ACADEMIC STAFF WITH DISABILITIES

Disability can come in any number of forms. Many are obvious – an individual in a wheelchair, a blind individual with a cane, a deaf individual signing – but many are not – depression, social anxiety, learning disabilities. Academic staff with disabilities often face the same sort of discrimination as those outside the academy.

WHAT IS ABLEISM?

Ableism is a form of discrimnination against people with disabilities. An ableist believes that disability is an inherently bad thing that must be overcome to become part of the able-bodied norm in society. Essentially, that having a disability is a mistake or a failing rather than a product of human diversity.

HOW DOES ABLEISM IMPACT ACADEMIC STAFF?

The impact of ableism on academic staff is primarily the same as discrimination in any other workplace. Ableism can impact everything from an academic’s feeling of belonging in their department to their career progression. Discrimination of all kinds limits the scope of scholarship for marginalized groups as a result of the privliege given to traditional forms of research. For those academic staff with physical disabilities, universities can be difficult places to work. Aging buildings – a substantial problem on
university campuses – mean that not all areas are accessible.

WHERE CAN I GET HELP WITH EQUITY ISSUES?

If you are an academic staff member and the issue relates to your employment at Carleton, you can contact CUASA. In addition, Carleton’s Equity Services maintains a list of resources available for
members of equity seeking groups. If you are on campus and are facing an immediate threat to your physical safety, contact Campus Safety at 613-520-4444.

Disabilities come in many forms, as the icons here demonstrate (photo information)

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