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Disability, Capability and Special Needs Education. A theoretical framework

Solveig Magnus Reindal, NLA, School of Religion, Education and Intercultural studies


Currently, scholars have launched the capability approach as an innovative and important perspective for re-examining disability in special needs education and within disability studies. This approach is introduced as both a theoretical framework for the social model of disability (Burchardt, 2004) and for the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (Florian et al., 2006). How is this possible when proponents of the social model find the framework of the ICF inadequate as an understanding of disability (Thomas, 2004)? In this article, I will investigate these claims and analyse which understanding of disability that bears better as a framework of special needs education drawing on the insights of the capability approach.

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