New Directions in Special Education: Eliminating Ableism in Policy and Practice

New Directions in Special Education: Eliminating Ableism in Policy and Practice

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  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Thomas Hehir
  • Publish Date: 2005-11-01


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A comprehensive study that is also practical and realistic, New Directions in Special Education outlines principles for decisionmaking about special education at every level—from the family to the classroom, school, and district—and for state and federal policy.

With this volume, leading scholar and disability advocate Thomas Hehir opens a new round of debate on the future of special education. Extending the conceptual framework developed in his seminal 2002 article in the Harvard Educational Review, Eliminating Ableism in Education, Hehir examines the ways that cultural attitudes about disability systematically distort the education of children with special needs and uses this analysis to lay out a fresh approach to special education policy and practice.

Hehir traces the roots of ableism—the pervasive devaluation of people with disabilities—and shows how negative attitudes continue to shape debates in the field. He assesses recent trends in special education policy, particularly the shift of emphasis from compliance to outcomes, and discusses in depth the successes and limitations of the inclusion movement. He also investigates the impact of standards-based reforms on children with disabilities and critically examines the promise of Universal Design for Learning.

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