Background: The “ecojustice with/in disability studies” affinity group grew out of shared interests at the SEMIS summer institute. The group looks at the intersection and effect of attitudes towards human animals, nonhuman animals, and plants. The premise is that underlying viewpoints transcend the object. In other words, how I feel about human animals affects how I feel about plants and nonhuman animals.

Me: I am a caring seeker of wisdom. I strive to be in the present, aware of the beauty around me. I accept nonlinear thought. I believe, “it is better to learn how to fish together than to teach someone how to fish.” I take a long, fluid view of time, and remind myself that we are all in this together, trying to be happy. I teach elementary special education, and will be facilitating this book club discussion.

Book Club: We decided to focus our conversation through a book club. We are reading “The Short Bus” by Jonathan Mooney. We will follow Jonathan’s journey uncovering “normal,” and reflect on the hidden assumptions and prejudices we live by, with, and in. I believe the existence of normalcy creates hierarchies, power structures, privilege, and prejudice. People on the fringes of normalcy are often labeled with disabilities, and discriminated against based on socially constructed differences. This is the dominant story, but it is not the only story. Do you believe in “normal?” What does it look like? What is a world void of normal like? How do your views affect your beliefs about ecojustice?


Ground rules: Given the format, please keep your initial posts to under 500 words and your comments on others’ posts to less than 250 words. As much as possible avoid jargon that might inhibit access to your thinking. Try to be specific and clear with your words.

Reflection questions: What moments in the book raised interesting questions we might discuss? What was a powerful moment/idea from the book that you’d like other people’s perspectives on?


Guest blogpost by:

Kevin Dorn

Special Education Teacher
Novi Meadows Elementary School