Discover more from Special Education Today by John Wills Lloyd
Super advocate Jane West published a book promoting disability policies
Am I looking forward to reading her tome? YES!
Jane West, one of the foremost advocates in the US for policies that support students with disabilities, their families, and their teachers, has published a book in May 2023 called, Advocating for the Common Good: People, Politics, Process, and Policy on Capitol Hill. Her book will almost surely provide a front-porch perspective on what it’s like to champion opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a governmental-political environment.
Many readers surely wish that they could affect the “halls of Congress” (not just in the US), and I expect Jane’s book with provide guidance about how to do so. Jan has done so. There are few who have the experience and the track record for enabling beneficial policies in the US. This is a glimpse of the lobbying world that I am eager to read.
Here’s the publishers’ promo:
Advocating for the Common Good: People, Politics, Process, and Policy on Capitol Hill offers a rich and accessible guide to policy making in the nation’s capital, beckoning us to get to the table, make our voices heard, and reinvigorate our policy making institutions. Jane E. West parts the curtains and brings us behind the scenes with a simple framework that enables both the novice and the experienced to deftly navigate the Washington maze. The four Ps—people, politics, process, and policy—are each examined with an eye toward what a successful advocate needs to know. Informed by her forty years of experience as part of the policy making apparatus in education and disability, expert interviews with those in the room where it happens, a deep dive into congressional procedures, and the scholarship on public policy, Dr. West delivers a powerful call to action. This jargon-free guide provides students, professionals, and the public with practical tools and a proven step-by-step process to both analyze existing policies and plan advocacy strategies to change policies moving forward.
She told me, “My goal with the book is for special educators … to develop the mindset and the skillset to be at the table making their voices heard during policy deliberations that affect their work. When they are absent, other people take their places and [these others’] voices are heard loud and clear—whether they are informed by expertise or not!”
Jane has worked with many organizations (e.g., the Consortium for Constituents With Disabilities; the Council for Exceptional Children’s Council of Administrators of Special Education, and many others). People respect her, wherever she goes.
Here’s our chance to learn from someone who knows how to affect what happens in governments—at least in the US. I’ve ordered a copy (you can, too, from Rowman & Littlefield(see here; I recommend using your local bookstore or Rowman & Littlefield directly rather than some big, multinational, bookseller).
I expect that Jane’s work will be very informative. And a bonus: Jane told me that her publisher can mediate an electronic meeting (e.g., Zoom) with classes that adopt the book for a course. Contact Rowman & Littlefied!
Learn more about Jane via Jane West Consulting;
See the book’s Web site;
Check a 2014 curriculum vita for Jane.
I received no financial gain from Jane West, her publisher, or others for my recommendation of her book here.