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41 CHAPTER TWO Exploring Esoteric and Exoteric Definitions of Disability: Inclusion, Segregation, and Kinship in a Special Olympics Group —Olivia Caldeira Although there has been a nationwide movement to end segregation and promote inclusion for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD),1 a recent investigation by the group Disability Rights of Ohio (DRO) argues that the state is doing little to support people with IDD becoming integrated into the community and that this is a violation of federal law. Citing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Congress’s acknowledgment that isolation, segregation, and discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be serious and widespread social problems, the authors argue the state’s overreliance on segregated residential placements, sheltered workshops, and facility-based day services is promoting further segregation rather than moving toward community integration (where people with disabilities are able to interact with people without disabilities ). They also ask that, in addition to making supported employment in integrated work settings a priority,“integrated day services shall be designed to allow individuals currently placed in developmental centers or ICFs/IID [Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities] to participate in mainstream community-based recreational,social,educational, cultural, and athletic activities.”2 This sentiment of integrating all activities,including recreational and athletic activities, is echoed by some in disability studies who argue the Special Olympics should be disbanded because it fosters negative stereotypes and promotes further segregation and stigmatization (see Counsell and Agran 2012; Storey 2008). My goal is to explore the concepts of inclusion, exclusion, and Olivia Caldeira 42 segregation and the related stigmatization and stigmatized vernacular surrounding the Special Olympics by reconsidering the criticisms leveled at the Special Olympics.Based on fieldwork gathered over the past five years with one particular regional Special Olympics group, Ohio Special Olympics (OHSO),3 I ask whether the multifaceted relationships and understandings among group members challenge us to look beyond the binary oppositions of inclusivity and exclusivity to allow for an expanded definition of “folk group”—one in which kinship is created through experiences of shared difference. Inclusion: An Introduction The topic of inclusion is a source of contention and debate for many in the fields of education, policy, ethics, and disability studies and is a central theme of this chapter because I’m interested in what is at stake when we talk about inclusion, how this relates to the construction and perpetuation of stigma and the stigmatized vernacular, and how categories of normalcy and acceptance are locally constructed. It is particularly relevant for folklorists because it directly relates to emic (local or insider) and etic (outsider) understandings of labels such as disability and normalcy, how labels are esoterically (relating to one’s own group) and exoterically (relating to an outside group) applied, how stigma and value are attached to these terms, and ultimately how performance provides the stage for identity expression and management.4 On a basic level, the movement toward inclusion is a response to the discriminatory beliefs that translated into very real and horrific practices (eugenics , forced sterilization, institutionalization, to name a few) against people with disabilities. Deinstitutionalization was intended to promote integration in the community, but due to lack of funding, awareness, and adequate supports , many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities continue to be isolated, segregated from the community, and unable to access the often taken-for-granted rights and freedoms that are afforded those without disabilities . Segregation decreases the possibilities for interaction between people with and without disabilities, contributes to a fear of the unknown, and increases the likelihood of misconceptions, stereotypes, and stigmatization. In terms of education,inclusion refers to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ruling that every child has a right to have an education in the least restrictive environment. Integrating students with and without disabilities from preschool through postsecondary education is a source of considerable debate, and one in which I will only present some of the most commonly used terms and arguments. There is a continuum of educational Inclusion, Segregation, Kinship in a Special Olympics Group 43 services and student placement that ranges from full inclusion in general education settings without supplementary instructional supports to instruction offered in a hospital or domestic setting (Hocutt 1996:79).Mainstreaming is the term used to describe the integration of a child with his or her peers in a general educational setting for some part of the school day; inclusion means that “most children...


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