Listening to the Experts: Students with Disabilities Speak Out

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Elizabeth B. Keefe, Veronica M. Moore, Frances R. Duff
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, Jan 1, 2006 - Education - 218 pages
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What's the best way to find out what really works -- and doesn't work -- in education for students with disabilities? Listen to the experts: the students themselves. In this one-of-a kind book, students with a wide range of disabilities give readers a rare inside look at their past and present school experiences, both in self-contained classrooms and in inclusive environments. With uncensored candor and insight, these young men and women talk about
  • struggles and triumphs with schoolwork
  • friendships with peers
  • the meaning of inclusion
  • their complex feelings about special education
  • practices and policies that helped and hindered their progress
  • the characteristics of good teachers and administrators
  • ingredients of positive classroom environments
  • their future plans
Interspersed with the student essays are chapters by the other experts -- parents, peers, and professionals. Parents talk about the experience of raising their son or daughter and what they did to support their child's social and academic success. The students' peers share what they felt and experienced as they participated in inclusive classrooms and befriended students with disabilities. And professionals such as educators, principals, and respected scholars discuss the rights of students with disabilities, the process of implementing inclusion, specific strategies such as peer supports and co-teaching, and the firsthand lessons they learned from their students.

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About the author (2006)

Frances R. Duff, M.A., is a National Board Certified Teacher with more than 25 years of experience in the classroom. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from New York University and her master's degree in special education from the University of New Mexico. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of New Mexico. Ms. Duff has worked with various grade levels in New York, California, and New Mexico. She currently co-teaches three inclusive classes at the high-school level. Her research interests are inclusive practices, legal issues, and advocacy and empowerment for students. Ms. Duff enjoys reading and playing with the family dog, Bear.

Dr. Keefe received her bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom, her master's degree in anthropology at the University of Nebraska, and her master of arts and doctoral degrees in special education from the University of New Mexico. She has taught in inclusive settings at the elementary level and now is actively involved in various educational reform issues throughout New Mexico. Her research interests include inclusive practices, co-teaching, and systematic change at the school level. Dr. Keefe enjoys tennis, playing banjo with ther band, going to Jamaica, and reading.

Dr. Moore coordinates the dual license teacher preparation program at the University of New Mexico. In addition to teaching at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Moore co-teaches and inclusive class one period per day at the high school level. Her research interests include peer supports, student voice, inclusive practices, and curriculum modifications. She enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and gardening.

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