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Presentation Information

Listed Alphabetically by First Author


Adams, Deanna, Syracuse University, New York, USA.

Who Wants to be Special? Pathologization and the preparation of bodies for prison.


With an intersectional analysis, this presentation uses the author's research and organizing to identify how the practices of  "special education" within schools capture youth and often ensure carceral futures. Usually identified as emotionally disturbed or intellectually disabled, African-American and Latino males in particular are over-represented in special education. They are also stigmatized and isolated from the rest of the population in self-contained classes which are based on behavioral curriculum that reinforces racialized and gendered constructions of compliance and conformity. These students are denied the education that is necessary to receive high school diplomas and limits their opportunities upon leaving school.  These students may find it difficult to conform or buy into a system that devalues and negates who they are as individuals and they become the populations that are deemed dispensable by the current system, especially by funneling them to special education.




Allred, Keith and Christine Hancock, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA.

Toward Emancipatory Parent Engagement in the Context of Home-School Relations.


This presentation will provide an overview of how professional educators' understanding of parental response to disability has been framed by the Kubler-Ross stage model of grief.  Sixty years of research and literature focusing on parent response to disability is synthesized. Consequences associated with the adoption of such a deficit orientation are explored as they pertain to parent-educator relations.  An alternate approach to parental response, more aligned with Positive Psychology (PP), is presented. Implications for teacher education and professional development of educators are discussed. The potential benefits of Resistance Theory in disseminating the results of the study will be considered. Individual and systemic recommendations for promoting emancipatory parent involvement in the context of home-school relations are explored.




Amoako, Belinda K., Graduate Center, CUNY, NY, New York, USA.

The Untouchables: Contested Space as Hegemonic School Structures that Marginalize Students with Disabilities.


A myriad of structures mediate learning to teach and learning for New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public school students with disabilities.  Some of these structures include, but are not limited to: collaborative and well-structured teacher evaluation processes; exclusion of students from general education programs; and deficit perspectives of students with disabilities and their teachers. In this paper, the author explores how space as a hegemonic structure further marginalizes and segregates students with disabilities. This paper presents the idea of most segregated special education classrooms as an integral part of hegemonic structures that in turn actually reproduces oppressive policies on students, which then increases aggressive behaviors by these students. In closing, this paper recognizes that "acting out" behaviors are a form of student agency, which disrupts the learning process.




Bacon, Jessica K. Syracuse University, New York, USA.

The Convergence of Standards Based Reform and Special Education: What Happened to Inclusion at Westvale Elementary School?


This paper investigates the effects of standards based reform efforts on the way that special education operates at one urban elementary school (Westvale Elementary School) that has been deemed failing under No Child Left Behind legislation. This study begins with a theoretical landscape which draws upon disability studies literature, and then utilizes qualitative data from twenty interviews conducted with teachers, principals, district level administrators, and state level policy makers. This paper discusses the effects that the reform efforts have on inclusive education practices in both the school and the large urban district that the school is located in. Recommendations for the re-conceptualization of disability and for increased inclusion are offered.




Baglieri, Susan. Long Island University at Brooklyn, New York, NY. USA; Alicia Broderick, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Introduction to Disability Studies in Education (DSE)


What is Disability Studies in Education? Why does it exist? How did it evolve? What are some differences-and some common areas of interest-between DSE and special education? How can DSE be used: in classroom practice; as a theoretical tool; in research on dis/ability; to influence educational policy? These and other questions will be explored in an informal manner. Although this session is purposefully geared toward people who are new to DSE, those who are more familiar with it are also welcome.




Bates, Mariette, J., Allison Downer, Cris Marchionne, & Chancey Fleet. School of Professional Studies, CUNY, New York, NY, USA.

Connecting Graduate Disability Studies to Professional Practice: Lessons Learned


CUNY's School of Professional Studies offers an MA in Disability Studies targeted to workers who support individuals with disabilities.  How has the program informed their professional practice as service providers?  Do they experience tension between Disability Studies and the 'social model' of disability which is central to the Disability Studies curriculum and the 'medical model' utilized by many of the service programs in New York State?  The results of a survey of graduates of the program will be presented and program graduates will discuss their experience connecting Disability Studies to professional practice.




Beratan, Gregg D., University of London, England.

Six Degrees of Disability Violence: Hate Crimes, Ableism and Special Education.


A recent World Health Organization funded study found that disabled adults are at significantly greater risk of experiencing violence than nondisabled adults. This paper extends our understanding of disability violence to illustrate that rather than being limited to those acts traditionally identified as 'Hate Crime', disability violence is embedded at every level of our society; most notably the special education system. Using an analysis informed by both disability studies and critical race theory the paper will show that hate crimes, mistreatment in the receipt of government services and disabled students' experiences of the education system are not discrete from one another but are part of the same larger whole.   




Broderick, Alicia. Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, New York, USA.

The Tale of a Reluctant Expert Witness Or Poking Sticks at Sleeping Dragons


This manuscript offers a reflective exploration of the author's own recent experiences serving as an "expert" witness in two different pieces of litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEIA).  A key contribution of a disability studies in education (DSE) framework for understanding disability-related issues in education has been its epistemological critique of the "foundational" knowledge base of special education.  Much of the impact of DSE's critique of the empiricist, positivist epistemological grounding of special education knowledge has been seen and felt in university-based teacher preparation programs and the ways in which those graduates (both general and special educators) work to "right the educational wrongs" experienced by their own students in K-12 classrooms in public schools.  However, what is less clear is what, if any, impact this epistemological critique has had on the process of litigating under IDEIA.  This manuscript explores, through the use of composite vignettes coupled with a review of relevant DSE literature, the significant ramifications of this epistemological critique for the ways in which educational wrongs may (or may not) be righted through the process of litigation under IDEIA.   




Brown, Tamara and Jossie O'Neill, The Gateway School, New York, NY, USA; Tatyana Kleyn, City College, CUNY, New York, NY, USA.

Building Alliances across Bilingual & Inclusive Educational Settings: Opportunities and Challenges of Public/Private School Collaborations


The Cypress Hills Community School Dual Language/Integrated Co-Teaching Program (ICT), in partnership with The Gateway Schools, envisioned an inclusive educational learning community where bilingualism and learning differences are valued.  Cypress Hills is a public NYC K-8 school with a well-established dual language bilingual program that decided to support emergent bilingual students with and without disabilities in an ICT setting.  Gateway, a private school for students with disabilities, partnered with Cypress Hills to support their newly developed inclusive learning environment.




Chiarantona, Kathleen & Michelle Sondra Ballan, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Exploring Disability in the Military: Opportunities for Retention and Inclusion


Within disability and military research, the value of wounded warriors and the potential for their continued contribution to the active duty mission in some capacity remains wholly unexplored.  Current military policies prohibit individuals with certain disabilities from enlisting in the military thereby subjecting the estimated 50 million Americans with disabilities to unique occupational inequities and restrictions to specific demonstrated levels of patriotism.  This presentation explores the potential barriers and opportunities for social change in allowing service members who become disabled on active duty to continue their career as an alternative to discharge, separation, or medical retirement.  After establishing the sustained worth of service members who become disabled on active duty, the presentation further examines the potential for integration of people who are disabled outside of military service into the Armed Forces in various active duty roles, including a noncombat capacity.




Claus, Stephanie & Karen Leyman, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Studying at Ghent University and the Transition to Work: Perspectives of Students and Graduates with a Disability.


In our presentation we will focus on the main concepts that came out of the interviews with students and graduates with a disability and the reflection process with last year students with a disability. We will also focus on the policy advice for Ghent University that arises from the perspectives of students and graduates. Participants in the workshop will be invited to discuss and share ideas.




Cnockaert, Ruth, Howest University College, Brugge, Belgium.

With Katrien De Munck, Support Centre For Inclusive Higher Education; Marieke De Smet, Greetje Desnerck, & Frank Stevens.

Diversity and Inclusion: Action through Interaction. A Critical look at "Good Practices."

In our research project, we gathered bottom-up perspectives of students with a need of support and staff working with them. In this presentation, we look critically at our research findings through the lens of Disability Studies.  A thematic analysis revealed various 'good practices'. But some of these good practices as seen by students and staff, aren't good practices in the light of inclusion or Disability Studies. We want to discuss these tensions.




Collins, Kathleen, Pennsylvania State University; Scot Danforth, University of California, San Diego; & Joseph Valente, Pennsylvania State University.

 Narrative Approaches to Disability Studies in Education Research


Personal and collaborative narratives have been a staple of disability studies in education scholarship since the field's inception. This tradition involves  persons with a variety of disabilities and those intimately involved in the lives of persons with disabilities actively defining  the character of their human experience. By narrating the disability experience, these authors often offer critical counternarratives that disrupt conventional, ableist accounts of what disability means in schools and society. In this session, we examine three authors' personal experiences writing fictional, quasi-fictional, non-fictional narratives as well as the possible contributions of these disability narratives to the broader field of educational research.




Connor, David, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY, USA; Beth Ferri, Syracuse University, New York, USA.

Dis/ability Critical Race Studies (DisCrit): Theorizing at the Intersections of Race and Disability


In this paper we (along with our co-author) Subini Annamma combine aspects of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Disability Studies (DS) to create a new theoretical framework that uses a dual analysis of race and ability: Dis/ability Critical Race Studies, or DisCrit. First, we examine some connections between the construction of race and dis/ability in education and society at large. Second, we describe why it is necessary to add another branch to Critical Race Theory and Disability Studies. Third, we outline the tenets of DisCrit, calling attention to its potential value. Fourth, we elucidate some tensions, cautions, and current limitations within DisCrit. Finally, we suggest ways in which DisCrit can be used in relation to moving beyond the contemporary impasse of researching race and dis/ability within education and other fields. 




Connor, David, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY, USA: Chris Hale, College of Staten Island, CUNY, New York, USA

Disability Studies in Education "At Work."


As guest editors (along with Jan Valle) of a forthcoming special forum of Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, we illustrate how DSE continues to inform educational theory, research, policy, and practice. First, we chronicle the rapid growth of DSE over the past decade. Second, as teacher educators, we raise three topics to contemplate further for our field: (1) improving the relationship between science and ethics, (2) better connecting knowledge, beliefs, and values to practice, and (3) determining the position of DSE scholars within the field of special education. Third, we briefly highlight four featured articles from Belgium, New Zealand, Scotland, and the USA that constitute this special forum. Finally, we urge the field of education to be more critical of special education practices, and continue to be receptive toward DSE.




Cosier, Meghan, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA.

Applying a Critical Disability Studies Lens to Professional Development in Inclusive School Reform: Stories from the Field


This presentation will discuss the need to incorporate a critical Disability Studies lens in professional development related to inclusive school reform while still including a more traditional "functional" perspective of systems change. This presentation will outline ways in which an inclusion facilitator has introduced these approaches in professional development sessions and how these approaches have been received by teachers and staff at schools moving toward more inclusive service delivery models for students with disabilities. In addition, the presentation will discuss the tensions that arise when including both Disability Studies and functional approaches, and the implications for including this type of professional development in inclusive school reform efforts.




Coughlin, April, Syracuse University & CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, USA.

Experiences of College Students with Physical Disabilities: Advocacy, Accommodations and Awareness


Students with physical disabilities face numerous obstacles when entering the higher education setting. These may include lack of self-advocacy skills, physical and attitudinal barriers on campus, and difficulty accessing services and accommodations. Unfortunately, these obstacles oftentimes lead to lowered grades, higher dropout rates and decreased graduation rates. Some areas that students with disabilities have difficulty with in college may include transition, social adjustment, disclosure of disability, living in dorms, accessibility, self-advocacy, and academic accommodations. When it comes to identity and "fitting in", many students look at college as a "fresh start" and often struggle with disclosing their disability for accommodation purposes. Oftentimes students fear backlash from teachers and classmates because of stigma attached to receiving "special services." Increased disability awareness among college faculty and staff is essential. Providing self-advocacy skills to students with disabilities both in high school and freshman orientation will help them to succeed in college.




Cowley, Danielle, Syracuse University, New York, USA.

World and Young Women with Intellectual Disabilities Un/limited Dreams, Un/limited Opportunities: The Post-School

Adolescent girls with disabilities frequently experience disparate post-school outcomes compared to their male counterparts, including greater high school dropout, greater unemployment rates, lower wages resulting from low-skill jobs, and higher poverty rates. Student-centered transition planning, with a focus on self-determination, has been explored as a way to improve these post-school outcomes, yet disparities remain.  Therefore, I employed a transformative, mixed methods approach, grounded in the theory and practice of Disability Studies in Education and feminism(s), to better understand how young women with intellectual disabilities experience girlhood, schooling, transitions, and agency. Through this presentation, I highlight one key finding, "Un/limited Dreams, Un/limited Opportunities: The Post-School World," and provide recommendations for future policy, practice, and research.




Damiani, Michelle L., Casey L. Reutemann, Carrie E. Rood, & Chelsea P. Tracy-Bronson.

New Teachers' Knowledge of Special Education Law Beyond Teacher Preparation Programs.

This presentation will address the disparity between new teachers' perceptions of their level of preparation around special education law versus their application of those laws necessitated by their current roles as special education teachers.  The content will include a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with new teachers around their perspectives on how their experiences during teacher education programs have prepared and informed their practice related to special education law. Preliminary findings suggest that these interviews will provide insight into how teachers view their understanding and mastery of special education law based on their work in pre-service teacher education programs.




De Munck, Katrien, SIHO, Support Center for Inclusive Higher Education, Brugge, Belgium

Is Education Truly Preparing for the Life Beyond? Nurses, Midwives, Engineers and Teachers Labeled with a Disability Create Confusion in Higher Education.


Belgium sees higher education mostly as the preparation for the job market. But faculty's concern related to the profession or job market is creating barriers during the training and in the transition to the job. Barriers exist on assumptions and prejudices on the profession or the job market, many concerns relate to the assumptions on the disability. Portraits of nurses, midwives, engineers and teachers labeled with a disability, are used to create confusion on those concerns. Looking at life beyond education will help us twist concerns within education into other and more constructive ways of looking at disability and difference, which is needed to prepare all students for life beyond higher education. In this presentation I will share research findings, relating the insider perspectives to the context of (higher) education and work, departing from my favorite portrait and moving in and out to connect it with the other 10 portraits.



Dickey, Allison, Ashland University, Columbus, Ohio, USA; Valerie Owen, National Louis University, Wheeling, IL, USA.

Beyond the Classroom Walls: What Does Accessibility Mean in Hybrid and Online Learning Environments?

Technology is quickly becoming an integral tool for instructing all students in academic and professional programs in colleges and universities. How do you determine whether your course is "accessible" to all students and how do you know? What does an accessible course look-like in hybrid and online environments?  Is "disability" recognized as a factor in developing accessible courses and content in hybrid/online environments?  Higher education faculty must continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of technology in an effort to teach and prepare our candidates for 21st Century classrooms and work settings.




Dodds, Robin, The University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

Narrative Interview of a Mother in Transition: The Journey from Crisis to Resilience


The presentation will illuminate the mediating processes at work in a family, comparing the mother's appraisals, resources and coping to those of resilient families, showing where assistance or reappraisal may be needed.   The interview narrative will be utilized to illustrate key themes related to identity and meaning making.  Although the conference theme refers to In School and Beyond, a study of the period of time following diagnosis, and the processes which occur within families is valuable as what occurs in this period can effect future appraisals, access to resources and future adaptation.




Duncan, Sharon M. Purdue University-Calumet, Hammond, IN, USA.

A Home for Jamee


This paper shares the story of a family as they developed a transition plan for their daughter with intellectual and physical disabilities. As the family sought accessibility for their daughter, they encountered systems that limited her inclusion and denied her opportunity to live in the community.  I will discuss the personal and emotional journey and the barriers the family faced along the way.  While this story took place in the state of Illinois, the message and the information gleaned is relevant to a community who seeks to increase accessibility to all aspects of society. 




Gabel, Susan L., & Maja Miskovic, National Louis University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Discourse and the Containment of Disability in Postsecondary Education

This paper presents the results of a secondary analysis (Smith, 2008) of survey and interview data collected from 2008-2011 as part of the research funded by a federal grant from the US Office of Postsecondary Education. Interview and survey excerpts will be used as evidence when discussing findings. Interviews of postsecondary faculty (n=28) and disabled students (n=18) were conducted during 2008-2011. Anonymous surveys of faculty and students were conducted during the same time period. Primary qualitative analysis of interviews conducted revealed common themes and patterns found in the disability studies literature. A secondary analysis of interview and survey discourse illustrates the discursive processes which actively create the material conditions described by faculty and students. Two bodies of literature comprise our theoretical framework for the secondary analysis.  First, we borrow several concepts from Foucault and others who have taken up his theory of the materiality of discourse and its uses in technologies of power. Second, we borrow from interdisciplinary scholars who theorize the discourse of containment, a strategy used to silence oppositional voices and to say who can talk and what can be said. Interview and survey excerpts will be sued to demonstrate the active discursive processes whereby faculty and students contain disability in a postsecondary education context. The methodological and practical implications of the primary and secondary analyses will be discussed. Primary analysis revealed common themes found in disability studies but framed the participants as passively accepting an untenable disabling environment while the secondary analysis shows the active ways in which participants contain disability, refuse to engage with it and minimize the risk it poses to the status quo. 




Garnett, William. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Dangerous Intersections: Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and the Criminal Justice System


Young people with intellectual disabilities who have transitioned from special education supports and services provided by public and private schools continue to face many challenges, such as where and with whom to live, where to work, whom to date, and what to do with their leisure time. Though these are big challenges, there is, perhaps, no greater challenge than the one that is created when these individuals come in contact with the criminal justice system. This presentation will explore the factors in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities that increase their risk of being arrested and incarcerated, as well as factors within the criminal justice system that intensify the likelihood individuals with intellectual disabilities will be arrested and incarcerated.




Giananti, Caryn, CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, USA.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations: Perspectives of Undergraduate Students with Learning Differences


In spring 2011 I interviewed six undergraduate students who self-identified as having learning differences (LD) and who were registered with their office of support services at an urban public college.  Through one-on-one conversations I sought to learn how the requirement to disclose disability status might impact their decisions to seek support services, whether it affected their interaction with professors and peers, and how comfortable they felt using accommodations provided by the college. This presentation reflects students' experiences in negotiating the college system and its players in their pursuit of higher education.  It relays some of the scenarios they described, incorporating direct quotes, and focuses on two aspects of our conversations: (1) Research participants who appeared most comfortable in school and did their best academically were those who were most self-assured about their right to accommodations, and (2) How note-taking services were delivered made the difference between fostering an equitable or isolating class experience.




Gibbons, Colleen & Brent McBride, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA.

Participation in School-Based Extracurricular Activities: Examining Barriers and Boundaries as Experienced by High School Students with Disabilities


This paper aims to identify ways in which youth with disabilities may be better able to access and participate in activities with non-disabled peers. To address the participation inequality that exists between youth with and without disabilities, the authors propose the integration of disability and family theories. Using a social-relational approach to the concept of disability combined with family systems frameworks, the authors interview 15 high school students with disabilities, to identify barriers to participation, and how such barriers may be affected by family and program boundaries. Findings are relevant not only to youth with disabilities, but also to researchers, program leaders, parents, and peers, and may be effective in creating future models to increase program participation.




Gladstone, Colin. University of Cantebury, Christchuch, New Zealand.

'Who said that?' Using Focus Groups in a participatory action orientated research project with young people with intellectual disability


Focus groups are a well established method for involving people with intellectual disability (ID) in research as participants (Nind 2008; McCallion and McCarron 2004; Fraser & Fraser 2000; Perry and Felce 2004; Barrett and Kirk 2000).  However, there is little research that actually describes in detail this method of data collection used in research with young people with ID.   This presentation describes the use of focus groups over a period of fifteen months in an attempt to meaningfully engage the views of a group of students and young people with ID.    It sought to understand what kind of life these young people wanted as they transitioned from school into post school life.  Two young people with ID and the author came together as co-researchers in a team to conduct the focus groups.  This presentation will describe in detail the data collection tool highlighting the significant challenges inherent with utilising this research tool effectively and provides tentative recommendations for future use of such a method in this form of research.




Gothelf, Carole R. & Katerina Chatzistyli, Matthew Weiler, AHRC, New York, NY, USA.

The American Dream: Destination Employment

 This proposed workshop will provide a prototype for practitioners about the tools and supports necessary to develop successful outcomes in higher education and beyond. The prototype was developed by AHRC New York City's Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program. It has enabled fully inclusive college experiences and led to meaningful employment and a valued social role for students with intellectual disabilities upon graduation. The prototype will include tools for the following areas of practice: person centered planning, academic classes, mentorship, agency supports, internships, travel training, social networking, community building and engagement, career development and job placement. Aspects of the prototype will include the following: 1) development of students vision and goals, 2) flexible services and individualized supports, 3) access to college life and local community, 4) work internships based on students person centered plans 5) ongoing services and supports during college years, as well as, alumni supports after graduation.




Grace, Elizabeth, Jason C. Osmolak Linnea & L. Rademaker. National Louis University Chicago, IL, USA.

Autism and Real Life: In the Intersections, What Can we Learn from Going Multi-locus?


Three presenters speak about Autism from different angles of vision, each closer than the last.  Jason Osmolak does a phenomenological study with Aspergian co-researchers helping him understand their experiences throughout school and thereafter. While Osmolak is not on the spectrum himself, his respectful stance as co-researcher gives him a singular trustworthiness.  Linnea Rademaker, as teacher and researcher, speaks here from a stance of multi-vocality.   Her primary relation to the Autism spectrum is through motherhood, while her researcher-identity enables unique modes of analysis and growth within her own perceptions.  Elizabeth Grace begins the work of taking up some of the myriad (some hilarious) intersectional issues of Autism and Being a Woman/Girl/Female using a philosophical stance and the angle of vision of Self.  As Mother is closer than Professional, Self may be closest of all.  But what will this give us, taken together?  Join us to find out: open discussion follows.




Grace, Elizabeth J., National Louis University, Chicago, IL, USA

Autistic and Female: They Say That's Rare, and So Many Other Things

In this paper I discuss some of the intersectional issues involved in being Autistic and female at the same time.  Some are funny, hilarious even.  Some are sad and damaging.  Some seem merely interesting and could go either way.  But I think all are worthy of investigation and discussion, so I will address them both philosophically and personally.  Topics include being rare, male-brainedness, empathy, sexuality and Theory of Mind, among others.  At the time of the paper presentation I’ll provide an annotated bibliography for the enjoyment of the audience, so everyone may access some of the primary documents from which I have gotten these notions, both historical and current, and then wrap by facilitating an interactive conversation to begin to collect and examine ideas existing in the room among us.




Gragoudas, Stelios, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA.

Connecting Special Education and Disability Studies Through Self-Determination.


Disability Studies and special education has not always been on the same wavelength. Special education has been criticized of placing students with disabilities into a separate track, which causes them to receive an education that does not prepare them for a successful future. However, under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, schools are required to include self-determination skills into the general curriculum. Self-determination skills include, problem solving, choice-making, decision-making and self-advocacy skills, which disabilities studies and special education view as important skills that students should know.  This presentation will discuss a professional development class in which teachers learn how to include self-determination skills into the general curriculum.




Hale, Chris, The College of Staten Island, CUNY, New York, NY, USA.

Special Education Law as Moral Compass: Indications for Teacher Preparation


This paper attempts to clarify the moral imperatives embodied by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) and to make the argument that these imperatives must be acknowledged by special education teacher preparation programs and adopted as guiding principles that should inform their basic purpose and organization. 




Hancock, Christine, Friends of Children and Families, Inc. Head Start, Boise, ID.

Setting Standards, Limiting Scope: Parental Response to Disability in Special Education Textbooks

What narrative of parental response to disability is typically presented to pre-service educators? What is at stake in this narrative for a lifespan perspective of disability? This presentation will link these two issues to consider how and why researchers have focused on parents' response to the diagnosis of disability in their child.  Presentations of parental response to disability in 60 introductory special education textbooks from 1950-2011 will be analyzed to consider the typical narrative presented to future teachers.  The constraints that this narrative creates for families and for individuals with disabilities will be discussed, as well as the implications to a lifespan perspective of disability. 




Howerter, Catherine & Teri Marx, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Co-Teaching Models for Pre-Service Teacher Education: Reframing the Ability in Disability


Pre-service general education teachers rarely receive adequate training in their teacher preparation programs on special education practices, despite the fact that an increasing number of students with disabilities are being educated in general education settings. This paper presentation will engage participants in an active dialogue on current research findings with regard to co-teaching practices and shaping pre-service teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities. Participants will gain an understanding of current research findings on co-teaching models, as well as instructional strategies for use in higher education teacher preparation programs. References and considerations for future research will also be shared.;



Jameel, Syed Salma. National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi, India.

Disability and Friendships: A Trajectory to Facilitate Participation in Colleges


The word college encapsulates our mind with place occupied by a young lot of people around, who are different but equal. These youngsters take no time to become friends. Students with disabilities become part of the college campus and make efforts to indulge themselves in friendships. Research shows that students with disabilities perform better with the support of their friends/peers. The present paper tries to understand how these friends perceive the support being received by the students with disabilities in colleges. A sample of 74 such friends/peers of students with disabilities of various colleges was identified. They were asked to fill a questionnaire on perceived support for students with disabilities. The questionnaire asks questions on various kinds of support being provided to the students with disabilities. This also asks questions about the friendliness of students with disabilities and their engagement with the other students. The presentation also uses the interviews of students with disabilities taken on various themes related to the support being received from their friends in and outside the colleges.




Johnson, Lisa, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Schooling, Socializing, and Someone's Future, but Whose?


All too often research focusing on children with disabilities is conducted about them rather than with them. This ethnographic study focusing on middle school students with disabilities challenges this practice by privileging the students and providing a space in which they are encouraged to share their stories related to schooling, socializing and the challenges of planning for the future in a school that stifles their voices. Data trends to be discussed include a mismatch that exists between students' aspirations and curriculum in special education courses, lack of student participation in decisions related to education and vocation, and challenges students face in participating in socialization with peers. Additionally, attention will be given to examining the role of the researcher, also disabled, and the challenges she faced in managing her perceived role in the school as both professional teacher and researcher as well as a member of the same marginalized group she studied.




Kane, Janine & Lynn Gallagher, Loras College, Dubuque, IA

Is It Smart to Use a Smartpen?


This study examined the experiences of undergraduate students and professors at a small, private, liberal arts college who use assistive technology, specifically a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, to determine benefits for students and professors. The Livescribe Pulse Smartpen has a microphone to record clear sound that occurs in the proximity of the pen as well as an infrared camera that captures everything that is written or drawn on the supplied dot matrix paper. The professors who participated in the study attended a one-day, summer Universal Design for Learning (UDL) training and began the following semester to use the technology in a variety of ways, including daily class notes taken by one note-taker, class notes taken by each student in the class so all could experience writing with it, description of sample mathematics problems' solutions, etc. This research supplements current research of usage of the pen in K-12 educational settings.




Kim, Keonhee, Hyoshin Lee, & Chanwoong Park, Daegu University, South Korea.

Revealing Competences of Children with Autism Interacting with Electronic Toys.


This study examined the social competencies of three male children with autism based on their responses to visual, auditory and tactile stimuli generated by an electronic toy. Twenty-eight sessions of their interactions with the toy were observed and videotaped. Notes taken by the observers were analyzed by the type and frequency and the nature of responses to the toys. The findings show that children with autism demonstrated increased attention span and imitation. They tended to respond better to the stimuli that they prefer or are familiar with. Findings from this study show that interactive toys that generate stimuli preferred by children with autism can be utilized to improve the type and nature of competencies needed for social interaction.




Kim, Hyun Uk, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, USA.

Myths and Misconceptions of Autism: What Every Teacher Needs to Learn, Relearn, and Unlearn.


Ever since Kanner's publication on children with autism in 1943, numerous advances have been made from biomedical fields to interventions. However, there are still misconceptions and myths that far exceed any scientific advances and/or findings, which might have resulted from the medical perspective that autism has been consistently viewed. In the present article, alternative perspectives are discussed and presented to refute misconceptions and myths about autism based on a sociocultural lens. Through shifting our perspectives from the medical to the sociocultural perspective, this proposal provides teachers in classroom settings with different perspectives towards teaching and learning from students with autism in school and beyond.




Lalvani, Priya, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA.

Institutionalized Discourses on the Education of Students with Disabilities: Preparing Teachers for Critical Educational Practices


This presentation examines dominant cultural narratives on the education of students with disabilities that are embedded in constructed notions of normalcy and stigma.  Based on data from three qualitative studies with teachers and parents, I discuss unchallenged assumptions in education that position students with disabilities as other, and lend institutional support to their segregation in schools.  The presentation makes a case for a conceptual shift in teacher education; moving away from special education dogma and towards an understanding of inclusive practices as linked with equitable education.  Recommendations are made for infusing sociocultural perspectives on disability throughout teacher education.




Lambert, Rachel, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY.

Authoring our Mathematical Selves


During my fieldwork, Shaundra, a 12-year-old Latina, told me that she was simply "not a math person," leaving me to wonder how young people come to understand themselves so fixedly as particular kinds of math learners. Focusing on a group of Latina/o young people with disabilities in an inclusive classroom and including both longitudinal participant observation and interviews, this study asks how individuals make sense of their place in the complex world of a math classroom.  How do different kinds of mathematics pedagogy construct ability and disability in mathematics?  How do gender, language, disability, race, sexuality, class, families and friendship position young people as particular kinds of math learners, and using all these materials, how do these young people "author" their mathematical selves?  




Laria, Laura M., CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, USA.

Strategies to Help Facilitate High School to College Transition Using Effective Support


As people with disabilities continue to fight for acceptance, civil rights and justice, they may encounter obstacles including oppression from their own denial or lack of parental support. Transitioning from high school to college, young adults with disabilities are faced with challenges related to starting college and whether or not to disclose their disabilities. I will address strategic collaboration between students with disabilities, their families and school counselors in facilitating this transition and in understanding the benefits of effective support.  Identifying and finding the appropriate accommodations and support for students can serve as symbols of liberty and provide the tools to achieve independence and self-determination.  The support of family, faculty and the right adaptive technology help in the social, emotional and physical needs of high school students as they look to move on to college.  Such support is essential in the transition and in students' ability to succeed in college.




Lee, Yoon-Joo, Brooklyn College, CUNY, USA; Susan L. Recchia, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Critical Role of Disability Studies in Developing Teacher Competencies in Inclusive Early Childhood Classrooms


Examining data from six case studies within early childhood classrooms through a Disability Studies in Education (DSE) perspective, we aimed to gain a richer, more contextualized understanding of how teachers can support the social experiences of preschoolers with special needs. Classroom observations of preschoolers between the ages of 2-1/2 and 5 years and teacher inquiry data were analyzed, and our cross classroom analysis yielded six teacher competencies which were deemed essential to enacting inclusive practices. Looking holistically at teacher competencies through a DSE lens allows us to move beyond simple statements of what to do, leading to clearer explanations for weaving together theory and teacher beliefs and practices.




Lewis, Katherine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


Understanding Mathematical Learning Disabilities through Accessibility, Compensation and Re-mediation

Research on mathematical learning disabilities is fundamentally limited because of the exclusive adherence to the deficit-model.  I posit an alternative approach to the study of MLDs, conceptualizing MLDs in terms of cognitive difference and relying upon a qualitative analysis of individual students in the process of learning.  In this paper I (1) understand the difficulties of students with MLDs in terms of issues of access, (2) recognize one student's outstanding ability to compensate for her cognitive differences, and (3) describe the design of an alternative instructional approach which values and builds upon the student's understanding and provides alternative way of accessing the core mathematical content. 




Linder Berman, Diane, Queens College, CUNY, NY, USA.

Embracing Inclusion Lessons Learned by a Parent and Teacher


I am a teacher and a parent of a child with developmental disabilities (PDD-NOS, and ADHD.) Four years ago I moved from NYC in order to place my son in an inclusive classroom midway through his kindergarten year. (He was failing to function in a 12-1-1 class, and we were not willing to move him to a 6-1-1 class as recommended by the district.) His transformation was so immediate, profound, and lasting that I felt compelled to write it up. Two years ago, I wrote and self published a book about our experiences leading to our embrace of inclusion and his early experiences in a general education classroom. Topics I will discuss in this presentation include: (1) The Importance of Unconditional Acceptance; (2) Balancing High Expectations with Acceptance (3) Let the Child be the Guide. (4) Beyond Academics (5) Creating something Magical.




Mac, Sylvia, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA.

My Journey from Teacher-Savior to Abled Teacher:  A Foucauldian Analysis of Special Education

This paper explores the experiences and reflections of a special education teacher by drawing from autoethnographical methodology as well as using Foucault's (1975) concept of exclusion and correct training to analyze the institution of special education.  This paper presentation will encourage discussion from audience members regarding their views and experiences with special education.  Moreover, it will provide an opportunity for reflexivity regarding the role of the able-bodied special education teacher and disabled students by asking how a critical understanding of special education and the role of the special education teacher can help to foster a learning community in which both the teacher and student are equal contributors.




McCall, Zach, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA.

Boundaries, Barriers, and Benefits in the Transition Stories of Four Successful College Students with Disabilities

Results of a series of in-depth interviews conducted with four college students with disabilities are reported. Participants' transition stories tracing their movement from high school to college are analyzed in terms of their high school preparation, family involvement, and college disability practices. The students drew on a range of resources for their transitions, including self-advocacy, family cultural and social capital, and inclusive school programming. Discussion topics include the boundary work that participants engaged in to separate themselves from other students with disabilities, participants' ambivalent identification with disability labels, social and interpersonal barriers, and social class factors related to family involvement.




McCloskey, Erin and Colette Cann, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA.

What a Difference a Label Makes: Shortchanging Students with Disabilities in an Afterschool Tutoring Program

This study investigates the tutoring experience of two middle school students and their tutors as they negotiate understandings of ability and disability in an afterschool tutoring program in an urban school district. One middle school student, Lance, had been considered for the honors track in school but was instead placed in the general track (he knows of this decision) while the other student, Kristina, is considered for the inclusion program but is instead kept in the self-contained special education program, as she explains it, "...'cause of my spelling." The tutors, college-age students who volunteer in this afterschool program interact with these students differently based on how these students position themselves and from their notions of what it means to "be" a student with a disability and a student with the potential for an honors program. 




McLaughlin, Kate, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA.

The Work of Special Education: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Documents Contextualizing IDEA Amendments and Reauthorizations Since 1975


Over the past three decades of amendments and reauthorizations of IDEA, a great deal of work has been produced, mandated, implemented, researched, debated and legislated yet concerns that drove the authorization of PL 94-142 remain present today. This paper presents the findings of a critical discourse analysis of legal and academic documents produced around the time of the IDEA amendments and reauthorizations of 1986 &1988, 1990, 1997 and 2004, as a means to answer the following questions: What work has the IEP actually done throughout history? How have the Academic and Legal Institutional Discourses coordinated to create this work? How has this work   impacted perspectives of disability in schools?




Morton, Missy, University of Cantebury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Using DSE to 'Notice, Recognize and Respond' to Tools of Exclusion and Opportunities for Inclusion in New Zealand

In this paper I describe three ways that Disability Studies in Education (DSE) informs our work on curriculum assessment in New Zealand. First, DSE provides a framework for interrogating practices of exclusion in education. Education has a (long) history of being unequally available to all students. Traditionally, in New Zealand as elsewhere, the role of assessment (and expert assessors) has been to decide which students get access to which types of education. Second, DSE suggests possibilities for inclusive education. In this paper I describe a New Zealand project to support teachers to use narrative assessment as an approach that supports teachers to notice, recognize and respond to students' competences; to get to know their students' interests and strengths and use these to support learning; to build relationships with their students and their students' families. Finally, I describe how DSE reminds us to be always vigilant to the pull of powerful normatizing discourses. 




Using a Disability Studies Perspective to Reinforce the Links Between Assistive Technology and Literacy

Naraian, Srikala, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; Mark Surabian, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, USA.


Despite research that documents the promise of assistive technology (AT) to enable students with disabilities to attain important educational outcomes, it continues to remain under-utilized in schools. A review of current research in AT suggests an insufficient synthesis of technology, curriculum and pedagogy within its theoretical framing and a methodological orientation that locates deficits within students while reinforcing narrow conceptions of literacy.  In this paper, we explore literacy as an important lens to situate technology-based support for students with disabilities within curriculum and pedagogy as well as to reposition students with disabilities as competent in the classroom. Specifically, we examine constructs within socio-cultural approaches to literacy, theories of multimodality, and critical literacy, to suggest both the complexity of the effects of AT on student learning hitherto unexplored in AT research, as well as the significance of embedding it within a generalized literacy pedagogy for all students.




Osmolak, Jason C., National Louis University, Wheeling, IL, USA.

A Truly Special Education: A Phenomenological Study with Adolescents and Adults with Asperger's Syndrome


This presentation is a phenomenological study of adolescents and adults that have experienced education and post-secondary life under the specific Autism diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome (AS).  The proposal is an interpretivist look at the educational experiences of those diagnosed with AS by conducting semi-structured interviews with co-researchers (18+) with the ability to reflect in detail about their educational experiences and transitions into the post-education world.  Interviews focused on specific areas of the co-researchers' educational experiences including: motivations for learning and socializing, reactions to peer/adult labeling, co-researchers' self-efficacy of their abilities both in and out of school, and experiences in the variety of different educational placements offered to students with disabilities throughout the past two decades.  Interviews are to be examined to identify trends, similarities, differences, key words, etc. to improve the educational experiences of students with disabilities and to provide data for teachers/administrators to provide the best possible education for students with AS in the future.




Petersen, Amy and Susie Lund, University of Northern Iowa, IA, USA.

Facilitating Equilateral Contributions: Parent and Educators Perceptions of the IEP Meeting


This research presentation examined the perceptions of parents and educators when the Penny Reed, Let's Put Planning Back in Individualized Education Programs, IEP meeting framework was used. Findings revealed differing and often conflicting understandings of the IEP planning meeting. While parents generally felt more at ease and likely to contribute, educators struggled with their roles and a loss of "control" when using the Reed model. Implications for educators and parents are shared.




Project Eye-to-Eye

Understanding LD and ADHD: The Journeyto Educational and Personal Empowerment

  Isaiah Walker & Lizabeth Murphy

The Think Different Diplomats will walk the audience through their journeys of educational and personal change, providing a new understanding of LD/ADHD and “learning” itself. At the core is a message of personal empowerment, academic success, and educational revolution for people who think differently.

About Project Eye-to-Eye:Learning Disabled. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Too often, it also ends there. That’s where Project Eye-to-Eye comes in. As the only national mentoring program pairing kids with LD/ADHD with similarly labeled college students, Project Eye-to-Eye encourages labeled children to become their own best advocates. These kids need a safe place. They need, like all children, to be heard. And most of all, they need self-confidence. With Project Eye-to-Eye, they find not just a safe place, but also a great place. And it’s fun! “Regular” school reminds children with LD/ADHD of what they can’t do. With Project Eye-to-Eye, it’s all about can do. Using an art-based curriculum, individual and group projects guide children to unearth their own potential, in their own way and on their own timetable. Art removes the child’s barriers to learning: there are neither rules nor expected outcomes. Each child learns his strengths and comes to value them. They see that there are many ways to solve a problem. Because they set their own expectations, they aim high, and use their newfound skills and confidence back in the classroom.  “Graduates” of Project Eye-to-Eye’s mentoring programs overwhelmingly report increased self-esteem, a newfound ability to self-advocate and a greater appreciation of how their own minds work. The label? It’s still there, but it now also speaks of strengths. 



Podlucká, Dušana. Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, USA.

Dis/abling Learning in a Community College.

In this paper I will discuss the issues of providing support and education to students with disabilities, specifically to autistic students, from the perspective that integrates Disability Studies and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and understands both, learning and disability as socially produced and constructed processes. Through presenting some of the findings from my research with young autistic woman and her learning experiences at community college I will discuss and illustrate the challenges of learning and teaching of autistic student. In order for meaningful learning I call for the necessity of overcoming individualistic notion of disability, learning, and human development prevalent in teaching and institutional practices.




Rademaker, Linnea, National Louis University, Wheeling, IL, USA

Using Multi-vocality to Examine the Stresses and Challenges of Raising a Child with Asperger’s—Mother, Teacher, Researcher


I connect my work to the theme of the conference by illuminating my journey from my multiple perspectives as I sought to help my son grow and flourish inside and outside the school context.   While I initially, as his mother, wanted to help my son seek ‘normalcy’ I eventually learned to celebrate and support his uniqueness.  This kind of understanding can help educators, parents and students to realize the perspectives of the other, and move us from what IS to what COULD BE for our children and ourselves.  While I set out to reflect on my experiences in order to improve my understanding of my son, I discovered that such reflection helps me to better understand myself, my multi-vocality, and to make meaning out of these experiences that can inform my future actions and activities.




Rotuno-Johnson, Rosemary, Independent Scholar

A Framework for Analyzing the Democratic Potential of K-12 Curriculum and Beyond


In my presentation I will share the curricular analysis tool I created to deconstruct the discourse of a popular K-12 teaching approach, differentiated instruction (Tomlinson, 1999; Tomlinson, Brimijoin, & Narvaez, 2008).  The tool, derived from the methodology used by Cherryholmes (1999) and Skrtic (1995), may be used to analyze both K-12 and higher education curriculum and policy to evaluate the degree to which the rhetoric reflects an orientation toward 1) providing all students with the opportunity to learn within a classroom containing a diverse group of learners; 2) providing students with a variety of learning experiences to nurture intellectual, social, and moral growth; 3) recognition that all students are deserving of an education that helps them to reach their full learning potential.




Janet S. Sauer, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO, USA;  Ware, Linda, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY, USA;  Heather Albanesi, & Ida Dilwood,

Accessing Disability Studies in Higher Education: A Case Study


In his speech in August, 2010, President Obama addressed postsecondary education within the context of global positioning and with a focus on increasing access.  This paper describes the efforts of a small working-group of faculty representing the fields of Sociology, Special Education, English, Language & Literature, Theatre & Dance, and the Arts & Humanities in Healthcare to bring Disability Studies (DS) into their undergraduate programs at one American western university. The goals of this group are four-fold: (1) to change the general discourse around diversity and inclusiveness(2) to provide undergraduates with meaningful engagement with people who experience disability (3) to introduce a DS theoretical framework into the college curriculum across disciplines (4) to create an undergraduate certificate in DS. In this paper, we outline the strategies the group has employed to work on the four goals above and the challenges and barriers that have emerged.




Schlessinger, Sarah L. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

The One-Two Punch of Special Education Discourse and Audit Culture


30 years of research shows that inclusive education can improve educational outcomes for students with labeled disabilities does not detrimentally affect the performance of students without labeled disabilities (McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998). Yet, in the United States, inclusive practices are not a widely enacted practice (Connor, 2009).  I contend that the dominant special education discourse in conjunction with an audit culture (Lipman, 2004; Taubman, 2009) work against the adoption of inclusive pedagogical stances and practices, and reinforce the use of exclusionary practices in schools. In the proposed paper I will examine the intersection of these two discourses with the hopes of exposing fissures and elucidating the points of possibility for inclusive education.




Schoeters, Ludo, Marc Callebaut, and Patrick Schelfhout, Our New Future, Ghent, Belgium; Susan Gabel, National-Louis University, Chicago, IL, USA; Elisabeth De Schauwer & Geert VanHove, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.

Interplay as a Key for Relational Accessibility


We want to work around the concept of 'interplay' as a way of actively working together in a self-advocacy context. This is intentional and looking for positive outcomes for both sides. Relationship is central. It is all about connection. Interplay is an ethical way of working together. It is about the encounter with the other: I am somebody and I am recognized in what I am. You have to cross, to come over and meet the other person. It is about coming out of your comfort zone. Relational accessibility is a searching process: what is necessary for one person is not for another person. You have to be able to talk about what you need, why you need it and how we can do it. It is not like a checklist. There is no hierarchy in what needs are more important. We have a responsibility to bring it to a good end together. People understand accessibility in different ways and we have to make compromises. It is like walking on a tightrope. You can always solve things and you have to be very creative. Creativity is very important to understand how somebody can participate.




Skeele, Rosemary W., & Concetta Russo, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA.

Coherent Compliance in Transition Planning: Role of Information Literacy and Emerging Technologies to Sustain and Complete a Postsecondary Degree


Assistive technologies are part of the larger academic support network available to all students in most postsecondary settings - a model that many secondary schools have yet to adopt. To survive in college, LD students should be exposed to modern technologies throughout their middle and secondary school careers. Today, postsecondary students use smart phones, laptops, tablets, iPads, iPods, e-readers, Web 2.0 technologies, software, course content systems, apps, Internet, virtual games, social networks, and are intensely information literate. LD students must arrive at college ready to use these new technologies as well as others to accommodate their special needs. This research explores some of these technologies as well as Web 2.0 skills and the "cloud," newer tools that offer exceptional possibilities for LD students. School districts must provide the quality transition programming, including technologies to which the disabled are entitled. Currently, many districts are compliant, but not coherent.




Slepickova, Lenka & Karel Pancocha, Institute for Research in Inclusive Education,

Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic

Contextualizing Disability Within the Czech Republic: Between Invisibility and Inclusion


Full acceptance and low level of prejudice towards people with disabilities in the context of formal and non-formal relations is a necessary precondition for the successful inclusive process within all types of institutions. Our paper aims to analyze the context of inclusive processes in the Czech Republic through researching attitudes of the general public towards people with disabilities to find out where on the road between their "invisibility" and "inclusion" we are.  In our research, carried out in December 2011, we administered an adapted version of Bogardus scale of social distance to a representative sample of Czech population. The questions were aimed to provide information about various types of disabilities. The analysis will look closely at the level of acceptance in educational settings and also at focus on generational comparison. We will focus on the connotations of different types of disabilities and their impact on the level of social acceptance.




Smith, Phil, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA; Kimberly Millstead, Ypsilanti Public Schools, Farmington, MI, USA.

The Corporatization of Education in Detroit: Implications for (Dis)ability


In Michigan, a statewide Educational Achievement Authority will take over the persistently lowest performing 5% of schools, beginning with 15 schools in Detroit. Through radically- conservative, Republican designed legislation, and funded by conservative foundations, the Authority seems focused on corporatizing public education, by setting up a state-wide system of charter schools, under the guise of improving educational performance. Almost completely African American, with astronomic levels of impoverishment, Detroit and its schools will serve as a national model for segregating students who are at risk or are labeled as having disabilities, especially those with significant disabilities. In essence, the state is systematically dismantling public education, creating in its place a a two-tier model of education: elite, corporately-managed charters; and public schools attended by those who are selectively, and intentionally weeded out. Such a system is designed to serve as a national model for educational reform, using local, parent control rhetoric.




Smith, Phil, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA; Kimberly Millstead, Ypsilanti Public Schools, Farmington, MI, USA.

Rejecting Analytic Statistics in (Dis)ability Studies in Education


Brief description of presentation: Analytic statistics, as a field, is the normative outcome of social cartographic processes of industrialization and modernization that began in late 19th and early 20th century America. It has been used as a technology to segregate the normative hegemonic class from abnormative groups through hidden and iatrogenic processes of pathologizing diagnosis. A set of cultural practices, social institutions, and ideological processes, it continues to create taxonomies of human difference that serve the needs of a Western, neoliberal, capitalist culture. On moral grounds, in part because of this history, and in part because of the ways in which disability studies in education scholars have unpacked the ventrioloquizing tools of objectivist, modernist science, they must reject the use of analytic statistics in their exploration and understanding of the ways in which disability plays out in schools and other educational institutions.




Smith, Robin M., SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz NY, USA.

Rethinking Functional Behavioral Analysis and Motivation: Alternatives to Commoditization


This session discusses alternatives to the mass production of compliance and extrinsic rewards that frame behavior as a commodity for sale.




Strax, Carol, Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY, USA; Marshall Strax, College of Saint Elizabeth, Nanuet, NY, USA; Bruce Cooper, Fordham University, New York, NY, USA; Thomas Strax, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway Township, NJ, USA.

Kids In The Middle: The Micropolitics of Special Education


The purpose of this community panel is to introduce the audience to a new model of special education introduced in the soon to be released book titled Kids In The Middle: The Micropolitics of Special Education and involve the audience in a lively discussion to critique and extend the ideas presented. The new model, which grows out of the voices of the stakeholders involved in the process of educating children with disabilities (students, parents, teachers, administrators, attorneys, adult educators, etc), strives to put forward a disability studies perspective for educating children with disabilities.  The new model seeks to transform special education as we know it - from an approach grounded in the concepts of promises, privilege, and power - into a system built on caring, compassion, and the common good.




Thompson, Ashleigh, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA.

Social Class, Disability and College Students: A Quantitative Framework for New York City


National data show that college students with disabilities do not attain higher education at rates equal to their peers without disabilities.  This paper describes the landscape of baccalaureate-granting institutions in New York City, exploring socioeconomic and disability status of students in this context. Analysis of administrative data shows significant numbers of students receiving need-based aid, and yet NYC colleges with lower percentages of these students report higher percentages of students with disabilities.  These quantitative data are presented against survey data from campus Disability Services Officers.  Theoretical lenses of political economy, meritocracy and disability studies are used to interrogate the ways colleges create environments that enable or hinder student success. 



Tomlinson, Sally, Oxford University, Oxford, England.

Cutting Costs in The UK: Facing Problems without Funding

The latest Governmental Green Paper is desperate to cut down on Special Education Needs costs. By 2014 the government to aims to put the duty on schools to deal with problems without providing any money.




Torre, Kylah, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY, USA.

Building Youth Activism around Dis/ability Studies


Research in Dis/ability Studies could and should be used for social movement, perhaps to inspire youth action within the context of pedagogical activities leading to activism.  In her book, Radical Possibilities, Jean Anyon sets forth a process for encouraging the political engagement of young people.  While her context in Radical Possibilities is the creation of a social movement around school reform, her ideas could be used to inform a movement for disability rights, with the aid of research in Dis/ability Studies.  After all, the goal of Dis/ability Studies is not only to record and publish the experiences of disabled people, but to use research to create a more equitable and inclusive society. 




VanHove, Geert, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.

With Elisabeth De Schauwer, Kathleen Mortier, Lien Claes, Katrien De Munck, Meggie Verstichele, Caroline Vandekinderen, Karen Leyman, Leen Thienpondt

Supporting Graduate Students toward "A Pedagogy of Hope": Resisting and Redefining Traditional Notions of Disability


This article describes the process by which faculty at Ghent University (Belgium) enculturate graduate students into a Disability Studies in Education perspective within a culture that actively supports segregation of students with disabilities. Our curriculum centers around "a pedagogy of hope"-a way of thinking and working in which problems, solutions, and roles are defined differently from traditional models of disability. To illustrate this work, we present five "key incidents" (real-life vignettes) that have occurred within day-to-day interactions with students and provide an analysis of the significance of these incidents in regard to student growth. We conclude with a discussion of ten basic elements of DSE that we consider as central to research, teaching, and action.




VanHove, Geert, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.

A Mother Only Needs One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Five (1255) Words


Disability Studies is permanently questioned by its most critical scholars. An important precursor of these critical colleagues is Fiona Kumari Campbell. Campbell states that disability studies within research and literature (until now) mainly has concentrated on the practices and production specifically by examining attitudes and barriers that contribute to the subordination of persons with disabilities in the society. In relation to this perspective, social changes are focused on reforming negative attitudes, assimilating persons with disabilities into normative civil society and providing compensatory initiatives and safety nets in cases of enduring vulnerability. (Campbell, 2008). Together with Campbell we think we should try to invert this approach and concentrate on things we can learn while studying "ableism." As an academic trying to work as close as possible to 'the real world' almost weekly I get messages from that real world. Some of these messages can be seen as the best reports available in trying to understand what Campbell has called 'the Ableist project'. In opposition to Campbell we start from practice to theory while presenting an email in 1255 words of an ex-student, now mother with a child she writes me about. In parallel with the email we want to present different layers (and we will invite the participants to make an active contribution) to connect 'real lives from the real world' with the academic process of theorization




Verstichele, Meggie and Leen Thienpondt, Ghent University, Belgium

Students Through the Lens of 'Disability Identity', At The University and Beyond

The Policy unit Diversity and Gender, founded in 2008, invests a lot in concrete actions for students with disabilities. Next to that, they also want to know more about how students think about different aspects of the university.  At the moment the policy unit invests in a  large qualitative research, using the lens of disability identity. Three students participated in multiple in-depth interviews.  A fourth graduate student, also a colleague of the researcher, participated. With her, the researcher also discussed themes, concepts and literature. Because of her influence and position, she can be seen as a co-researcher. She plays an important role in taking in disability identity 'beyond' university. In this paper, the researchers will report upon the thematic and theoretical analysis using the concept of difference/differentiation (Bronwyn, 2009) and take you through their process of analyzing using a grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1976).




Voulgarides, Catherine Kramarczuk, New York University, NY, New York, USA.

Fragmentation of Harm, Legal Compliance and Disproportionality in Special Education: "We don't have a problem"


My presentation takes into consideration the existing body of literature on disproportionality and places it in conversation with the legal structures, most specifically the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, that currently govern special education. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in one district that has a history of disproportionality and noncompliance with federal and state special education laws but was compliant in the year of research. I argue that although there are very few overt forms of discrimination present in the district, there is a 'fragmentation of harm' (Payne 1986) that allows for racially and ethnically diverse students to remain in special education and be disserviced despite the 'best intentions' of social actors within the district. In the end I provide space to critically engage with legal structures that are designed to protect and ensure the rights of students with disabilities but ultimately fail to do so when addressing racial/ethnic disproportionality.




Wilgus, Gay, City College, CUNY, New York, NY, USA; Linda Ware, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY, USA.

Algorithms of Access: Immigrant Mothers in Pursuit of Service Provision


Our presentation begins with the narratives told by two mothers of children with disabilities who immigrated to New York City as adults and a third mother whose parents emigrated to New York City. In our analysis, we propose that (1) race, class, culture, and language can impact mothers' access to disability resources for themselves and their children, (2) cultural stereotypes may influence interactions between school professionals and parents, and (3) the type and severity of disability matters when negotiating educational access. We argue that the complex interactions among these multiple factors disrupt the assumption of an objective context (where race/ethnicity, culture, gender, language, social class, and beliefs about disability are irrelevant) and create "algorithms of access" that influence negotiations between parents and school professionals.  




Ware, Linda, Brianna Snyder, Caroline Gerard, Tori Starr, Maryanne Agius, Jessica Passick, & Jaime Randall, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY, USA.

Left in the Dark-Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Meets the NYS Standards


This presentation describes the development of curriculum informed by disability studies in an interdisciplinary course piloted at Geneseo (Spring 2012). Contemplating disability studies throughout life-in school, and beyond is a priority that merits the attention of general and special educators. Unfortunately pre-service teachers-whether in general or special education-have limited opportunity to develop curriculum that draws on the insights developed by DSE scholarship. We view this presentation as a response to the call for contemplating disability studies in education throughout life: in school and beyond-by focusing on the development of curriculum designed to explicitly link DSE values to practice. The curriculum presented here exceeds the trap of curriculum that reduces instruction to resolving disability through strategies of claims to "sameness" (Mitchell, Snyder & Ware, in press). It responds to Fiona Campbell's invitation to advocates of inclusion as a "panacea" to disability "exclusion" to step back and re-imagine how an educational pedagogy meaningfully bisected by disability as difference that matters! The crafting of such an educational space might involve pedagogical approaches centering upon a concept of disability as experientially non-replicable from one body to the next; particularly in education, where the goal of hiding one's disability has become so pronounced (Snyder & Mitchell, 187). It would critically consider the lives of P-12 students as active citizens in a world we have yet to fully imagine (McRuer, 2006).




White, Julia M., & Eileen T. Radigan, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.

Novice Secondary Inclusive Educators: Contextual Factors on Entering the Field


This presentation will provide initial findings of a study of how new dually-certified educators of students with and without disabilities establish their roles and the relationships among contextual factors. How these novice educators' responsibilities are defined has implications for the structure and content of teacher preparation programs and induction programs, which in turn has implications for teacher retention and attrition (Sindelar et al., 2010). The purpose of this critical qualitative inquiry is to understand the lived experiences of novice dually-certified secondary inclusive educators and how they are situated within their schools and the educational system. This study will also describe these same teachers' decision-making processes as they decide to remain in the field or to leave teaching.




Wu, Yue, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA.

Inclusion in Higher Education: The Status Quo of Accessibility in Universities in China


Accessibility on campus is one of the important aspects which determine if the students with disabilities can receive higher education in an inclusive setting. My study focuses on this issue in China, the country with the largest population of persons with disabilities. By examining the corresponding laws and policies and the accessible conditions on major campuses in Beijing, the possible solutions of improving inclusion in higher education are put forward. Accessibility involves various issues, and the needs of persons with different disabilities should be considered. This study concentrates on accommodations for persons with hearing loss, which are the largest group, making up 34% of persons with disabilities in China. Moreover, it focuses on various forms of accessibility for persons with physical disabilities.




Young, Kathryn, & Kathleen Luttenegger, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.

Inclusive Unit and Lesson Planning: Putting Theory into Practice


This paper presents results of implementing the theory of inclusive pedagogy in the construction of inclusive units and lesson plans in urban high schools. Inclusive lesson planning means creating lesson plans that include children who are traditionally excluded (like students of color, students who speak English as an Additional Language, and students with disabilities) from classroom conversations, community, and learning. The units and lessons analyzed through both inductive and deductive means (63 units over 4 semesters) demonstrate ways to change/extend the body of a lesson to make units and lessons more relevant to EVERYBODY in the class, rather than differentiating for a student or two. Key components of inclusive units and lessons include multiple entry and exit points, authenticity, student driven, flexibility of content, applying strategies broadly, and benefiting from other's information. Continued struggles with inclusive lesson planning are also addressed.











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