new forms of advocacy through parent leadership in order to enable parents to have a more active and strategic role in challenging disabling discourses and practices that undermine their children’s rights and entitlements.