Unreasonable adjustments: the additional unpaid labour of academics with disabilities

Inckle, K. (2018). "Unreasonable adjustments: the additional unpaid labour of academics with disabilities." Disability & Society 33(8): 1372-1376.

Two recent contributions to this section have drawn attention to the barriers which academics with disabilities have to navigate in academia where ableism “is endemic” (Brown and Leigh, 2018: 4). Hannam-Swain (2018) highlighted the additional intellectual, emotional and physical labour required of her as a disabled PhD student, and Brown and Leigh (2018) queried “where are all the disabled and ill academics”? However, Brown and Leigh primarily focus on those with invisible “conditions” and the dilemmas raised by disclosure in a context where such conditions negate academic status and credibility. In contrast, since my “disability” is visible, I do not share the dilemma/”luxury” of secrecy. My presence announces my status before me, and this negates my personhood altogether in academic settings. It also places a burden of additional unpaid labour upon me which has significant mental health and career impacts as well as violating principles of equality.

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