In order to understand m-learning in the context of disability, disability must be better understood. But disability is not that easily understood; how can a person in a wheelchair, a student with dyslexia, someone that is deaf, a person with chronic fatigue syndrome, or someone with chemical sensitivities be comparable? The sheer range of disability is part of the problematic nature of addressing, theorizing, and understanding it. Where one person might be disabled, another might be more than capable--yet, they can both be labeled disabled. Clearly, part of the potential problem is how one defines disability. I dislike the term because of its inherent baggage--it presupposes something cannot be done--a lack of ability. Or more pointed, if one is disabled, he or she cannot do something. Gerard Goggin and Christopher Newell (2003) confirm that even with Universal Design, we must accept that there are "contradictory perspectives" and, I would add, contradictory (dis)abilities (p. 150). However as Lennard J. Davis (2010) writes, "the 'problem' is not the person with disabilities; the problem is the way normalcy is constructed to create the 'problem' of the disabled person" (p. 3). Regardless, if we perceive disability as difference, which is also imperfect, students, I hope, are able to make the connection that we are all different. Margaret Price (2007) cautions that since students lack a critical perspective of disability, they may position it into an us/them dichotomy (p.70). Difference, though, resists that dichotomy because difference is less loaded and, I think, students can relate to difference more so than to disability. To be more pointed, if we can equate disability to difference, we all become us and them.
One way to become us and them is through access. Access is not about thinking or incorporating disability studies (although such work is important); rather, access is about providing options for students to become active and engaged in their own and the class's learning--making it personalized. I also see access acting in part as inclusion and also as availability. By doing so, disability will no longer be able to be socially constructed because of technology, if access is seen as a right for all people. In fact, we should see disability as being individualized. Jason G. Caudill (2007) points out "m-learning delivers to the learner[s] a flexible, easy to access learning resource that can be tailored to their specific needs" (np). By making m-learning specific to students' needs, technology provides for most aspects of disability. In other words, it gives those with disabilities access.