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disability justice inclusive education special education transformative teacher educator

An Evolving Disabled Professor Training Highly Qualified Teachers Committed to Disability Rights and Social Justice

Theodoto Ressa

I use the disability studies framework and autoethnography method in this qualitative research to examine my lived experiences in education and their .


I use the disability studies framework and autoethnography method in this qualitative research to examine my lived experiences in education and their impact on the disability community. The qualitative research method focuses on obtaining data through open-ended and conversational communication. This method is about what people think and why they think so. Disability Studies is an interdisciplinary body of intellectual work that positions disability positively and complexly, interrogating rhetoric that disability is a deficit that experts should remedy. Autoethnography is a research method and methodology which uses the researcher’s personal experience as data to describe, analyze and understand cultural experience. I focus on my disability community membership, professional development, and ways I integrate social justice in teacher education to correct education systems into ones that value disabled people. Using the self-study technique, I review my education journey and identities and how they have shaped me into a teacher educator who believes education leverages us to question happenings and provide solutions. I, therefore, reflect on the entwinement of my scholarship and community outreach and how they are geared towards creating and advancing a local and global pluralistic society that values disabled people. My values of collaboration, innovation, integrity, excellence, access, diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion are best practices that dismantle educational barriers and empower educators and disabled people.  

Keywords: Disability justice, inclusive education, special education, transformative teacher educator.

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