Every student who sits on a DEI committee should be paid for their time. They are serving as consultants who are being asked to disclose highly personal experiences and information with admin. 1/5
Personally, I felt backed into a corner and compelled to perform this work. Not because it helps my CV or helps my job market potential (surprise no one wants a disabled person complaining about access issues all the time on staff) 2/5
I knew if I didn't speak up someone else would have to. Or the uni would claim that the issue was nonexistent. And if I could save one other student from experiencing discrimination, I decided it was worth the anguish I felt over performing this labor. 3/5
This is real work. It is time consuming and emotional and demanding. Student advocates are painted as disrupters, as problematic community members never satisfied with the uni, even though they were explicitly asked to give a legitimate critique of current operations. 4/5
Students should receive compensation for this labor. Their time is valuable and important. And their DEI assessments are real reflections of the system. Just like outside contractors, they should be treated as professionals. 5/5 #AcademicChatter #DisabilityTwitter #HigherEd

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More from @DisabledAcadem

6 Apr
Accommodations continue to treat disability under a medical and economic model. Which means that disabled people know exactly how much you're willing to invest in our inclusion. And it's not much. 1/5
When we're denied accommodations it's exhausting. Because it means we didn't prove to our medical professionals, our access coordinators, or our legal teams that we're disabled "enough" to warrant the accommodation. Because God forbid someone take advantage of the system. 2/5
But we can also be denied because the accommodation is too expensive. Because the accommodation clashes with the job description (many of which add arbitrary physical requirements to bar disabled people). 3/5
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr
How exactly do accessibility coordinators determine what is a legitimate and reasonable request in higher ed? Are there any collected lists of accommodations? And can these be reinterpreted at every university? 1/6
What role do disabled people play in imagining new forms of accommodation? How do these become normalized in the system? And how do institutions ensure that accommodations are not only met but are also effective? 2/6
Wondering if we the DAC could help organize anonymous info collection about the types of accommodations people currently have, as well as our larger dreams for potential accommodations 3/6
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
My grad school is collecting data on grad student feelings towards the program. I have lots of feelings. But today I want to focus on mental health assessments in higher ed and disability. 1/9
The survey asked if grad students knew how to access services on campus, and if we knew where to go for counseling/where to apply. I want to refute the notion that knowledge is the issue. 2/9
I'm not receiving adequate mental health support because the clinic is severely overburdened. I'm not receiving support because I asked if any therapists on campus dealt with chronic illness and it's interwoven relationship with depression and anxiety and was told no. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
28 Mar
As terrible as VAPs, postdocs, and other contingent labor positions are in academia, disabled academics often have to take these positions to secure health care. On the other hand, disabled academics may also have to turn down positions bc they DON'T promise healthcare. 1/4
One or two years of healthcare is survival for us. And an academic job, with flexible work hours, is an incredible privilege, especially for those of us who need time for Drs appointments/physical therapy/infusions/etc. 2/4
Sometimes it feels like we don't have much of a choice. Higher education increases our likelihood of getting hired, and navigating accommodations in academia gets easier and easier over time. It is incredibly stressful to think of switching careers. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
28 Mar
I really wish grad programs began asking "does this serve our students?" Does this assignment teach necessary skills for a broad job market? Do students have time to develop skills during coursework? Or is the program asking students to learn these outside of class hours? 1/6
What is the program directly preparing students for? What connections does the department maintain with the federal sector and other business sectors? Are students being introduced to worlds outside of academia? 2/6
To ask the hard question - why should a student go to grad school in a certain program? What is the incentive? When the job market looks like this and real career training is non-existent? 3/6
Read 6 tweets
20 Mar
Normalize acknowledging that everyone, regardless of disability status, has care needs. Normalize talking about them, enforcing them, and demanding them. It's ok to need things. It's not ok to act like those needs are a drain on relationships. 1/5
I need those around me to wear fragrance free products. I like going for coffee, but that's my only safe food to have out. I can't spend much time out in direct sunlight. And I need spaces for rest at museums/art collections/etc. 2/5
These aren't really big asks. But very few non-disabled people are comfortable providing these. We need to talk about why. Planning outings or meeting up with disabled people doesn't need to be stressful or complicated. We know our needs. 3/5
Read 5 tweets

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