The analysis of diachronic changes in special education, specifically the Instituto Nacional de Surdos (INES), installed in the state of Rio de Janeiro, since its foundation in 1857 until the early twenty-first century are the main focus of this article. The concepts of normalcy, diversity and alterity are problematized guided by the search for answers for understanding the attitudes to the individuals considered different and that interfering in deaf education today. The theoretical perspective in this text is aligned with the socio-cultural disability studies that questioning the discursive perspectives of normality and abnormality of bodies that underlies much of what it says, what it does, and what it wants with the education of disabled people, particularly of deaf people. The results indicate that the discourse of diversity is still predominant, but also there are already apparent claims and actions that lead to alterity.
normalcy; diversity; alterity; Instituto Nacional de Surdos