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Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies in Education aims to formalize the significance of early histories of understanding disability drawn from the scholarship of those who turned away from conventional status quo and pathologized constructs commonly accepted worldwide to explain disability in schools and society. The series begins with recognition of North American scholars including: Ellen Brantlinger, Lous Heshusius, Steve Taylor, Doug Biklen, and Thomas M. Skrtic. We will expand the series to include scholars from several international countries who likewise formed analyses that shaped the terrain for the emergence of critical perspectives that have endured and slowly given rise to the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies in Education.

Critical Leaders and the Foundation of Disability Studies in Education is a sub-series to the book series Studies in Inclusive Education. The series and subseries have independent editorial teams that work closely together. For the volumes published in the main book series, please visit its webpage.
Chapter 1 Boredom, Refusal, and Disbelief, Coming to the Work of Lous Heshusius


This chapter revisits the imprint made by the early writings of Lous Heshusius on the public school teaching and ideological positioning of the author, Linda Ware—then, a middle school resource room teacher and a parent to her young son enrolled in special education. Heshusius’ insights stood in marked contrast to the professional literature and practices in teacher training programs. Heshusius amplified Ware’s experience as a mother and as a teacher, inspiring what became Ware’s critique of special education’s misguided ideology.

In: The "Strong Poet"
Volume Editors: and
Ellen A. Brantlinger: When Meanings Falter and Words Fail, Ideology Matters celebrates the work of and is dedicated to the memory of Ellen A. Brantlinger, a scholar-activist who spent most of her professional career as a professor of special education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in the United States of America. Ellen was recognized internationally as an educator and critical theorist and celebrated for her incisive and unyielding critique of special education research, policy, and practice that spanned several decades. Brantlinger held that the impoverished nature of special education theory and practice was rooted to conformance with the most rigid constructs of standardization, normalcy, and its resulting inequitable outcomes for children with disabilities. When the push for educational inclusion gained currency in some quarters in the United States (mid-1980s), Brantlinger was among a handful of scholars who identified special education as the major obstacle to the inclusion of disabled students in the educational system. She was widely published in North American journals well known in special education, teacher education, multicultural education, sociology of education, urban education, school counseling, curriculum theory, qualitative education, and feminist teaching. This book offers an elaboration of the scholarly contributions made by Ellen Brantlinger to research in education, special education, inclusive education, and the early development of Disability Studies in Education. Many of its contributors move between the paradigmatic locations of special education, inclusive education, and disability studies as they consider Ellen’s influence.

Contributors are: Julie Allan, Subini A. Annamma, Jessica Bacon, Alicia A. Broderick, Kathleen M. Collins, David J. Connor, Dianne L. Ferguson, Philip M. Ferguson, Amy L. Ferrel, Beth Ferri, Joanne Kim, Janette Klingner, Corrine Li, Brooke A. Moore, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Janet S. Sauer.
Intoduction Blue Man Living in Red World
In: Steven J. Taylor
Introduction Lous Heshusius, the “Strong Poet”
In: The "Strong Poet"
Volume Editors: and
A tribute to the influence of one of the “intellectual forbearers” of Disability Studies in Education (DSE), this collection of six essays honors the scholar and activist Steven J. Taylor. The Centennial Professor of Disability Studies, and director of the Center on Human Policy at the Syracuse University School of Education was recognized internationally for his enduring commitment to disability policy, advocacy, and the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities throughout society. His research, teaching, and scholarship shaped our understanding of disability through a sociological lens honed over decades of enquiry that trace back from his early work on deinstitutionalization and to the present disability trends and controversies. Taylor made clear how we socially construct humanness, belonging, community, and care in much the same way we construct deviance and stigma.

Steven J. Taylor: Blue man Living in a Red World provides insight into the theoretical grounding that has fueled DSE research and scholarship for decades. You will also find opportunities for personal reflection about how one might find Taylor’s work intrinsic to current efforts to challenge the persistent segregation and mistreatment of people labeled with intellectual or developmental disabilities. As the third volume in this series that is devoted to unraveling and better understanding the evolution of thought among those recognized as the early voices and critical leaders who laid the foundation for disability studies in education, the contributors to this text reexamine the impact of Taylor’s scholarship on their own thinking, teaching, academic and civic activities. These essays will help you discover that Taylor continues his mentorship of those who ascribe to DSE tenets and more importantly, encourages each of us to use our positions to influence the next generation of disability activists and scholars.

Contributors are: Julie Allan, Jennifer Randhare Ashton, Elisabeth De Schauwer, Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Nancy Rice, Janet Story Sauer, Ashley Taylor, Geert Van Hove and Linda Ware.
Volume Editors: and
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 A. Broderick, Danielle M. Cowley, Deborah J. Gallagher, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Linda Ware.