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Affirming Disability

Strengths-Based Portraits of Culturally Diverse Families

Janet Story Sauer Zachary Rossetti Maria de Lourdes B. Serpa Alfredo J. Artiles

176 pages
Teachers College Press
Providing both a theoretical framework and practical strategies, this resource will help teachers, counselors, and related service providers develop understanding and empathy to improve outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with disabilities. The text features narrative portraits of six immigrant families and their children with disabilities, including their cultural histories and personal perspectives regarding assessment, diagnosis, Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, and other instances in which families engaged with the special education process. Using guiding questions for reflection and “Talk Back” comments from preservice students throughout the text, readers are encouraged to reflect on their own positionality and to develop nuanced and dynamic understandings of CLD children, youth, and families—countering persistent and stereotypical deficit views. Book Features: In-depth descriptions of immigrant family ecologies. Strategies for challenging a system that has been implicated in the overrepresentation of minorities in special education. Artwork, photographs, and other materials from students and families. “Talk Back” sections featuring personal reflections and feedback on the portrait narratives from preservice teachers. Questions to facilitate meaningful classroom discussions. A personal action plan framework to guide improvements in cultural competence and inclusive special education practices.
Author Bio
Janet Story Sauer is a professor of special education at Lesley University. Zachary Rossetti is an associate professor of special education at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.