Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher EducationSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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13. As I have explored in other work, one of the pseudoscientific legacies of eugenics is that we now ally disability with “slowness.” One particularly damaging metaphor is the word “retarded,” which, when we examine it, suggests that some people think more slowly than others, as though anyone has ever timed the speed of thoughts moving through the brain; or as though some people are arrested in their development. Despite this, the word “retarded” has long been given a reified and unquestioned status as a scientific term. But any time a student is constructed as slow, this eugenic legacy is invoked and utilized (access Dolmage, Disability Rhetoric).
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