SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Scanlon, D. (2013). Specific learning disability and its newest definition: Which is comprehensive? And which is insufficient? Journal of Learning Disabilities46(1), 26–33. doi:10.1177/0022219412464342

Abstract: The American Psychiatric Association’s proposed definition of specific learning disability (“specific learning disorder”) for the DSM-5 reflects current thinking and best practice in learning disabilities. It continues the core conceptualization of learning disability (LD) as well as proposes identification criteria to supplant the discredited aptitude–achievement discrepancy formula. Improvements can be found along with long-standing and new controversies about the nature of LD. The proposed definition both provides a model of a currently acceptable definition and reflects critical issues in the operationalization of LD that the field continues to neglect.

Article 2: Baglieri, S., Valle, J. W., Connor, D. J., & Gallagher, D. J. (2011). Disability studies in education: The need for a plurality of perspectives on disability. Remedial and Special Education32(4), 267–278. doi:10.1177/0741932510362200

Abstract: This article asserts that the field of special education, historically founded on conceptions of disability originating within scientific, psychological, and medical frameworks, will benefit from acknowledging broader understandings of disability. Although well intended, traditional understandings of disability in special education have inadvertently inhibited the development of theory, limited research methods, narrowed pedagogical practice, and determined largely segregated policies for educating students with disabilities. Since the passage of P.L. 94-142, along with the growth of the Disability Rights Movements, meanings of disability have expanded and evolved, no longer constrained to the deficit-based medical model. For many individuals, disability is primarily best understood within social, cultural, and historical contexts. As career-long educators, the authors describe the emergence of Disability Studies in Education, illustrating ways it offers them the means to engage with longstanding tensions, limitations, and promises within their chosen field of special education—helping to reframe, accurately ground, and define their own research and practice. The authors call upon the field of special education to acknowledge and accept a greater plurality of perspectives about the nature of disability, recognizing the profound implications this raises for research, and viewing it as a welcome opportunity for ongoing dialogue.