Educators with Disabilities
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: Gallaudet University Press
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Enhancing Diversity: Educators with Disabilities is a unique, timely, and relevant book. Three distinguished teacher-educators, Clayton E. Keller, Ronald J. Anderson, and Joan M. Karp, have gathered the writings of a selected group of respected and well-known teacher-educators, including themselves, that address the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of persons with disabilities who seek and achieve entry into professional life as educators. These authors examine the importance...
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A number of people have contributed significantly in their own ways to the development of Enhancing Diversity: Educators with Disabilities. We would like to acknowledge their assistance here. First, we thank our spouses-Kelly Anderson, Susan Headley Keller, and Charles Karp-and our children-Hilary Keller, Claire Keller, and...
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Our collaboration with Ron Anderson began in November 1991 at the annual conference of the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) Teacher Education Division. We were scheduled to present our research on educators with disabilities in a symposium that would be chaired by Ron, who was then CEC president and a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. New to...
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PART 1 Identifying the Issues
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Educators with disabilities as a book topic may, to some people, seem obscure and, perhaps, unnecessary. Yet our own experiences as teacher-educators working with and preparing individuals with disabilities for careers in education and, for one of us, as an educator with a disability, brought us face to face with compelling stories that deeply challenged our professional values and society...
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Starting there in January, I remembered continually asserting myself to the teacher to see what I could do to start student teaching. I was always getting this put back, like, "No, maybe later" or "Maybe look at this." But never a "Yes. Yeah, go ahead and do it." In the course of two months I had taught a total of one day's worth of teaching. And then it was only when someone came in to observe and assess how I was doing. My professor came to...
1 Issues of Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Culture
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America is changing, and its schools are following. The changes are evident in many areas-ethnicity, linguistic diversity, disabilities in the schools, economics and family status, societal values, environment, technology, and professionalism-all of which affect teaching and create concerns for teachers with and without disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, issues both encountered in the past...
PART 2 Validating the Concerns: Research on Educators with Disabilities
2 Trials and Tribulations of a Teacher with Learning Disabilities through His First Two Years of Employment
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Teaching as a career is a viable option for adults with learning disabilities. The role of teacher is a familiar one, because it is one career to which all students with learning disabilities have been exposed. They often have experienced a variety of teaching roles, instructional styles, and classroom personalities and rarely are devoid of an opinion regarding the effectiveness and overall value of teaching...
3 I Never Felt Disabled Until I Came into Special Education: Reflections of Two Preservice Teachers with Disabilities
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Our investigation began as an informal dialogue about two of our respective teacher-education students-one who has physical disabilities and another who has specific learning disabilities-as we attempted to foster the success of these students. We decided to formalize our inquiries and designed a multiple-case study to investigate the nature of the challenges experienced by them. Our hope was that...
4 Preparation and Employment Experiences of Educators with Disabilities
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This chapter incorporates highlights from the lives of twenty-five educators with disabilities. We purposefully chose to ask individuals with disabilities about their life experiences as they prepared for and practiced their educational professions. We could have chosen to interview school and university administrators and professors, but we decided that the voices of educators with disabilities had...
PART 3 Examining Contextual Factors
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: The Career Path
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Being an educator has been a dream for me since I was-I can't remember how old. I've wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a little girl. But the biggest reality of why I really wanted to become a teacher was I've always done whatever I could to improve myself, by myself. I spent, certainly in junior high school and in high school, many hours behind closed doors. I wanted to do things...
5 Understanding and Improving the Career Development of Educators with Disabilities
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Ideas about how people choose work and careers, what is required for those choices to succeed, and even what success means are crucial in the efforts to provide more opportunities for educators who have disabilities. Theories and models of career development provide different views of this "big picture" of employment and careers and suggest ways of understanding and valuing both employees' and...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: The Preparation and Employment Process
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I had a lot of trouble with my math classes. I couldn't see anything. And I couldn't understand why I couldn't do math. I was blaming it on my mental capacity. The fact was, I was just sitting there-I was in class, my body was there, but there was no processing. Even in my statistics class,...
6 The Process of Becoming an Educator
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Are teachers born or made? The debate regarding this often-asked question persists, in part, because few if any successful teachers are ever described using adjectives related to their teaching skills or abilities. Rather, they are described as having a sense of humor, as being warm, caring, affectionate, compassionate, loving, and confident-traits viewed by most people as natural...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: The Requirements of Educational Professions
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I don't think my disability interfered with my job, even when it got worse. If I had to discipline somebody, the principal did not like that. He said you have to motivate these kids so that they do all these nice things. If you did discipline and say, "No, Johnny, I want you to come down here...
7 The Requirements and Demands of Being an Educator
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American education is in crisis. Our schools are not meeting the needs of students or the demands of our economy for a more skilled, more adaptable work force. And many vocational education and job-training programs do not equip beginning or experienced workers with the skills needed for success in the workplace. Without comprehensive education reform across America,...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: Legal Issues
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I thought that that would be a better college for me to get around at. So I went to talk to the admissions counselor for education. He basically talked me out of it. He just said that I wouldn't be successful in the program. He didn't really explain why. I basically flipped them off and said, "Thank you. Have a good day." I think that I was definitely discriminated...
8 Legislation, Litigation, Standards, Regulations, Policies, and Other Oughts
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Much has been written about the rights of individuals with disabilities over the past three decades, and the public discussion has intensified since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. For public educational institutions the impact of legislation expanding the rights of individuals with disabilities and their access to education has been most pervasive in the areas of physical...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: Attitudes toward Them
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I noticed my disability the most going from high school to college. That was before the Civil Rights Act. That was very difficult, really hard. Some colleges flatly did not want me in their school. You were a problem person. I got straight A's in high school. My free writing SAT was 800, and there were some colleges...
9 Attitudes toward Educators with Disabilities
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Understanding attitudes toward persons with disabilities is often difficult, because attitudes are influenced by an unknown number of variables. As Sofilios-Rothschild (1970) has pointed out, however, a number of negative attitudes toward persons with disabilities appear to be influenced by a country's economic, social,...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: Support Systems
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The most important thing is what kind of support you get from your family. My mother is probably the most supportive person ever. Of course she loved kids. She didn't care if they were handicapped or colored or what, if they were little or big. She just didn't care...
10 The Role of Support Systems for Educators with Disabilities
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Anyone who has chosen education as a profession can recall the support received from various sources-parents, rehabilitation counselors, professors, and other educators. Some may also recall seeing themselves in an educator role and how that influenced their sense of self. Although we may not consciously think about it, a number of support structures-formal or informal, by design or chance-helped us to enter and become members of the educational enterprise...
Stories from Educators with Disabilities: Disability Perspectives
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When I was in graduate school, I used to get up and get into the bathroom, the gang showers, at 5:30 in the A.M. I'm not the kind of person who gets up early in the morning. It takes me a while to get going. Part of it, when I look back on it, was the fact that I didn't want to go into the gang showers with anybody else because I wasn't sure how they would...
11 Advocacy and Educators with Disabilities: Emerging Issues and Opportunities
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This chapter focuses on advocacy, or activism, and educators with disabilities. Popular understanding of both topics has begun to shift significantly. For many years, teaching about disability was conducted primarily by nondisabled professionals at colleges and universities in a limited number of disciplines, such as special education, vocational rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and the social...
PART 4 Fostering Opportunities
12 Issues and Practices in the Recruitment and Retention of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teachers
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The value of teachers who are d/Deaf1 and the need to increase their presence in the pool of teachers of d/Deaf students are two concerns that have appeared repeatedly in professional literature dating back to the 1800s. In addition, discussions with professionals in deaf education and students who are themselves deaf reveal...
13 Policies and Practices within Professional Organizations
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Usually the efforts to create opportunities for preservice and practicing educators with disabilities occur on individual, case-by-case bases as people with disabilities, preparation institutions, and educational agencies work together-amicably or adversarially, successfully or unsuccessfully-to try to address the...
PART 5 Recommending Actions
Beth’s Story: Clear Communication and a Sensitive Workplace
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I became a speech therapist in 1971. I wanted to do something in education and something working with children, and I was interested in language and language use. I guess it was a combination of those things that led me into speech therapy. I initially, after graduating from high school, went to college for a couple of years. Then I quit school for a few yearsI became a speech therapist in 1971. I wanted to do something in education and something working with children, and I was interested in language and language use. I guess it was a combination of those things that led me into speech therapy. I initially, after graduating from high school, went to...
14 A Guide for Decision Making and Action
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It is clear that individuals with disabilities can become successful educators, but the path is treacherous, fraught with disappointments, challenges, and questions. The lives of the educators portrayed in the vignettes and research chapters of this book suggest that the process of becoming and being an educator involves complex interactions of numerous factors. In this chapter we first propose...
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Page Count: 300
Illustrations: 10 tables, 2 figures
Publication Year: 1998