No Disabled Students: Thoughts on Chapter 1 of Academic Ableism

                One of the things in this chapter that really struck me was the assumptions made by faculty members regarding disability among their students. Early in the chapter, Dolmage references Amy Vidali and her experience with many faculty members who had said to her some variation of “but there are no disabled students in my class.” Dolmage goes on to talk about how teachers often operate their classrooms under these assumptions. Dolmage connects this idea more concretely with the traditional viewpoints of eugenics within the university which he outlined in the introduction.

                This chapter made me think about the ways that I approach teaching. It specifically challenged me to consider how much energy I put into making my instruction sessions accessible for a group of students regardless of what information I have about their needs. While I can’t always provide an answer or completely address the needs of every student in a given session, working towards a universal design and implementing disability-considerate practices for each session will ultimately be beneficial to both the students who may need accommodations and even those who may not need them but benefit from the design regardless.

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