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Teachers with Disabilities (March 2002)
How can I find information about teachers with disabilities?
"In spite of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 20% of qualified
persons with disabilities are employed in their fields. Employment continues to be the area with the widest gulf
between those who are disabled and those who are not. Forty-two percent of those who are disabled and
unemployed believe that attitudinal barriers keep them from working. These disparities create unique challenges
for teacher education programs striving to meet the spirit of the law and maintain the necessary standards for
quality educators. The most significant barriers that preservice teachers with disabilities face are negative
attitudes, accessibility issues, and employment opportunities." (From "Conversations with the Commissions:
Negotiating the Tensions in the Preparation of Teachers with Disabilities," English Education, April 2001, online
Following are links to related Internet resources, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.
You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:
The full text of ERIC documents (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:
- In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
- For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1.800.443.ERIC.
(no longer available)
The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:
- The originating journal
- Through interlibrary loan services at your local college or public library
- From article reproduction services such as
ERIC Search Terms Used
teachers with disabilities
Teachers with Learning Disabilities: A View from Both Sides of the Desk.
Ferri, Beth A.; Keefe, Charlotte Hendrick; Gregg, Noel
Journal of Learning Disabilities; v34 n1 p22-32 Jan-Feb 2001
Abstract: This qualitative multicase study explored the perceptions of three special education
teachers of students with learning disabilities who had themselves received special education services
for learning disabilities. Specifically, the study focused on how participants' past experiences with
receiving special education influenced their current practices as special education teachers.
Descriptors: Case Studies; Elementary Secondary Education; *Learning Disabilities; Qualitative
Research; Reflective Teaching; *Special Education Teachers; *Teacher Attitudes; *Teacher
Background; *Teachers with Disabilities
Two Preservice Teachers with Special Needs and Their Rights: What If Their Teacher
Education Experiences Had Gone Awry?
Harrison, Suzanne; Lemke, June Canty
Publication Date: 2000
Note: In: Capitalizing on Leadership in Rural Special Education: Making a Difference for Children
and Families. Conference Proceedings (Alexandria, VA, March 16-18, 2000); see RC 022 337.
Abstract: Adaptations, accommodations, and creative use of alternative approaches can make a
difference in the success or failure of many college students, particularly those with disabilities.
Gonzaga University (Washington) has implemented a holistic admissions process that has resulted in
higher completion rates and the recruitment of more students from underrepresented groups. A manual
is given to preservice teachers advising them of their rights and responsibilities and informing them of
the monitoring processes used. Faculty are notified each semester of accommodations that preservice
teachers with disabilities need to be successful. The semester before student teaching, prospective
candidates attend a meeting explaining application procedures and general information about the
upcoming experience. Just prior to student teaching, an orientation meeting is held. During student
teaching, a university supervisor assigned to each student teacher observes the preservice teacher and
acts as a liaison between the school and university. Student teachers attend several seminars during
student teaching. A remediation plan is developed for those who have difficulty, and if the student
teacher cannot meet the competencies of the plan, the experience is terminated. Those students get a
second chance the following semester. On completion of student teaching, a review board discusses
the final evaluation and recommends teacher certification. The experiences of two preservice teachers
with disabilities are described to show how extra care and attention to individual needs can foster
success in situations that once were considered impossible or unrealistic.
Descriptors: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); Access to Education; College School
Cooperation; Equal Education; Higher Education; *Preservice Teacher Education; Program
Descriptions; *Student Experience; *Student Teachers; *Teacher Education Programs; *Teachers
Deaf Teacher Candidates in Hearing Classrooms: A Unique Teacher Preparation Program.
Martin, David S.; Lytle, Richard R.
American Annals of the Deaf; v145 n1 p15-21 Mar 2000
Abstract: This article reviews current reforms in general and special education and describes a
Gallaudet program that prepares undergraduates who are deaf or hard of hearing to meet the needs of
students who are deaf. The program requires a full-time internship with hearing students and a
master's degree in deaf education.
Descriptors: *Course Content; *Deafness; Educational Change; Higher Education; Inclusive
Schools; *Preservice Teacher Education; *Teacher Education Programs; *Teachers with Disabilities
Through the Spattered Windshield: A Visually Impaired Teacher's Internship.
Smith, Douglas James
Publication Date: 2000
Alberta Journal of Educational Research; v46 n2 p167-78 Sum 2000
Abstract: A visually impaired student teacher, her cooperating teachers, and college supervisor
cooperated to make her internship successful. Adaptations included making early contact to enable
adaptation of resources, focusing on capabilities rather than limitations of challenged interns,
empowering interns to determine their own solutions to problems, modifying instructional methods to
accommodate differences, and developing forthright communication.
Descriptors: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); Case Studies; Educational
Cooperation; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Media Adaptation; *Preservice
Teacher Education; *Student Teachers; *Teachers with Disabilities; *Visual Impairments
Student Perceptions and Instructional Effectiveness of Deaf and Hearing Teachers.
Roberson, J. Len; Serwatka, Thomas S.
Journal Citation:: American Annals of the Deaf; v145 n3 p256-62 Jul 2000
Abstract: A study examined the views of 61 secondary-level students with deafness and 29
students with hearing impairments on preferences for teachers with and without hearing. Both groups
of students showed greater preference for teachers with deafness, with students with deafness
showing greater preference for teachers with deafness.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement; *Deafness; Hearing Impairments; Secondary Education;
*Student Attitudes; *Teacher Characteristics; Teacher Student Relationship; *Teachers with
Assisting Preservice Teachers with Special Needs: Four True Stories.
Harrison, Suzanne; Lemke, June
Publication Date: 1999
Note: In: Rural Special Education for the New Millennium. Conference Proceedings of the
American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (19th, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March
25-27, 1999); see RC 021 888.
Abstract: Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, developed a preservice teacher education
program that holistically assesses the skills of teacher candidates to better identify prospective teachers
from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and disability-related groups. Careful attention is paid to the
admissions process, and program applicants are assessed with regard to key program themes:
reflective thinking, the idea that teaching is interpersonal and professional, the value of developing
conflict resolution skills, and the value of multiple perspectives and ways of doing. Students who have
self-disclosed their disabilities work with the disabilities services center, and faculty are notified of any
students needing accommodations to be successful. Prior to student teaching, candidates must possess
a minimum grade point average, acceptable standardized test scores, and three recommendations, and
must attend a meeting explaining student teaching and the application process. Teacher education
faculty review the skills and abilities of each student teacher candidate. Each student teacher is
assigned a university supervisor who observes the student teacher and acts as a liaison between the
school and university. A remediation plan is developed for student teachers who have difficulty, and the
experience is terminated if competencies in the plan cannot be met. A second chance is given at
another site the following semester. The experiences of four student teachers with disabilities are
described to show how adaptations, accommodations, or simply a creative look at alternative
approaches can create an environment for success.
Descriptors: Diversity (Student); Higher Education; Holistic Approach; Interpersonal
Competence; *Preservice Teacher Education; Program Descriptions; *Special Education; Student
Needs; *Student Teacher Evaluation; *Student Teachers; *Teacher Competencies; Teacher Education
Programs; *Teachers With Disabilities
Accommodating the Disabilities of Future Teachers: Impact of Section 504 and the American
Disabilities Act and the Legal Responsibilities for Teacher Education Programs and Policy
Williams, Shirley J.
Publication Date: 1998
Note: 34p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for
Teacher Education (50th, New Orleans, LA, February 26, 1998).
Abstract: As increasing numbers of students with disabilities enter the country's teacher
education programs, violations of their civil rights are on the increase. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities at institutions which receive federal funds.
Section 504 of the Act requires educational programs to remove barriers to the success of individuals
with disabilities in higher education, and it defines who is protected. The Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 (ADA) extends further coverage by prohibiting discrimination against qualified individuals
with disabilities by public and private institutions. Students who have currently disabling conditions are
entitled to receive academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services. Universities require
documentation of disabling conditions by appropriate specialists before providing special
accommodations. Accommodations fall into the categories of classroom, lecture, examination,
assignment, and administrative accommodations. Teacher education programs and partnering school
districts must examine how various disabling conditions affect the requirements of the profession at
both preservice and inservice levels. There needs to be a clear policy and a reasonable set of entrance
competencies for these situations. A sample document for student notification of class requirements,
accommodation needs, expected behaviors, and criminal records is included.
Descriptors: Civil Rights; *College Students; Disability Discrimination; Educational Policy;
Elementary Secondary Education; *Equal Education; Higher Education; Learning Disabilities; *Legal
Responsibility; Preservice Teacher Education; *Teachers with Disabilities
Why Hire Deaf Teachers?.
Andrews, Jean F.; Franklin, Thomas C.
Publication Date: 1997
Abstract: This paper reviews the role of deaf teachers in the education of deaf children and
urges the hiring of such teachers, especially in Texas. Part 1 presents current data on deaf teachers in
Texas and the nation, reviews the history of deaf teachers, considers the modern day preparation of
deaf teachers and some court cases supporting deaf teachers under the Americans with Disabilities
Act. It finds that barriers such as standardized testing, lack of support services, discrimination, and lack
of awareness of deafness among principals in hiring positions are keeping deaf professionals out of
schools. Part 2 discusses curriculum, staffing, and strategies that universities can use to train deaf
teachers in schools and programs with deaf children. It emphasizes the need for additional deaf
teachers and administrators as well as deaf professionals who represent ethnic minority groups and
urges a curriculum containing courses on: deaf children with additional disabilities, legal issues and
deafness, American Sign Language, multiculturalism, educational technology; and speech and
audiology. In addition, practices and student backing should be included. Also important in such
programs is deaf culture sensitivity and leadership training.
Descriptors: Civil Rights Legislation; *Deafness; Educational History; Elementary Secondary
Education; Higher Education; Minority Group Teachers; Minority Groups; *Preservice Teacher
Education; *Special Education Teachers; Teacher Education Curriculum; *Teacher Employment;
Teacher Recruitment; Teacher Shortage; *Teachers with Disabilities
Constructions of Educational Meaning in the Narratives of Four Deaf Women Teachers.
Compton, Mary V.
American Annals of the Deaf; v142 n5 p356-62 Dec 1997
Abstract: In this ethnographic study, narrative analysis was used to describe how four deaf
women make sense of their lives as teachers. The women disclose their beliefs concerning teaching,
their deafness, and their connection with the deaf community. The study notes the influence of the
institutional cultures of both deaf and hearing communities and of the residential school for students
Descriptors: Adults; Cultural Influences; *Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education;
Ethnography; Females; Individual Development; *Personal Narratives; Qualitative Research;
Reflective Teaching; Residential Schools; Self Evaluation (Individuals); *Special Education Teachers;
Special Schools; *Teachers With Disabilities
Rights versus Responsibilities: Training Individuals with Learning Disabilities in the Teaching
Gilbert, Sharon L.; Steffey, Barbara J.
Publication Date: 1996
Note: 31p.; Paper presented at the Summer Workshop Meeting of the Association of Teacher
Educators (Tarpon Springs, FL, August 1996).
Abstract: This paper reports on a survey concerning the essential functions of teaching and the
rights of individuals with learning disabilities to become teachers. The major issues of the study were:
(1) the essential functions of a teacher; (2) whether minimum competency is being tested for
candidates seeking certification to teach; (3) whether accommodations should be provided on
certification tests for teachers; and (4) if so, which accommodations should be provided for teachers
with learning disabilities. The 127 respondents were primarily educators in rural and small cities in
Illinois. Several conclusions were suggested by the data. First, members of the education community
must establish the essential functions of teaching in order to set standards for competency in teaching,
and be sure that the standards are followed. Second, teacher educators and administrators are unable
to deny admission to teacher education programs to individuals who may not be entirely qualified to
teach but "try hard," and it is difficult for them to admit that, in spite of their best efforts, they may not
be able to help an individual become a competent teacher. Third, although the Americans with
Disabilities Act is aimed at giving equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities, it does not support
placing an unqualified individual with a learning disability in a classroom.
Descriptors: Admission Criteria; Elementary Secondary Education; *Equal Education; Equal
Opportunities (Jobs); Higher Education; *Learning Disabilities; Preservice Teacher Education;
Standards; Teacher Certification; *Teacher Competencies; *Teacher Qualifications; *Teachers with
Disabilities; *Teaching (Occupation)
Preparing Preservice Teachers with Disabilities for the Student Teaching Experience.
Knight, Diane; Wadsworth, Donna E.
Teacher Educator; v31 n4 p313-24 Spr 1996
Abstract: This article discusses issues resulting from the fact that a growing number of
preservice teachers with disabilities are securing employment in regular elementary, middle, and
secondary classrooms, offering strategies for preparing these individuals for the student teaching
experience (preparation, orientation, and modification).
Descriptors: Cooperating Teachers; Elementary School Teachers; Higher Education; Mentors;
*Preservice Teacher Education; Secondary School Teachers; *Student Teachers; *Student Teaching;
*Teacher Role; *Teachers with Disabilities
Demands and Challenges of Being an Educator with a Disability.
Obiakor, Festus E.; And Others
Publication Date: 1995
Abstract: This paper discusses demands and challenges of being an educator with a disability and
includes a review of the literature and an analysis of an interview with a leading educator with a
disability. The paper opens with a discussion of the definitional issues and implications of the terms
"handicap" and "disability." Literature on the role of the educator in today's society is reviewed,
followed by a review of the challenges of being an educator with a disability. These challenges are
organized around responses of a successful educator, Wendell J. Lewis, Section Administrator for the
Disability Determination Services for the State of Kansas and an African-American with muscular
dystrophy, to questions concerning the following themes: (1) family support; (2) least restrictive
environment, integration, and inclusion; (3) lifespan challenges; (4) self-efficacy; and (5) federal
legislation and advocacy. Ways to provide needed special resources or to restructure education
positions are suggested.
Descriptors: *Adaptive Behavior (of Disabled); Adjustment (to Environment); Advocacy;
*Disabilities; Elementary Secondary Education; Family Influence; Federal Legislation; Higher
Education; Inclusive Schools; Interviews; Professional Occupations; Self Determination; Self Efficacy;
Social Integration; Success; *Teacher Role; *Teachers with Disabilities
Team Teaching a Senior Seminar with a Faculty Member with(out) Disabilities.
Blaser, Arthur W.; Smoller, Fred
Publication Date: 1995
Note: 35p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
(Chicago, IL, August 31-September 3, 1995). Illegible print in cartoons.
Abstract: This paper describes what occurred during a senior political science seminar when
taught by two faculty members, one with and one without disabilities. Such team teaching in political
science had not been done before. The study explored the issues raised during the instruction of the
course when one instructor was in a wheelchair and had impaired speech and spoke with the aid of a
computer. The study contended that the issues raised in the class should be relevant to everyone since
many professors are perceived as having some unusual physical characteristic. The theme of the
seminar was "Citizenship in the 21st Century." The evaluation of the class focused on the following: (1)
in what ways was the class hindered or enhanced by the instructor's disability; (2) how can disability
issues be incorporated into a political science senior seminar; and (3) how did instructor A and
instructor B adapt to one another? Student interview questions, comments, and an evaluation for the
seminar are included in an appendix.
Descriptors: *Assistive Devices (for Disabled); Communication Aids (for Disabled);
Cooperative Planning; Higher Education; *Language Impairments; *Physical Disabilities; Political
Science; Seminars; *Speech Impairments; *Teachers with Disabilities; *Team Teaching; Teamwork;
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