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The “Strong Poet”: Essays in Honor of Lous Heshusius is an edited volume focused on the research, scholarship, and leadership of one of the earliest proponents of radical change in the field of special education. This volume is part of the series Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies in Education, a collective history of the ecology of ideas that gave way to the emergence of the field of Disability Studies in Education (DSE). The series formalizes the value of attending to a history, distinguished by Steve Taylor (2005), as one that existed before it was named DSE. In this volume the contributors borrow from the venerable life work of Lous Heshusius, to center her original claims, early research, and the enduring challenge she posed to special education against examples from their own practice and personal histories. Each chapter recovers aspects of the genius of Heshusius that ultimately disrupted status quo thinking about disability. Specifically her attention to recognizing the lives and desires of those that society too often relegates to categories and contexts devoid of self direction and authentic agency. In brief, we find in Heshusius, a researcher who sought to privilege the voice of individuals with disability. She was among those who drew from and elaborated upon the methods and tools of qualitative research.

Contributors are: Julie Allan, Alicia Broderick, Danielle Cowley, Deborah J. Gallagher, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Linda Ware.