Disability Studies Quarterly
Spring 2006, Volume 26, No. 2
Copyright 2006 by the Society
for Disability Studies

Editors' preface

We happily introduce you to a new section of DSQ with this issue — one focused on Disability Studies in other countries. This issue focuses on German-speaking countries; future international sections are scheduled to focus on Japan and Israel/Palestine. We recognize that DSQ has predominantly published U.S. scholars' and writers' works because by far most of DSQ's submissions come from U.S. authors. That in turn reflects the fact that DSQ is published by the Society for Disability Studies (SDS), which is U.S.-based and holds its conferences primarily in the U.S.A.

So with this new international section, we are pleased to strengthen DSQ's value by bringing more Disability Studies contributions from around the world to our readership. Interestingly, this new international section can trace its birth to SDS members who connected with German Disability Studies scholars during a conference on eugenics in 2004. Specifically, noted Disability Studies scholar and longtime SDS member Rosemarie Garland-Thomson put this issue's international section guest editors, Swantje Köbsell and Anne Waldschmidt, in touch with us. We decided their proposal of a section on Disability Studies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland was so good that the notion of an international section was born. To all our international DSQ readers, please let us know if you would like to guest edit a section on Disability Studies work being done in your home country or region of the world.

Turning to this issue's theme section, we revisit a topic that DSQ has focused on before (see Spring 2004), but this time in a different format. Education is a matter of utmost importance within the Disability Studies world, and its examination is especially timely in view of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA) having turned 30 in 2005. This theme section, edited by Jan W. Valle, David J. Connor, and D. Kim Reid, grew from a conference they hosted at Teachers College, Columbia University, in May 2005. They selected top papers from the conference and then asked noted scholars in education and Disability Studies to write response papers. In this way, a dialogue and discussion is embedded within the theme section.

This DSQ issue also has a set of thought-provoking articles. A general paper by Co-Editor Beth A. Haller is in sync with the education theme, focusing as it does on how universities promote — or don't — their campuses as disability-friendly to potential applicants. (Note by Kirchner: Yes, Haller's paper did undergo the usual anonymous peer review!) The other general paper addresses disability-"friendliness" in the domain of U.S. health care; it offers a needed corrective to the under-representation of that domain in Disability Studies due, we speculate, to avoidance of anything linked to the "medical model." Susan Palsbo and June Isaacson Kailes identify an existing model of health care delivery that, with some modifications, can embody principles of access and autonomy epitomized by the Independent Living movement; the authors illustrate those principles being put into practice at specific sites around the country.

Turning to the Commentaries, the contribution by Judith Felson Duchan problematizes narratives within disability history, arguing for more inclusion of communication access barriers. Two other commentaries, while different, are both personal accounts in which the author and his or her child are the vehicle for conveying challenging observations about living with disability. In Leigh M. O'Brien's paper, education again provides the institutional setting, referring both to the mother's university employment and to the disabled daughter's daily school environment. In Ralph James Savarese's paper, the father's late-acquired impairment makes him question, and then confirm, the authenticity of his former affirmative attitudes about disability built through his relationship with his son, who has autism.

We are pleased to present another installment of the occasional section on Pedagogy in Disability Studies, this one by Andrew Liebs. He poses a challenge to traditional special education teachers' directive roles in obtaining accessible materials for their young students with disabilities instead of empowering the students to achieve independence in that task.

As always, a rich menu of reviews of books and films is offered — nine of them this time. Finally, the issue closes with a sad burden. We present tributes to two outstanding contributors to disability culture, in the world of theater and dance, whose recent deaths are shockingly premature from any perspective one might take. Playwright John Belluso is memorialized by Victoria Lewis and Ann Stocking and dancer/choreographer Barry Martin is memorialized by Simi Linton.

Copyright (c) 2006 Beth Haller, Corinne Kirchner

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)