A "disability statement" as part of the syllabus is much encouraged at
the U of MN. There is a pretty standard one that outlines procedures
that pretty much resemble what's been described here by several
listers. Thus, it outlines at least the initial phase of the difficult
process students must endure. Writing a kinder, gentler statement would
do no good, since it wouldn't alter the process. My experience is
similar to Lilith's insofar as I've noticed students reticent to out
themselves and/or work with disability services. In at least one case,
a student refused to go to DS because of a previous bad (humiliating
would be my educated guess) experience.
LILITH Finkler wrote:
> Yes, my experiences are very similar to Claudia's. I worked for a
> university arranging accomodations for psychiatric survivor students.
> professors / sessional instructors exporessed reluctance in providing
> accomodations. I recall being told that depression was not a REAL
> and that providing "preferential treatement" was unfair to other
> students! I
> was particularly incensced in one situation because the student had been
> hospitalized for a large part of the term and had a medical report to
> support their request for accomodation.
> Asking sessionsals to provide accomodation was even more complex.
> instructors are often the backbone of an undergraduate education. Unlike
> tenured professors, sessionals are only paid for the hours they work in a
> particular term. They were reluctant to provide extensions because they
> might then be providing their services to the student for free. This is a
> labour issue which should be addressed by the sessional instructors'
> Overtime should be paid if sessionsal accomodate disabled students. It
> not be the practice however.
> Finally, when I was a teaching assistant myself, I wrote an introductory
> note for my students describing such things as contact information,
> hours, etc. I also specifically welcomed disabled students into my
> class and
> asked that they inform me of any need for accomodation at the
> beginning of
> the term. Much to my amazement, at the beginning of my second class, I
> had a
> large number of new students wanting to attend my tutorial. I was
> oversubscribed and could not figure out why. Towards the end of the
> term, a
> great deal became clear. A number of teh students had invisible
> disabilities, wanted accomodations but did not wish to go through the
> registration process normally required by the university. They were
> of "coming out" and at the same time had immense difficulties.
> In my experience, most students resisted using the 'disability card".
> went so far as refusing to use the university's drug plan to pay for
> very expensive medication. They were afraid of being "exposed" and being
> unable to find a job once they graduated. This desire to hide their
> psychiatric disability resulted in the student then having to go to a
> foodbank in order to eat.
> It seems to me both from my professional and personal experiences that
> invisible disabilities allow the privilege of passing but simultaneously
> inhibit the connection of those similarly affected by disability/ stigma.
> Perhaps more importantly, by introducing the notion of invisible
> we challenge the traditionally accepted notions of disability itself.
> ________________End of message______________________
> Archives and tools for the Disability-Research Discussion List
> are now located at:
> You can JOIN or LEAVE the list from this web page.
Alex Lubet, Ph. D.
Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music and Jewish Studies
Adjunct Professor of American Studies
Head, Division of Composition and Music Theory
University of Minnesota
2106 4th St. S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612 624-7840 612 624-8001 (fax)
________________End of message______________________
Archives and tools for the Disability-Research Discussion List
are now located at:
You can JOIN or LEAVE the list from this web page.