Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center. For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of higher education encourages students and teachers alike to accentuate ability, valorize perfection, and stigmatize anything that hints at intellectual, mental, or physical weakness, even as we gesture toward the value of diversity and innovation. Examining everything from campus accommodation processes, to architecture, to popular films about college life, Dolmage argues that disability is central to higher education, and that building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.
“Academic Ableism is a landmark book for higher education. Using disability as the frame, it is the first and only of its kind to take on structural ableism in the academy.”
—Brenda Brueggemann, University of Connecticut
“For those new to the field of Disability Studies, Dolmage provides clear, authoritative definitions of terms and the opportunity to analyze, critically, what students know best and need tools to think about, their own spaces and roles. For those who are old hats, this book is game-changing.”
— Susan Schweik, University of California, Berkeley