Ableism in the Academy–It’s What’s For Breakfast

This was a thought provoking post. I realize that disabled identity is a complex issue within many communities & I had my own thoughts but the insights here are so powerful I felt this was worth a reblog. I believe the root cause here is as SK points out the assumption that physically challenged bodies are someone else’s issue. This long held belief also takes root in the complexities that many people who identity as having invisible disabilities also face. This post addresses academia, but I’ve felt many of these insights in other aspects of my life outside academia. But it’s a great springboard into many other conversations…Thank you Stephen Kuusisto for this post & your permission to reblog it. I’m happy to have connected with you on WP.

Planet of the Blind

Ableism is akin to racism or homophobia but with one difference: the assumption that physically challenged bodies are “someone else’s issue” remains largely unexamined outside academic or activist circles within disability communities.   

—Stephen Kuusisto, before his first cup of coffee

You can’t include the disabled in whatever is meant by “diversity” until the problem above is addressed. 

—Kuusisto after his second cup of coffee  

That the disabled belong in special offices, sequestered environments, is a a hangover from the 19th century. Just as people of color or women still experience cruel 19th century headaches, the disabled do also. The academy taught racial separation, “the White Man’s Burden”, eugenics, and promoted the medical and psychological inferiority of women and people of color throughout the 1800’s and long into the 20th. The hierarchies of post-secondary-education in the U.S. remain in an amnesiac state—you see, I’ve even chosen an…

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