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AbstractThe central tenet of this chapter is that language matters. Over the centuries as human beings have represented and categorised both themselves and others in different ways, so interpretations and the language of disability (physical and learning) shape-shifts altering through time (Goodey, 2016). The language of disability and the societal and political values which underpin it are therefore not cross-historical – let two or three generations pass and the labels associated with disability alter. Sometimes such changes in language usage can seem little more than semantic fashion or a professional challenge to keep up-to-date with. The language of disability is however more than fashion and political correctness (Mallett and Slater, 2014), for words gain their meaning from the manner in which they are used (Wittgenstein, 2009). This chapter argues the language of special education shapes SENCOs’ values, expectations, assumptions, responses and practice. Through an exploration of historical and current language usage, this chapter analyses the language of special education and the implications for the school community.
CitationCodina, G.N., and Wharton, J.C. (2021). ‘The language of SEND: Implications for the SENCO’. In Beaton, M.C., Codina, G., N., and Wharton, J.C. (Eds.). 'Leading on Inclusion: The role of the SENCO'. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 15-25.
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