Researchers with Disabilities, and the Obstacles They Face in Academia

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Disability Specialty Group, Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Sasha Kosanic, Susanne Zimmermann-Janschitz
Chairs: Sasha Kosanic


Researchers with Disabilities, and the Obstacles They Face in Academia

Researchers with disabilities are still very much underrepresented group in academia worldwide. Although some laws and policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability do exist, they are still very rarely followed or implemented. Furthermore, there is still misinterpretation of the phrases ‘equal opportunity’ or ‘equal opportunity employer’. What does this mean for disabled researchers? Can they do the fieldwork in the same ‘way’ or ‘speed’ as non-disabled scientists or researchers? Should we expect their research output (i.e. papers, books) to be of the same quantity as of the able body researchers?
Academia is a very competitive place, and this might be part of the reason that non-disabled academics still do not fully understand that the academic path of disabled researchers may differ from theirs. Furthermore, the slower pace of research sometimes impacts the quantity but not necessarily the quality (“slow scholarship?”). Thus far, mainstream discussions on the experiences of disabled researchers have focused on accommodation and architectonic barriers, there is still very little discussion on the qualitative differences in paths or trajectories of non-disabled and disabled researchers. Hence, there is lack of understanding what is a causal effect of these special circumstances (lack of accommodation or architectonic barriers) that and how they affect disabled researchers over time.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Sasha Kosanic University of Konstanz 10
Panelist Vera Chouinard MCMASTER UNIVERSITY 15
Panelist Arrianna Marie Planey University of Illinois 15
Discussant Nancy Hansen University of Manitoba 15
Panelist Vandana Wadhwa MERIDIAN R&C LLC 15

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