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2:12 Wednesday, December 20, 2000

The issues surrounding contemporary special education are inherently interesting for they say a great deal about our society, our schools, and the ways we perceive and treat individuals who are different.
from the Introduction

As long as there has been public education in America, there have been controversies over the education of children with special needs. The centuries-old tradition of separating children with disabilities, with different communication methods, or with accelerated learning capabilities from their "mainstream" peers has only recently given way to the trend toward inclusion. Editors Margret A. Winzer and Kaz Mazurek offer a snapshot of special education at the turn of the millennium as well as look into its future in their timely compendium, Special Education in the 21st Century: Issues of Inclusion and Reform.

Winzer, who previously edited The History of Special Education, and Mazurek, who with Winzer edited Comparative Studies in Special Education, cite the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s as the source of the current preference for including children with special educational needs in mainstream classrooms. "Yesterday's orthodoxy (segregation) has become today's heresy," the editors write. "During the 1960s, educational institutions at all levels began to respond to the Civil Rights movement in various ways and from different perspectives. Inclusion emerged as a broad notion of social justice that was manifested as an expression of concern for safeguarding the rights of all students." Winzer and Mazurek collect essays on the history of inclusion, the future of educational reform, and the education of special populations, including gifted students, students with emotional or behavioral disorders, and multicultural classrooms. Read chapter eleven, Donald F. Moores (co-editor of Educational and Developmental Aspects of Deafness) and Margery S. Miller's Bilingual/Bicultural Education for Deaf Students, and order Special Education in the 21st Century at an exclusive 20% discount off the regular price.

Library Journal published a thorough endorsement of editor Christopher Krentz's A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816-1864 in its December issue: "If future volumes are of as high quality as this, those too will be a welcome addition to the study of deaf literature." Read the full review, and order A Mighty Change.

CHOICE is the latest publication to add its voice to the chorus of reviewers singing the praises of Harry Lang's A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell. "Lang documents in great detail the deaf community's quest for telecommunications access," writes A.G. Sidone of Pennsylvania State University in the November issue. "He has obviously done meticulous research into the life of Robert Weitbrecht, the deaf engineer who invented the teletype (TTY) and spent his professional lifetime struggling to make it available to deaf people." You can read chapter one and order A Phone of Our Own.

Tanis Doe of the University of Victoria lauds Brenda Jo Brueggemann's Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness in the Fall 2000 issue of Disability Studies Quarterly: "The personal contributions of the author make this text a MUST READ for those unfamiliar with deaf people and their issues....Make time to read this book. Make time to think about it and even if it hurts, make time to acknowledge the rhetorical constructions and conflicts in the lives of people who are d/Deaf." Read the full review, and order Lend Me Your Ear.


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