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The Blind Advantage

The Blind Advantage Cover

The Blind Advantage

How Going Blind Made Me a Stronger Principal and How Including Children with Disabilities Made Our School Better for E

By Bill Henderson

Harvard Education PR, Paperback, 9781612501093, 200pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2011

The Blind Advantage provides insight into the challenges, possibilities, and practicalities of including students with disabilities--and into the mind and heart of an inspired and determined leader.

"You should get out of education."

That was the advice first-year teacher Bill Henderson received when he discovered he was gradually losing his vision. Instead, Henderson persevered and became principal of the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School in Boston, an ethnically and economically diverse school where about a third of the students have mild, moderate, or significant disabilities.

In The Blind Advantage, Henderson describes how the journey into blindness helped him develop key qualities--determination, vision, sensitivity, organization, collaboration, and humor--that made him a more effective principal. At the same time, he shows how the inclusionary policies and practices at the O'Hearn School (now renamed the William W. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School) elicited and developed these qualities in others.

An audio version of this book is available for purchase. This audio version was created in collaboration with the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library.

About the Author
Bill Henderson was an educator in the Boston Public Schools for 36 years. He was appointed principal of the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School in 1989 with a mandate to develop an inclusive program, and he remained its leader for twenty years.