Caregiving and Being Unprofessional

My husband has a major surgery this morning. The surgery itself is scary and the recovery will be long and painful. He needs this surgery because of a brain infection. We are not looking forward to it and we’re not sure how long and how painful the recovery will be, only that it will certainlyContinue reading “Caregiving and Being Unprofessional”

Starting Points for Learning More about Disability and Accessibility

This week and next week my posts will be a little shorter than usual because of two activities that can take up a lot of time and energy for disabled folks and their caregivers: (1) arguing with doctors and insurance companies and (2) undergoing medical treatment. This week arguing is the big activity and nextContinue reading “Starting Points for Learning More about Disability and Accessibility”

Thinking About the Needs of Disabled Folks in Classrooms & Workplaces

As someone who teaches rhetoric, I am always noticing how the ways we talk about something shape the ways we think about that thing. I recently discovered The Squeaky Wheelchair, the blog of Kathleen Downes, a woman with cerebral palsy, and found myself nodding emphatically to every sentence of her post “It’s Your Job Too:Continue reading “Thinking About the Needs of Disabled Folks in Classrooms & Workplaces”

Whose Knowledge of Disability Has Value?

Last week I chronicled the five-year process I had to go through to get medical documentation of my disability. I mentioned that I was dumbfounded that after going to my main eye doctor for a few years and finally throwing a fit, he mentioned that his practice had a low vision specialist that he couldContinue reading “Whose Knowledge of Disability Has Value?”

How Hard Is It To Get Documentation of a Disability?

I’ve previously blogged about the access fatigue that comes along with asking for accommodations. At my institution—and most others—students cannot ask for accommodations unless they are formally registered as having a disability with their campus disability services office. Similarly, faculty and staff cannot ask for accommodations unless they are formally registered as having a disabilityContinue reading “How Hard Is It To Get Documentation of a Disability?”

8 Things You Can Do to Make Your Workplace or Class More Accessible

Because disability is not stable, making a workplace or a classroom accessible is not a “one and done” endeavor. The concept of “accommodations” certainly implies that accessibility is about making one or two tweaks to an environment and then moving on, but that idea is based on an ableist idea of disability as stable. HereContinue reading “8 Things You Can Do to Make Your Workplace or Class More Accessible”

Identifying Accommodations Is Harder than You Think

I’ve previously blogged about the access fatigue that comes along with asking for accommodations. Before you can even ask for accommodations, though, you need to know what to ask for, and that’s more difficult than it may seem. With my low vision, for example, it may seem obvious that I need good lighting, but whatContinue reading “Identifying Accommodations Is Harder than You Think”

Welcoming Folks with Disabilities versus Allowing Access to Folks with Disabilities

Last weekend, I had an experience that highlighted the difference between accommodating disability to comply with the law and designing for equity in accessibility. Now that we are both vaccinated, my husband and I belatedly celebrated our anniversary by spending a couple nights in a nice hotel and going out to eat in restaurants. OurContinue reading “Welcoming Folks with Disabilities versus Allowing Access to Folks with Disabilities”

Rethinking My Use of the Word Microaggression

I have used the term microaggression in the last few posts to describe behaviors that indirectly convey a person’s derogatory thoughts about disabled people, such as when I am asked by a colleague who noticed that my class was moved to a different room if I really need special lighting in my classrooms. I wasContinue reading “Rethinking My Use of the Word Microaggression”

Academic Ableism: The Expectation that Crips Be More Thankful

A few nights ago, I watched the documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. The 2020 film follows some disabled teenagers who attended Camp Jened, a camp for disabled kids, together in the ‘70s as they grow up and become disabilities rights activists. Near the end of the film, disability rights activist Judy Heumann, who lostContinue reading “Academic Ableism: The Expectation that Crips Be More Thankful”