The Journal of Philosophy of Disability

Volume 2, 2022

John VorhausOrcid-ID
Pages 209-233

Profound Disability, Equality and the Boundaries of Inclusion

The sub-title of a recent book on “belonging” for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) is “Pushing the boundaries of inclusion.” One aim of this paper is to establish where at least one of these boundaries lies. Enabling profoundly disabled people to be together with others is often inspired by the ideal that anybody and everybody can be fully included in their relationships with others. This inclusive ideal can take the form of relational equality—including people with PIMD as equals in our relationships with them. I explore the scope and limits of relational equality, and where, as with some profoundly disabled people, equality is out of reach, I look at two relational alternatives.