Additionally, students with disabilities would hugely disadvantage these

Additionally,
rather than regarding a student’s disability as their sole identifier,
educators need to recognize that their students’ identities are intersectional
(Ford, Stuart, & Vakil 2014). A student can be Latina and have Down
syndrome, simultaneously; a student can be Asian American and have dyslexia,
simultaneously; a student can be Muslim, be an English Language Learner, and
have autism, simultaneously. To ignore the cultural backgrounds of students
with disabilities would hugely disadvantage these students, for whom the
obstacles presented by having a disability and belonging to a marginalized
group are compounded. From what I have observed, the CRI program at High Point
High School does not consider the diverse cultural backgrounds of their
students. Modifications are offered as one-size-fits-all—when it so clearly
does not. Finally, implementing CRT would also prevent teachers from
identifying a CLD student as a student with disabilities. CLD students are
overrepresented in special education programs because their cultural
differences are misinterpreted as behavior problems or academic deficiencies by
educators who are not culturally responsive (Ford, Stuart, & Vakil 2014,
57). Though I do not think the students in the CRI program at High Point have
been mistakenly placed, it is important to consider the possibility.

The
second assumption upon which the CRI program is founded is the ableist belief
that a disability is a deficit. The deficit-based medical model of disability
presents a disability as something that needs to be fixed, and posits that
students with disabilities require special education services to fix their
disabilities (Kirby 2016, 177). Though it is designed to include students in a
General Education classroom, CRI is still considered a “special education”
program. The CRI students are educated separately from the other students, even
though they are physically in the same classroom. An ableist perspective is
built on the belief that there is only one correct way of doing things—for
example, that the right way to read is with print, not with Braille or auditory
support—and so demands that people with disabilities learn to perform whatever
the task is in that specific way (Hehir 2007, 9). So, because students with
disabilities cannot perform certain tasks in the way society demands they be
performed, special education programs focus on “correcting” their disabilities.

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Though the seven students in the CRI program are all incredibly different from
one another, they are grouped together in the program because none of them
perform the way our ableist schools want them to.