We are enormously privileged to serve as editors of this book, and one must look no further than the list of authors who have contributed to this effort to appreciate our unwitting good fortune. The contributors to this volume represent the prominent researchers and thinkers on issues in educating students with and without disabilities. We need not labor in our descriptions of their expertise, because their words speak sufficiently, mellifluously, and exactingly about their contributions to the education of all students, in particular those with disabilities.
This book is a Festschrift, a volume of essays contributed by many authors in honor of a colleague. It pays tribute to the work of Barbara D. Bateman, Ph.D., J.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon. As editors of this text and as former students, we owe much to her teaching, mentoring, and clear thinking, as well as her unambiguous personal and professional presence in special education, and most certainly in our lives.
The prologue and 19 chapters of this book are expressions of gratitude to someone with uncommon insight into common problems of teaching and learning. In most cases, Barb gave uncommon scrutiny to common practice, especially when that practice is widely or vigorously embraced. Friends and colleagues alike know well, for example, of Barb's disdain for the computer and other electronic gadgets that rush the fingers to advocate what the mind has yet to apprehend. At a time when most of us are thoroughly marinated in the cybersauce of communications networking, Barb's fierce independence in such matters is refreshing and is best captured by Henry David Thoreau's observations in 1854 about a similar technological gadget, the telegraph: