Main Article Content
Academia can be a challenging place to work and academics who have a disability, neurodiversity or chronic illness are further disadvantaged, as non-stereotypical ways of working are not necessarily supported or catered for. The remit of this paper is to provide practical ideas and recommendations to address accessibility issues in events and conferences as a first step to improving existing working conditions. We start with providing a brief overview of and background to the issues of ableism, disabilities, chronic illnesses and neurodiversities in academia. We then offer a detailed description of the organisational and developmental strategies relating to the Ableism in Academia conference to practically demonstrate how accessibility can be achieved. Despite vast literature available on theorisations of reasonable adjustments and some individual handbooks on conference accessibility, noted the absence of a systematic write-up of a case study that would demonstrate the thought processes required for the organisation of a fully accessible and inclusive event. This paper provides almost a step-by-step rationale and rundown of the decisions that had to be taken in order to facilitate an accessible event. After a brief consideration of challenges we encountered along the way, we share personal reflections regarding the event and future developments.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice has made best effort to ensure accuracy of the contents of this journal, however makes no claims to the authenticity and completeness of the articles published. Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables etc which are supplied from an outside source.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Brown, N., & Leigh, J. (2018). Ableism in academia: where are the disabled and ill academics?. Disability & Society, 33(6), 985-989.
Campbell, F. K. (2001). Inciting Legal Fictions: Disability’s Date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of the Law. Griffith Law Review, 10, 42-62.
Collins, A., Azmat, F., & Rentschler, R. (2018). “Bringing everyone on the same journey”: revisiting inclusion in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 1-13.
Dolmage, J. T. (2017). Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. University of Michigan Press.
Feigenbaum, A., & Iqani, M. (2013). Quality after the cuts? Higher education practitioners’ accounts of systemic challenges to teaching quality in times of “austerity”. Journal of Further and Higher Education.
Fuller, M., Bradley, A., & Healey, M. (2004). Incorporating disabled students within an inclusive higher education environment. Disability & Society, 19(5), 455-468.
Gewirtz, S., & Cribb, A. (2013). Representing 30 years of higher education change: UK universities and the Times Higher. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 45(1), 58-83.
Gooding, C. (2000). Disability Discrimination Act: from statute to practice. Critical Social Policy, 20(4), 533-549.
GOV. (2014). Accessed 3 January, 2017. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-facts-and-figures/disability-facts-and-figures
Guardian, Academics Anonymous (2018) Accessed 13 June 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2018/jun/01/academics-candidates-outstanding-application-recruitment
Grimes, S., Southgate, E., Scevak, J., & Buchanan, R. (2018). University student perspectives on institutional non-disclosure of disability and learning challenges: reasons for staying invisible. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-17.
HESA. (2017). Accessed 3 November, 2017. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis
Konur, O. (2006). Teaching disabled students in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 11(3), 351-363.
Mull, C., Sitlington, P. L., & Alper, S. (2001). Postsecondary education for students with learning disabilities: A synthesis of the literature. Exceptional Children, 68(1), 97-118.
Overboe, J. (1999). “Difference in itself”: Validating disabled people's lived experience. Body & Society, 5(4), 17-29.
Riddell, S., & Weedon, E. (2006). What counts as a reasonable adjustment? Dyslexic students and the concept of fair assessment. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 16(1), 57-73.
Rose, D. H., & Meyer, A. (2006). A practical reader in universal design for learning. Harvard Education Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Scuro, J. (2017). Addressing Ableism: Philosophical Questions Via Disability Studies. Lexington Books: Lanham, Maryland and London.
Tilak, J. B. (2008). Higher education: a public good or a commodity for trade?. Prospects, 38(4), 449-466.
Tytherleigh, M. Y., Webb, C., Cooper, C. L., & Ricketts, C. (2005). Occupational stress in UK higher education institutions: A comparative study of all staff categories. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(1), 41-61.
UCL (2018) Accessed 13 June 2018. https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/enrol/index.php?id=45535
Vickerman, P., & Blundell, M. (2010). Hearing the voices of disabled students in higher education. Disability & Society, 25(1), 21-32.
Watermeyer, R. (2015). Lost in the “third space”: the impact of public engagement in higher education on academic identity, research practice and career progression. European Journal of Higher Education, 5(3), 331-347.
Watts, J., & Robertson, N. (2011). Burnout in university teaching staff: a systematic literature review. Educational Research, 53(1), 33-50.
Wingate, U. (2007). A framework for transition: supporting ‘learning to learn’ in higher education. Higher Education Quarterly, 61(3), 391-405.
Accessibility Directory Ontario Guidelines: https://accessontario.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Planning-Accessible-Events-May-2016.pdf [accessed: 12 June 2018]
How not to plan a disability conference: https://www.autistichoya.com/2015/07/how-not-to-plan-disability-conferences.html [accessed: 12 June 2018]
Making Medieval Conferences More Accessible: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13HXH4WSBinoRNqaHjG3bpJGMxijIEG0iI-p-zWhh1xQ/edit [accessed: 12 June 2018]
Showing Up for Racial Justice Disability Justice toolkit: http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/disability-justice.html [accessed: 12 June 2018]
Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing Conference Guide: http://www.sigaccess.org/welcome-to-sigaccess/resources/accessible-conference-guide/ [accessed: 12 June 2018]
Syracuse University Inclusive events guide: http://sudcc.syr.edu/_documents/InclusiveEventsSeminarsGuide.pdf [accessed: 12 June 2018]