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History of Disability Studies in Education

Before DSE: The Society for Disabilities Studies (SDS)

The Society for Disability Studies (SDS), an interdisciplinary scholarly organization devoted to disability studies, was organized in 1988. Through most of the 1990s, it remained the clearinghouse of disability studies in the U.S. with its annual conferences and its journal, Disability Studies Quarterly. Three Disability Studies in Education members--Phil Ferguson, Susan Gabel, and Susan Peters--were active in disability studies during the 1990s and their presence kept educational research visible within the U.S. disability studies community. Educators also provided leadership within SDS: Phil Ferguson is a past President of SDS and Susan Gabel is a past Secretary. While all three individuals were also special educators by profession, SDS provided a place where they could experiment with the intersections of disability studies and educational research. By the late 1990's several other DSE members became involved in the SDS annual conferences, including Beth Ferri, Linda Ware, Nancy Rice and others, and currently educational research has a more visible place on the annual program, indicating the deepening of links between critical special education (and other forms of educational research) and disability studies []. Other scholars who were foundational to its development, some of whom have not formally affiliated with DSE, include: James Patton, Tom Skrtic, Carol Christensen, Dorothy Kerzner Lipsky, Alan Gartner, and Dianne Ferguson.

Connecting with the International Community in Disability Studies; Receiving Recognition in the United States

During the 1990s, disability research using a post-positivist lens by critical special educators had been evolving in parts of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in the U.S. Many scholars were members of an organization called the International Council in Inclusive Education (ICIE). In June 1999 Linda Ware, with the support of a Spencer grant, organized an international conference in Rochester, New York, bringing many of these scholars together for the first time in the U.S. This forum allowed the continuation of nascent re-workings toward disability studies in education as it was represented across the Atlantic and Pacific, and in the United States. Ellen Brantlinger was the keynote speaker at the conference; others included Julie Allan, Len Barton, Tony Booth, Sally Tomlinson, Roger Slee, Keith Ballard, Lous Heshusius, and Tom Skrtic, along with a large sampling of graduate students. This conference encouraged continued international engagement with disability studies among educators as characterized in Ideology and the Politics of (In)Exclusion (2004), an international collection of essays by educational researchers edited by Linda.
In addition to the Spencer-supported international conference, The National Endowment for the Humanities provided Linda funds to further the study of disability studies in education. A Disability Studies Seminar at the University of Rochester was held 2000-2001. Her research included the practical application of disability studies in classrooms, resulting in an article Writing, Identity, and the Other: Dare we do Disabilities Studies? published in Journal of Teacher Education (2001), and a collaborative study with secondary teachers, Working Past Pity: What We Make of Disability in Schools in Julie Allan's edited book, Inclusion, Participation and Democracy: What's the Purpose? (2003). Finally, in 2004 a Summer Institute was conducted by Linda, David Mitchell, and Sharon Snyder at University of Chicago, exploring theoretical and practical applications of disability studies in education (

Critical Beginnings of DSE

While Disability Studies has grown as an interdisciplinary academic field of inquiry, Disability Studies in Education is a relatively new phenomenon. In December 1999, Scot Danforth submitted a proposal to the national conference of TASH (The Association for Severely Handicapped) under the name of Coalition for Open Inquiry in Special Education (COISE). At this meeting in Chicago, Scot's co-presenters included Lous Heshusius, Ellen Brantlinger, Chris Kliewer, and Phil Ferguson, and the title of the session was titled Ways of Constructing Lives and Disabilities: The Case for Open Inquiry. The panel asked questions such as: Why should a person with a disability or a teacher or a parent care what the academics say in their research and writings? Why should you care about the seemingly distant and esoteric writings in research journals and university textbooks? What is happening in these words that makes a difference?
As five academic writers and researchers, they discussed the social and political value of current trends and developments in disability research and scholarship, exploring the importance of inquiry and writing for persons concerned with the social valuation and inclusion of persons with disabilities. In brief, they made a case for "open inquiry," an expansion and diversification of what is considered legitimate and valuable writing within special education publications. In particular, they offered a critical response to special education's fierce embrace of positivism as the foundational paradigm in which the field was largely grounded. Positivism is, most simply, a way of doing social science that attempts to imitate the ideology and practices of the natural sciences. A supposed detached objectivity and quantitative measurement are the considered pathways to "finding the truth." Historically, this "hard science" brand of social science has contributed to a series of unfortunate developments in disability services:

  • the assumption that disability is a primarily bio-physical phenomenon consisting of a deficit condition existing within an individual;
  • the assumption that service professionals know better than persons with disabilities and family members what is best for a served individual;
  • the assumption that diagnosed or labeled individuals should be separated from the mainstream population for purposes of treatment.

Although alternative modes of inquiry and forms of scholarship have been developed over the last thirty years, the field of special education remains tightly constrained within the dominant positivist discourse. This is often reflected in the bland, repetitive pages of the many national special education journals and the numerous university texts. Non-positivist (e.g. interpretivist, feminist, critical/Marxist, ethical, postmodern, literary, disability studies, etc.) writings are often marginalized, pressed to devalued fringes of the academic terrain.
In contrast to the dominant, pervasive deficit-driven ideology of traditional special education, these scholars sought to examine the ethical, social, and political problems resulting from the domination of positivist writings in journals and texts. More importantly, the panel explored alternative ways of envisioning, writing about, and talking about the lives and possibilities of persons with disabilities including many traditions of scholarship (social science, humanities, arts, spiritual traditions, etc.) and the numerous voices that have something to say about disability issues.

Forming the DSE as a Special Interest Group of the American Education Research Association

During the 1999 Chicago TASH conference, a group of about thirty "discouraged" disability researchers (many involved in COISE) from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other nations gathered together at the downtown campus of National-Louis University with the purpose of forging a new paradigm of research as an alternative to traditional special education thought. Conversation within the group revolved around questions such as: What should the group be called? Should it be affiliated with TASH, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), or the American Education Research Association (AERA). As is customary, a group of academics could not easily agree on anything. However, Susan Gabel and Linda Ware urged those assembled that "Disability Studies" would be a good choice, and after discussion by the larger group, the name was agreed upon. Meanwhile, Susan informed those assembled that she had already submitted an application with that name to AERA to form a Special Interest Group (SIG). The group present--in retrospect now considered "the other half" of the DSE movement--was ready to proceed whether or not COISE decided to merge with the AERA SIG. After some discussion, the group agreed to adopt the name already on the AERA application filed by Susan, namely, Disability Studies in Education. (

During the first official DSE/SIG business meeting at 2000's AERA conference in New Orleans, Susan Gabel presented a paper on what constituted disability studies. During the subsequent year at AERA in Seattle, she also presented a paper that elaborated upon the first. (Susan's paper).
Susan Gabel and Scot Danforth became the chairpersons for the first two years (2000-2002), followed by Susan Peters and Robin Smith during the third and fourth years (2002-2004). Then, Roger Slee and Nirmala Erevelles (2004-2006), Deborah Gallagher and David Connor (2006-2008), Beth Ferri and Linda Ware (2008-2010), and Christy Ashby and Julie White (2010-2012).
In addition to the DSE chairpersons, program chairs have played a vital role in initiating and maintaining a high quality of presentations in research related to disability studies. Program chairs have been: Deborah Gallagher (2001); Robin Smith and Kagendo Mutua (2002); Kagendo Mutua and Greg Beratan (2003); Greg Beratan and Nirmala Erevelles (2004); Susan Peters, Ellen Brantlinger and Chrysoula Fantaousakis (2005); Beth Ferri and Judith Castle-Bentley (2006); Beth Ferri and Jan Valle (2007); and Jan Valle and Nancy Rice (2008); Nancy Rice and Christy Ashby (2009); Christy Ashby and Emily Nussbaum (2010); Emily Nussbaun and Phil Smith (2011); Phil Smith and Zach McCall (2012).
Beginning in 2006, DSE SIG membership initiated an award to recognize an emerging scholar each year. The DSE/SIG of AERA Award for Emerging Scholar in Disability Studies in Education was awarded to David Connor in 2006, Kathryn Young and Susan Snellgrove in 2007, Dyamaneke Mitchell in 2008, and Christy Ashby in 2009. In 2009, by a vote of the SIG membership at the annual business meeting, the award was changed to "Outstanding Dissertation" to differentiate it from the junior scholar award given at the annual Second City Disability Studies and Education Conference. Emily Nusbaum and Erin McClosky received the Outstanding Dissertation Awards in Disability Studies in Education for 2010, and Heeral Mehta in 2011.

Increasing Accessibility

Members of the DSE SIG decided to request AERA increase its accessibility, and shift toward a culture more inclusive of disability. Several members were able to attend meetings at AERA, including the Policies and Procedures Committee and the Social Justice Committee, in which concerns of the DSE/SIG were shared. In their ongoing negotiations with Felice Levine, the Executive Director of AERA, the DSE/SIG chairpersons Deborah Gallagher and David Connor wrote a White Paper (with Susan Gabel, Beth Ferri, Julie Allan, and Linda Ware) outlining recommendations for increasing accessibility and promoting change. AREA has subsequently requested that all presenters at the 2008 conference come prepared with various formats for their papers and adhere to presenter guidelines that enhance the quality of presentation for all participants. Also, before the 2008 conference Robin Smith, together with David Connor, conducted the first "wheel around" with several of the AERA directors. This experience was eye opening for the AERA directors. Since that conference, AERA has made the following changes to increase accessibility:

  • active promotion/use of comfort rooms
  • bus service between hotel sites
  • clearer markers and maps for restrooms
  • request/expected forms of alternative format for presenters
  • a list of 'etiquette' for presentations to maximize accessibility (still a tough one to 'implement,' but they've gone on record as trying to change the culture of AERA)
  • a member of DSE-SIG continues to consult with AREA and has a walk/wheel around the conference sites to keep issues of accessibility on the table (AERA paper)

Additionally, in 2008, David Connor was appointed for 2 years to the Social Justice Action Committee, thereby bringing disability to the social justice table within AERA. Members from all other "minorities" represented commented they were welcoming of disability as a core issue related to access and equality. This provided opportunity for other AERA members as well as the AERA administration get a better appreciation of the purpose of the DSE SIG.
Framework for DSE
At the 2007 DSE business meeting, members voted to accept a mission statement and framework for DSE, developed collaboratively over the course of the previous year. These guidelines are meant to be useful for those working within DSE, and are part of a fluid document that can be changed over time.
(See separate link on conference page: Tenets.)

DSE Annual National Conference

In June 2001, a small, inaugural national conference titled The Second City Disability Studies and Education: Critical Reflections on the Themes of Policy, Practice, and Theory, was held in Chicago, hosted by National-Louis University, featuring Ellen Brantlinger, Scot Danforth, Susan Gabel, Deborah Gallagher, Bill Rhodes, and Linda Ware as speakers. Coordinators Valerie Owen, Terry Jo Smith, and Paula Neville provided an opportunity for scholars and graduate students to present papers, listen to speakers, and discuss areas of common interest pertaining to disability studies and education. Due to the success of the conference, it became an annual event that attracted researchers, professors, teachers, and other individuals who actively sought changes in theory and practice within education and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.
Without additional support, however, of the first conference might have been the last. It was saved by co-sponsors. From 2002 to 2004, NLU co-hosted/sponsored the event with the Ron Ferguson and The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University. The fifth conference was sponsored and hosted by Teacher's College and held in New York City, thus beginning the current practice of rotating the conference among various universities. Then, the 2007 and 2008 conferences were held the weekend before AERA in an attempt to attract more international participants and attendees. Another milestone occurred with the 10th annual conference was hosted in Europe at Ghent University in Belgium.

The conference has maintained a number of traditions. The first conference began the practice of honoring a senior scholar who had contributed to our understandings of disability and critical perspectives. With the second conference, that practice was extended to recognizing a junior scholar. Another tradition of the conference began that first year was the town hall meeting or roundtable held at the end of the conference. All attendees are invited to attend to discuss the conference generally, the state of the field and new directions, and to provide suggestions for future conference themes and focus. 
The following is a list of the conferences and themes, locations, coordinators and scholars honored:


Disability Studies and Education: Critical Reflections on the Themes of Policy, Practice, and Theory

Sponsor: National-Louis University, Chicago, IL

Coordinators: Valerie Owen, Paula Neville, and Terry Jo Smith

Senior Scholar: William Rhodes



Education, Social Action, and the Politics of Disability

Sponsor: National-Louis University, Chicago, IL
Co-sponsor: The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University.

Coordinators: Valerie Owen, Paula Neville, Susan Gabel, and Terry Jo Smith

Senior Scholar: Susan Peters

Junior Scholar: Alicia Broderick



Traversing the Chasm between Disability Studies and Special Education

Sponsor: National-Louis University, Chicago, IL. 
Co-sponsor: The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University.

Coordinators: Valerie Owen, Paula Neville, Susan Gabel, and Terry Jo Smith

Senior Scholar: Lous Heshusius

Junior Scholar: Beth Ferri



Reforming, Restructuring, Resisting in Special Education

Sponsor: The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA.
Co-Sponsor: National-Louis University

Coordinators: Ron Ferguson and Valerie Owen



The 30th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its Impact on American Society

Sponsor: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Coordinators: D. Kim Reid, Jan Valle, and David Connor

Senior Scholar: Ellen Brantlinger

Junior Scholar: David Connor



Disability Studies and Inclusive Education: Negotiating Tensions and Integrating Research, Policy, and Practice

Sponsor: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (

Coordinators: Susan Peters, Kathleen Kosobud, Lisa Marie Dimling, Kimberly Ann Wolbers, Emily Bouck, Barbara Sue Meier, Svjetlana Curcic, Nathan Jones

Senior Scholar: D. Kim Reid

Junior Scholar: Jan Valle



Disability Studies and Inclusive Education: Implications for Practice?

Sponsor: National-Louis University, Chicago, IL.
Co-Sponsor: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ

Coordinators: Susan Gabel, Missy Morton, Valerie Owen, and Paula Neville

Senior Scholar: Len Barton

Junior Scholar: Srikala Naraian



Mitigating Exclusion: Building Alliances toward Inclusive Education Reform in Pedagogy and Policy

Sponsor: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, NY
Co-sponsors: City University of New York, Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus, National-Louis University Coordinators: Susan Baglieri, Lynne Bejoian, Alicia Broderick, David Connor, and Jan Valle

Senior Scholar: Doug Biklen

Junior Scholar: Susan Baglieri



Righting Education Wrongs: Disability Studies in Education Policy and Law

Sponsor: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Coordinators: Beth Ferri, Arlene Kanter, Alan Foley, and Christy Ashby

Senior Scholar: Tom Skrtic

Junior Scholar: Phil Smith



From "Handicapped Family" to "Partners in Policy": Disability Studies in Education and the Dialogue with Families and Natural Networks.

Sponsor: University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Coordinators: Geert Van Hove, Saskia Bovijn, Lien Claes, Kathleen Mortier,Caroline Vandekinderen, Dieter Windels, Rita Stevens, Hilde Herssens, Didier Peleman and Marijke Goedgeluck

Senior Scholars: Dianne and Phil Ferguson (U.S.) and Ines Boban and Andreas Hinz (Europe).



Rethinking Accessibility for the Next Decade of DSE

Sponsor: National-Louis University, Chicago

Coordinators: Susan Gabel, Valerie Owen, Svjetlana Curcic, Elizabeth Grace

Senior Scholar: Robert Stodden.

Junior Scholar: Elisabeth DeSchawer.




Contemplating Disability Studies in Education Throughout Life: In School, and Beyond.

Sponsor: Hunter College. Co-Sponsors: School of Professional Studies, Graduate Center, CUNY; AERA DSE-SIG; City College, CUNY; College of Staten Island, CUNY; Long Island University, Brooklyn; The Gateway School.

Coordinators: Belinda Amoako, Mariette Bates, Susan Baglieri, Lynne Bejoian, Mikela Bjork, Alicia Broderick, David Connor, Chris Hale, Rachel Lambert, Jossie O'Neill, Kylah Torre, Jan Valle.

Senior Scholars: Scot Danforth and Susan Gabel.

Junior Scholars: Kathleen Collins and Joseph Valente.


DSE Listserv

DSE scholars formed a listserv in 2000. The listserv is moderated by Scot Danforth and was originally hosted at the University of Missouri at St. Louis then at the Ohio State University. The listserv has provided and continues to provide a means to share information about upcoming events or opportunities, ask questions, and request resource recommendations, but also has been the vehicle for a number of challenging discussions on "hot topics." The listserv has served to provide on-going connections to the dispersed international community. In 2010, Phil Smith of East Michigan State University took over the administration of the listserv via Google groups. In 2012 it is scheduled to be hosted by the Center for Disability Studies at Penn State University under the auspices of Kathleen Collins and Joseph Valente. New members may contact Joe ( or Kathleen ( to be included in the listserv.


In 2000, Information Age Publishers offered the SIG/DSE a journal. It was titled Disability, Culture, & Education, edited by Susan Gabel and Scot Danforth, with two issues published during its existence in 2002-- featuring articles by Nirmala Erevelles, Philip Ferguson, Christopher Kliewer and Donna Rascke, James L. Paul, Lous Heshusius, and David Skidmore. While short-lived, from the ashes of the journal, a book series emerged, with Susan Gabel and Scot Danforth as co-editors. Books in the series published to date are:

  • Disability Studies in Education: Readings in Theory and Method edited by Susan Gabel (2005)
  • Reading Resistance: Discourses of Exclusion in Desegregation and Inclusion Debates by Beth Ferri and David Connor (2006)
  • Vital Questions in Disability Studies in Education, edited by Scot Danforth and Susan Gabel (2007)
  • Urban Narratives: Portraits-in-Progress--Life at the Intersections of Learning Disability, Race, & Social Class by David Connor (2008)
  • Disability and the Politics of Education: An International Reader, edited by Susan Gabel and Scot Danforth (2008)
  • The Incomplete Child: An Intellectual History of Learning Disabilities, Scot Danforth, (2009)
  • Whatever Happened to Inclusion? The Place of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Education, edited by Phil Smith (2010)
  • (De)constructing ADHD: Critical Guidance for Teachers and Teacher Educators, edited by Linda Graham (2010)
  • The Myth of the Normal Curve, edited by Curt Dudley-Marling & Alex Gurn (2010)
  • d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero by Joseph Valente (2011)

In addition, research from the annual conference often is documented through special editions of journals edited by DSE scholars. For example, Scot Danforth and Susan Gabel were guest editors to an edition of Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) dedicated to Educational issues. Many papers presented at DSE conferences were published []. Two years later, Jan Valle, David Connor, and D. Kim Reid were guest editors for a special edition of DSQ featuring papers from the 5th Annual DSE Conference
A special edition of the International Journal of Inclusive Education,12(4), in 2008, based on papers presented at the 7th Annual DSE Conference, edited by David Connor, Missy Morton, Susan Gabel, and Deborah Gallagher was the first publication of the DSE framework and tenets. In addition, the conference committee of the 8th Annual DSE Conference edited a special edition of the Teachers College Record in 2012, 113(10), based upon interdisciplinary presentations.
Also in 2008, Susan Baglieri, Jan Valle, David Connor, and Deborah Gallagher made a panel presentation at the national Annual Conference for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in Boston entitled, Disability Studies in Education: The Need for a Plurality of Perspectives on Disability. The presentation was well received and a subsequent article by the same name, published in Remedial and Special Education  in 2011, 32(4). 
In an effort to appeal to a broader market and present DSE dispositions in the context of teacher education programs and good teaching, Jan Valle and David Connor, wrote Rethinking Disability: A Disability Studies Approach to Inclusive Practices published by McGraw-Hill in 2010. This text has been used by teacher education programs across the U.S.

Interdisciplinary Connections and Affiliations

In many ways, the history of the DSE may be seen as a coming together of critical special educators and disability studies. However, scholars in other areas have contributed to the landscape of disability studies in education. These scholars include, but are not limited to: Bernadette Baker in curriculum studies; Nirmala Erevelles in education foundations; and Steve Seldon in history of education. The interdisciplinary nature of disability studies in education mirrors the field of disability studies in general, and disability studies in education scholars often seek to have work published in diverse journals. See for example, Linda Ware's (2001-2) A Moral Conversation on Disability: Risking the Personal in Educational Contexts, in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Special Issue: Feminism and Disability, Parts I & II, edited by Eva Kittay, Anita Silvers & Susan Wendell.
Additionally, DSE scholars have engaged through presentations and publications with influential scholars such as Pedro Noguera (social and economic conditions in urban schooling), Christine Sleeter (seminal work in the construction of learning disabilities), Zeus Leonardo (critical education and race, class, and gender), and Wanda Blanchett (special education, disproportionality, and issues of race, class, and gender in urban education).
Similarly DSE scholars have contributed to a number of texts on social justice, diversity and multiculturalism. Some of these include:

  • In the 2009 Handbook for Social Justice in Education, edited by W. Ayres, T, Quinn and D. Stovall, a special section entitled "Bodies, Disability and the fight for social justice education" with contributions by Patricia Hulsebosch, Susan Gabel and David Connor, Ellen Brantlinger, Beth Ferri, Ray McDermott and Jason Dugue Raley, and Jim Ferris.
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism (2009) edited by S. Steinberg, with contributions by David Connor and Susan Baglieri, and Linda Ware.
  • A 2009 chapter by Robin Smith, Deb Gallagher, Valerie Owen and Tom Skrtic in Social justice, peace, environmental education: Transformative standards edited by J. Andrzejewski, M. Baltodano, and L. Symcox . This book included chapters from all the "social justice" SIGs of AERA and received 2009 Peace Studies Book of the Year Award from the Peace Consortium of New York.
  • A contribution from David Connor and Susan Gabel in the 2010, T. Chapman and N. Hobbel (Eds.), Social justice pedagogy across the curriculum (2010). Additionally, David participated in a 4 person interdisciplinary panel at AERA of book chapter authors on black feminism, queerness, Native Americans, and disability.

Opportunities to Share Ideas

Many scholars have used the DSE as a venue in which to present their latest work whether in progress or recently completed, as well as host stimulating discussions about common areas of interest. Such scholars include, but are not limited to, Julie Allan, Susan Baglieri, Len Barton, Lynne Bejoian, Liat Ben-Moshe, Gregg Beratan, Douglas Biklen, Ellen Brantlinger, Alicia Broderick, Scot Danforth, Curt Dudley-Marling, Nirmala Erevelles, Dianne Ferguson, Phil Ferguson, Beth Ferri, Susan Gabel, Deborah Gallagher, Chris Hale, Lous Heshusius, Shelley Kinash, Paula Kluth, Missy Morton, Paula Neville, Srikala Naraian, Valerie Owen, Susan Peters, D. Kim Reid, Dan Rhodes, Nancy Rice, David Skidmore, Roger Slee, Phil Smith, Robin Smith, Terry Jo Smith, Susan Snellgrove, Santiago Solis, Edy Stoughton, Steve Taylor, Jan W. Valle, and Linda Ware. In addition, doctoral students, undergraduate students, and professionals in the field of rehabilitation have all taken the opportunity to present in a supportive atmosphere.

The Strength of Community

The History of Disability Studies in Education is the story of the building of a community. Ten to 15 years ago, there were a few scholars who had a vision and passion; seeing disability in a different way. "Disability" meant "special education" and if a person held a different perspective, it was difficult to find a place in education. Our first conferences and meetings brought together many scholars who had been attacked, dismissed, marginalized, or ignored and felt wounded and professionally homeless. Over the last decade the DSE-SIG, the annual conference, various publications, and the listserv have served to build community that, in turn, has empowered its members. We have created a common language, refined our purpose and identified practices consistent with theory and beliefs about equity and justice. We have been active in (inter)national discussions about social justice and inclusion. We have invited leading scholars in other disciplines to join our conversation. We have community members who still push the envelope and have those who are more politically minded and can provide leadership in other groups. (e.g, CEC, TASH, ATE, AACTE, etc.,). The group will no doubt continue to evolve and the History of DSE will continue to be a record of those accomplishments.

Note: This brief history was originally crafted for purposes of general information and posted on the 2005 DSE Conference website by David Connor. It has subsequently been revised by Susan Peters in 2006, Susan Gabel in 2007, David Connor in 2008, Valerie Owen in 2010, and David Connor in 2012.

As collective authors, we respectfully note that while much has been included, much may have been excluded by virtue of the purpose and length of this piece. If anyone or anything has been inadvertently omitted, please let the last listed author know so this may be addressed.

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Disability Studies in Education Conference 2012: CONTEMPLATING DIS/ABILITY STUDIES IN EDUCATION THROUGHOUT LIFE: IN SCHOOL, AND BEYOND website contact: webmaster