Sunday, April 10, 2016

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

Christopher Kliewer 

Grinner: Grinner is all about dominant ideology and it is demonstrated through SCWAAMP, which is what America values the most. Kliewer connects to the “abled-bodieness” that Grinner talks about. When it comes to being an able-body you are considered to be muscular, slim and a strong body, if you are thinner, larger, handicapped, or have a mental disability you are looked at as less able-bodied. In Kliewer’s article the people are not considered abled-bodiness and therefore do not fit the dominant ideology, he says "...legitimize discrimination and devaluation on the basis of the dominant society's preferences in matters of ability, gender, ethnicity, and race..." (73).

August: August talks about “safe-spaces” and how people can learn better if they feel safe, and comfortable in their area. She also discusses how schools should make students feel more normalized and less of outcast. Kliewer connects to August when he says “It’s safe – what he calls a ‘safe space’. Like a lot of people in Mendocino, he’s accepted for what he is, not what he isn’t. And he can concentrate on what he can do, instead of being shown or being told what he can’t do” (Page 86). This demonstrates that John felt comfortable and accepted by people and he was able to succeed. Knowing he was in a safe space gave him the opportunity to do what he can do, he also was able to feel safe in this space because he knew he was not going to be told “no” or be shown a different way he wasn’t comfortable with. 

Points to Share: 

The quote “I have Down syndrome, but I am not handicapped” (page 93) really stood out to me because it shows someone may have a disability but it does not prevent them from doing things. This article made me feel more confident in my recent decision of having a concentration in Adaptive PE. I cannot wait to work with students with different disabilities and make them feel more comfortable and enjoy class. 


  1. Kelsey I loved your connection to Grinner and her SCHWAAML activity. I used the same quote in mine because I think the idea of abled bodiness is a big part of the labels that are put on people with special needs. The picture you included was a really cute way to incorporate the idea of accepting all types of people and students!

  2. I really liked the quote on page 93 as well, and I also connected my article to Adaptive PE. I think it is very important to have this as a physical educator. Everyone deserves to be apart of physical education. Just because they have disabilities, doesn't mean that they are not capable of participating in an activity.