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Depictions of disability: a way with words

Kilham, Chris,

Academic Literature


This article seeks to examine our depictions of disability based on four decades of text in the Australian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC) and the Australian Pre-School Quarterly (APQ). The evolving language of the authors reveals the changing cultural mores of the time. First, the vocabulary and tone of the text is analysed to highlight some of the assumptions about the place of people with disabilities in society. Practices associated with notions of deficit, pity, abnormality and expertise show how some of these assumptions have been played out in the early childhood arena. The paper concludes with a reminder that reflecting on our own language is important, as it can inform and determine attitudes.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Social relationships

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