It's awareness month for multiple medical issues that I have, and I've got to say, it's incredibly hard and demoralizing to participate in these campaigns. Disabled individuals are constantly asked to make their issues palatable to society. 1/7
We're expected to say "oh it's ok if you don't know about x." We're the ones making infographics and recommending readings and recounting tough personal narratives. We're expected to discord our stories of medical neglect and issues with diagnosis and time to care. 2/7
But in the background, as an academic, I know that these awareness months don't change anything in medicine. At my home institution, for example, disability related issues are barely covered in the med school curriculum. 3/7
And patient ethics regarding disability are mostly covered by disabled individuals, themselves, volunteering to give feedback during demos and mock medical exams. And honestly I'm so tired of begging medical professionals. 4/7
Begging schools to teach palliative care strategies. Begging physicians to acknowledge that my knowledge of my disorder improves my quality of life more than their care does. Begging to be seen as an equal in the relationship. 5/7
Begging for my symptoms to be validated. Begging for doctors to admit "I don't know." Begging for doctors to take me seriously when I bring in research from PubMed and talk about treatment options. 6/7
Awareness months aren't enough. We have to break the cycle of disability discrimination. And it starts in our med programs. 7/7 #DisabilityTwitter #MedEd #MedTwitter #HigherEd

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More from @DisabledAcadem

7 Apr
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
Read 5 tweets
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

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