Here, educators with disabilities in our schools can provide valuable role models for students with disabilities (Gilmore, Merchant, and Moore 1980), role models both for careers in educational professions and for lives fully integrated into society. Their presence can influence the perceptions and attitudes of both fellow staff members and students as their colleagues and students develop realistic appraisals of not only which limitations do or do not emerge from certain disabilities but also whether these limitations really matter (Johnson and Johnson 1984). More educators with disabilities in our schools would also provide a better interpretation of the inclusion of students with disabilities being promoted.
Third, we have done relatively little to address and remove the barriers we have erected for educators with disabilities compared to our efforts to improve the situations of educators from other underrepresented groups. For example, there are few references to disabilities in major reports of the reform of teacher training and the teaching profession (see, for example, Carnegie Forum 1986; Holmes Group 1986). Several years ago, one of us received a set of recruitment brochures produced by the National Education Association to encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to consider teaching as a profession. These brochures were designed for African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans, but none for Americans with disabilities.
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