The ADA is valuable, then, in that it forces institutions of higher education, school districts, and the predominantly nondisabled power holders within those organizations to examine and possibly alter their practices relative to people with disabilities already in or wanting to enter educational professions. Lest we forget, however, Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, a precursor to and model for the ADA, also proscribes exclusion from participation, denial of benefits, and discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity (such as institutions of higher education and school districts) that receives federal funding. Yet, such inappropriate practices still continue.
For instance, following this introduction, we present an interview with one educator, Vickie (a pseudonym, as are all the other names used from the interviews), that helps us set the context for the volume by previewing many of the issues found throughout the book. Then, before many of the scholarly chapters on contextual factors, we draw on our informants' voices to foreshadow and play counterpoint to the themes in the chapters, to show how the factors can be used to facilitate success or create barriers. The interview of Beth precedes the last chapter and shows an educator who received a great deal of support through difficult circumstances in order to continue the employment that meant so much to her as a person. Her story provides a powerful example of what can be achieved by, with, and for educators with disabilities.
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