Intersectional understandings of disability and implications for a social justice reform agenda in education policy and practice
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This article explores the multiple and shifting ways in which disability intersects with other sources of social disadvantage. Disablism forms part of an intricate web of social conditions that subjugate certain forms of 'student-subjects' and create compounding forms of oppression and exclusion that need to be addressed through relevant education policy and practice. Intersectional understandings of disability expose the multiple dynamics that impact upon constructing disabled students' identities. These identities should not be regarded as fixed and transcendental entities gauged against varied bodily, mental and psychological differences, but should be understood in conjunction with the ways in which race, gender and socio-economic status intersect with the experience of disability. Intersectional understandings of disability, drawn from intersectional feminism and disability studies, destabilize reductionist accounts of individual pathology and privilege new forms of pedagogical thinking and acting that prioritize a social justice framework in tackling wider systemic rigidities and oppressive educational regimes.