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Educ. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 30-49; doi:10.3390/educsci3010030

Who Needs to Fit in? Who Gets to Stand out? Communication Technologies Including Brain-Machine Interfaces Revealed from the Perspectives of Special Education School Teachers Through an Ableism Lens

Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N4N1, Canada
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Received: 19 December 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 31 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
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Abstract

Some new and envisioned technologies such as brain machine interfaces (BMI) that are being developed initially for people with disabilities, but whose use can also be expanded to the general public have the potential to change body ability expectations of disabled and non-disabled people beyond the species-typical. The ways in which this dynamic will impact students with disabilities in the domain of special education is explored. Data was drawn from six special education school teachers from one school in Calgary, Alberta. Five sub-themes (social acceptance, not adding to the impairment, fear of judgement by society, pursuing “normality” and meeting the demands of society) were identified that fit under the main identified theme of “fitting in by not standing out”. Findings demonstrate a dichotomy in participant views of non- or socially acceptable communication devices. The perception of BMI technology was also explored among special education school teachers, revealing benefits and challenges with the uptake of this technology for students with disabilities. Perceptions of people with disabilities and ableism are presented as conceptual frameworks to interpret the influence and impact of the findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: ability expectation; ableism; communication technology; special education; teachers; students; disabilities; brain machine interface ability expectation; ableism; communication technology; special education; teachers; students; disabilities; brain machine interface
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Diep, L.; Wolbring, G. Who Needs to Fit in? Who Gets to Stand out? Communication Technologies Including Brain-Machine Interfaces Revealed from the Perspectives of Special Education School Teachers Through an Ableism Lens. Educ. Sci. 2013, 3, 30-49.

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