Nowana Schroeder Interview
Nowana Schroeder joined the staff of the Developmental Training Center (D.T.C.) in 1975. (The D.T.C., at Indiana University in Bloomington, is now known as the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community.) Then Nowana Nicholson, she had a background in speech communication, communication theory, and research. Nowana worked with Indiana’s state director of Special Education Gilbert Bliton and D.T.C. director Henry J. Schroeder, Jr. to produce their influential 1986 concept paper, "A New Future for Children with Substantial Handicaps: The Second Wave of Least Restrictive Environment." "A New Future" recognized the 10th anniversary of the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act, specifying strategies for more genuine integration of students with disabilities into their schools and communities. The mandate for Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) in public education of students with disabilities originated in the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142).
In this 2013 video interview, Nowana describes how the impetus for the paper came from U.S. Assistant Secretary for Special Education Madeleine C. Will. She recounts that the eventual implementation of LRE in Indiana schools was a significant change for teachers as well as students. Nowana discusses her 20-year tenure at the Institute, with involvement in Program PREPARE, the Indiana Home Teaching System, several LRE Projects, and a second concept paper on LRE, “Redesigning Special Education Services for ALL Students: The Indiana Agenda". She discusses the evolution of the Institute from a residential facility to more influential work that is "like dropping a pebble in a pond, and the rings just spread out." She describes working with Dr. Barbara Wilcox and Dr. Michael Tracy, and particularly addresses the tenure (1972-1997) of Dr. Henry Schroeder, whom she married while at the Institute. He died in 2005. Nowana also discusses the challenges of poverty in the public schools.
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter