One thought on “Dear Disabled Person, We're Sorry but You're a Real Inconvenience, Signed, (Insert Conference Name Here)

  1. You make an excellent point, Aaron. I have seen academia often slow to respond to ‘differently abled’ persons. I recall a university I worked at in the 90s. The basement level of a building did not permit access of people in wheel chairs to the bathrooms, because the doors were too narrow. One gentleman got his chair stuck in the door frame of the bathroom. I helped get him out, but he was understandably upset.

    Even though his classroom was in the basement level, the university refused any reasonable accommodation, and told him he must go to an other floor to use a bathroom. To this day, those door frames prevent access. I believe we often witness ambivalence to the handicapped in academia, and I have never understood it. It likely is an unconscious bias, but a very real bias. So I encourage everyone to stop and think for a moment every time they encounter someone with a handicap, and ask themselves: “What would my life be like if I were in that person’s shoes?”

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