Problematising disabling discourses on the assessment and placement of learners with disabilities: can interdependence inform an alternative narrative for inclusion?
MetadataShow full item record
In this paper, we seek to explore how the concepts of dependence, independence and interdependence are reflected in discourses on documents prepared by two Commissioners in Cyprus (the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child, and the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights). These documents reflect the views of parents, professionals, policymakers, and the Commissioners. Our analysis reveals that thinking in terms of the ‘dependence-independence’ binary informs a disabling discourse that views learners with disabilities as ‘dependent’ or ‘not independent enough’. At the same time, it secures the ‘independence’ of education stakeholders, and learners without disabilities. We argue that an alternative discourse, based on the concept of ‘interdependence’, could inform the inclusive education narrative in ways that would benefit the learners with disabilities, their families, and the education stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.