Literacy Education and Disability Studies: Reenvisioning Struggling Students

Kathleen Collins, Beth Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate/Erratumpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this commentary, the authors present disability studies in education (DSE) as an alternative way to reframe, understand, and teach students who are positioned as struggling in literacy classrooms. As the authors detail, a DSE perspective changes the relationship between teachers and students to a more reciprocal one, and in doing so, it relocates the source of and responsibility for literacy struggles. The authors begin with a discussion of DSE, followed by a reconsideration of how to support students in developing their academic literacies. The commentary concludes with a discussion of why, in an era marked by increasing educational standardization and homogenization, a move to teaching that is informed by a DSE perspective is increasingly a matter of great urgency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • 4-Adolescence
  • 7-Special needs
  • Identity
  • Struggling learners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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