Accommodations in Academia – Some positive models

As I wrote about the job discrimination ads last month for Al Jazeera America​, I kept thinking about the hashtag #ILookLikeAProfessor and Kelly J. Baker​’s work. My thesis is that the inadvertent part of this was based, at least in part, on people who had just never considered that a disabled person might be able to be a professor. So I put out a call for disabled professors who would be willing to speak to me about their accommodations and tried to write a positive piece about potential, even as I also pointed out the structural issues. I concluded:

“As long as our common image of the professor remains white, male, straight, well-off, and abled, people outside that circle will encounter both structural and direct discrimination. It’s an image that’s increasingly inaccurate. Disabled academics — like academics from so many other diverse communities and claiming so many types of intersecting identities — are here. They’re working hard. And when they receive institutional support, they’re thriving. Let’s work on making that the new normal.”

With thanks to Stephanie Kerschbaum​ Joe Stramondo​ Heide Estes​ and Brian Kruse​ for their kind assistance, as well as the many other people who kindly contributed their experiences but who I didn’t quote directly.

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