I updated “The Segregation of Special” with selections from ““Special needs” is an ineffective euphemism”.

Although euphemisms are intended to put a more positive spin on the words they replace, some euphemisms are ineffective. Our study examined the effectiveness of a popular euphemism for persons with disabilities, special needs. Most style guides prescribe against using the euphemism special needs and recommend instead using the non-euphemized term disability; disability advocates argue adamantly against the euphemism special needs, which they find offensive. In contrast, many parents of children with disabilities prefer to use special needs rather than disability. But no empirical study has examined whether special needs is more or less positive than the term it replaces. Therefore, we gathered a sample of adult participants from the general population (N = 530) and created a set of vignettes that allowed us to measure how positively children, college students, and middle-age adults are viewed when they are described as having special needs, having a disability, having a certain disability (e.g., is blind, has Down syndrome), or with no label at all. We predicted and observed that persons are viewed more negatively when described as having special needs than when described as having a disability or having a certain disability, indicating that special needs is an ineffective euphemism. Even for members of the general population who have a personal connection to disability (e.g., as parents of children with disabilities), the euphemism special needs is no more effective than the non-euphemized term disability. We also collected free associations to the terms special needs and disability and found that special needs is associated with more negativity; special needs conjures up more associations with developmental disabilities (such as intellectual disability) whereas disability is associated with a more inclusive set of disabilities; and special needs evokes more unanswered questions. These findings recommend against using the euphemism special needs.

Source: “Special needs” is an ineffective euphemism

I also linked to this tweet in the section about identity and community.

Instead of being labeled “children with special needs” they are labeled “children with special rights.”

Source: Reggio Emilia | It’s About Learning

No one knows best the motion of the ocean than the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.” “By focusing on the parts of the system that are most complex and where the people living it are the most vulnerable we understand the system best.” “When we build things – we must think of the things our life doesn’t necessitate. Because someone’s life does.

Source: Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life – Ryan Boren

One of Reggio’s key aims is to look at what children can do, rather than what they can’t, and to break the image of the child as weak and incomplete. Children from all socioeconomic backgrounds attend Reggio Emilia schools and children with disabilities receive first priority and full mainstreaming under Italian law. Instead of being labeled “children with special needs” they are labeled “children with special rights.” Every child is seen in terms of the resources and potential they bring, rather than what’s missing.

Source: Reggio Emilia | It’s About Learning