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On “diversity” and “inclusion”: Exploring paradigms for achieving sign language peoples’ rights


Kusters,  Annelies
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Kusters, A., De Meulder, M., Friedner, M., & Emery, S. (2015). On “diversity” and “inclusion”: Exploring paradigms for achieving sign language peoples’ rights. MMG Working Paper, (15-02).

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0025-BE62-E
The use of the concepts “diversity” and “inclusion” are analyzed with regard to deaf people, whom we call Sign Language Peoples (SLPs), specifically in policy discourses (as used by the World Federation of the Deaf and in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and academic discourses (particularly the concept of Deaf Gain). Discussing such discourses, we evaluate the promises and perils of “diversity” and “inclusion” in policy positions and scholarly analysis. We argue that in order for these concepts to be useful for SLPs in the achievement of rights, we need to foreground a specific understanding of inclusion as societal inclusion, and diversity as needing a group rights-based foundation. As such, we explore different paradigms for understanding how SLPs are part of diversity and how they can be included. As such, we contribute to scholarship and debate on inclusion and diversity beyond the particular case of SLPs.