This article explores discriminatory discourses articulated by Italian professionals operating in educational, health and social services for refugees in Rome, in relation to the educational and social inclusion of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee children. It locates such narratives within the historical ‘concealment and invisibilisation of race and racism’ that have characterised Italy particularly since the end of the Second World War, while showing how they legitimate contemporary processes of disablement and over-representation of forced migrant children in the category of Special Educational Needs. A theoretical framework influenced by Dis/ability Critical Race Studies, Italian postcolonial studies, and Judith Butler’s notions of subjectivation and performative politics is used to discuss how a ‘colour-evasive’ racial ideology has seeped into various institutions in Italian society, and importantly into education policies and practices.

DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2017.1417252
ISSN: 1361-3324