This article describes a study designed to better understand the fallout of extended school closures and staggered re-openings for one group heavily impacted by the pandemic, mothers of children with disabilities. Using feminist ways of knowing as the backdrop, we explored how a small group of mothers experienced pandemic-related educational shifts. We aimed to provide solidarity and a space of care. We employed narrative methods to support the storying of their individual and collective experiences. Data were synthesized vis-à-vis participants’ ethic of care, particularly in relationship to the power structures they traversed. Taking a deep dive into the experiences of a small group of mothers allowed us to contribute to the field’s understanding of mothers’ multiple identities and underscores the importance of including them in discussions around educational supports for children with disabilities, particularly in times of crisis.


school closures, students with disabilities, mothers, narrative inquiry

Author Bio(s)

Kristi Cheyney-Collante, Ph.D. (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6430-1695), is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Graduate Coordinator of the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies (SESPECS) at the University of Florida. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI). Dr. Cheyney-Collante's scholarship efforts focus on early literacy teaching and learning, particularly in communities experiencing systemic inequities in access to effective instruction. She has exhibited multiple photographic installations, photo essays, and other creative projects that highlight the experiences of young children and their families, and the teachers that serve them.

Lindsey Chapman, Ph.D. (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7515-5013), is a Lecturer and Director of the Special Education program at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework on disability-related issues and provides seminars for field-based experiences. Her scholarship and teaching focus on social perspectives of disability, accessibility/Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and inclusive teacher preparation/development across the career span.

Shaunté Duggins, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for the New Worlds Reading Initiative at the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning. In this role, she manages all aspects of the statewide book distribution program, including recruitment and enrollment, book selection and distribution, family engagement resource development, district and community partnerships and corporate tax contributions. Her research includes early literacy, teacher education and professional development, particularly in high-poverty schools.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kristi Cheyney-Collante, School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida, E-mail: cheyneyk@coe.ufl.edu.

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