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Enacting Change from Within

Disability Studies Meets Teaching and Teacher Education


Edited By Meghan Cosier and Christine Ashby

Disability Studies in Education (DSE) provides a useful and compelling framework for re-envisioning the possibility of education for all students. However, the philosophies of Disability Studies (DS) can be seen as contradictory to many mainstream values and practices in K-12 education. In an ever-shifting educational landscape, where students with disabilities continue to face marginalization and oppression, teachers and teacher educators are seeking ways to address these educational inequities. They desire realistic and specific ways to work toward social justice, from within the confines of current education systems. Enacting Change from Within aims to provide a framework through which to analyze and address policy and practice in education, offering practical yet visionary ways to frame social justice work in schools that consider the day-to-day responsibilities of teachers. This book is intended to encourage an important dialogue on how to do the work of education from a DS perspective while complying with the often incongruous and deeply entrenched policy and practice requirements in our schools. This book is ideal for current and future teachers seeking to create more just, equitable and inclusive schools.
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The idea for this book grew out of a special issue of RPSD (Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Handicaps), a journal published by TASH—an organization known for its commitment to supporting inclusive education and community living for all people with disabilities, especially those most at risk for marginalization and segregation. We wish to thank Phil Ferguson for his role in that original special issue and for getting us talking about the important question of how disability studies informs, interacts with and supports the work of inclusive educators. Thank you also to Chris Myers at Peter Lang Publishing for guiding us through this process and Susan Gabel and Scot Danforth for supporting our idea for this book from the beginning and providing us with invaluable feedback. We would like to express our gratitude to our respective institutions of higher education, Syracuse University and Trinity Washington University, for the support in completing this book. Lastly, we would like to express thanks to our families for cheering us on and being understanding of deadlines and long work hours. We know that nothing is possible without your love, support and patience.

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