The rhetorical structure of disability: bridging the gap between what is 'spoken' and what is 'said' with song - over-signifying with personhood against the backdrop of disease-centric discourse.




Roberts, Jeff.

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This paper investigates the rhetoric surrounding disability, specifically focusing on how such rhetoric is deployed in legislative texts which attempt to promote the equality of people with disabilities throughout society. In criticizing “disease-centric discourse” within legislative texts the paper argues that there is a gap between what is “spoken” and what is “said” in current state-based actions which attempt to pragmatically secure equality. In order to bridge this gap, the paper focuses on the “rhetorical structure” of language within a vacuum, utilizing the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche in explanation of reason in grammatical structure. Ultimately, utilizing Jean Baudrillard’s concept of “over-signification” the paper concludes with the advocacy of traversing the grammatical reasoned structure of the predicate/subject dichotomy which disease-centric discourse is founded upon, and employing a method of performative engagement in the “singing” of people first language when advancing pragmatic actions toward equality.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 144-148).


People with disabilities --- United States., People with disabilities -- Civil rights --- United States., Rhetoric -- Political aspects.