Reading Academic Ableism Chapter 2

In this chapter, Dolmage uses the spatial metaphor of the retrofit as his next example. The chapter opens by discussing the failure of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). He discusses the various ways that the ADA sometimes provides fixes for issues that do not really make things easier for people with disabilities, one example being a ramp that was built to help someone enter public houses. The ramp looks pretty ridiculous and has 10 levels to it. Rather than trying to find the best solution, the builders designed something that makes it much harder to use. The ramp was supposed to be built to help the girl who lived there access her house, but in reality it makes it very time consuming to even try to enter.

One line that resonated with me was: “Disability also can’t be seen as something frozen in time and frozen in othered bodies—it has to be embraced as an always-everywhere, as a material but always changing reality” (73).

Essentially, this chapter questions the rhetoric of accommodations and the way the system is currently set up to make the student have to seek help rather than the system being originally built to accommodate people with a range of disabilities.

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