Disability and Neurodiversity in HE

Resources for Disability in HE

Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences. This book provides insights and advice on integrating students with disabilities into the STEM fields. Each chapter features research and best practices that are interwoven with experiential narratives.

Ableism in academia: where are the disabled and ill academics? This article explores some of these issues in the context of higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. We draw on our research and our experiences as speakers regarding ableism in academia to provide food for thought, stimulate a debate and raise awareness of those academics experiencing chronic illness, disability or neurodiversity, whose voices are not heard.

Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education. This important and eye-opening collection explores ableism in academia from the viewpoint of academics’ personal and professional experiences and scholarship. Through the theoretical lenses of autobiography, autoethnography, embodiment, body work and emotional labour, contributors from the UK, Canada and the US present insightful, critical, analytical and rigorous explorations of being ‘othered’ in academia.

Academia needs to talk about ‘invisible’ disabilities. Extraordinary demand for a conference on how universities support staff with invisible disabilities highlights how ableism remains widespread in academia, argue Jennifer Leigh and Nicole Brown.

Science diversified: Tackling an ‘ableist’ culture in research. Two researchers with disabilities describe an ‘ableist’ culture in academia, a system designed for fully fit and healthy people that does little to account for those who fall outside those parameters.

Reporting from the Margins: Disabled Academics Reflections on Higher Education. This article is rooted in the narratives of four disabled people with obvious impairments within higher education institutions (HEI). Their lived experiences highlight how the adoption of the neoliberal agenda by HEIs has ensured the continued exclusion of disabled academics.

Disabled in academia: to be or not to be, that is the question. The authors discuss the importance of not only normalizing varying abilities, but embracing and valuing the diversity and contributions that individuals with disabilities bring to the academic environment.

Invisible No More. A blog on supporting students with invisible disabilities.

Ableism in Academia: Theorising experiences of disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education. A book that provides an interdisciplinary outlook on ableism that is currently missing. Through reporting research data and exploring personal experiences, the contributors theorise and conceptualise what it means to be/work outside the stereotypical norm.

Excluded from the lab. An opinion piece on how inaccessibility continues to push disabled scientists out of science.

How to Be a Better Ally, With Disability Advocate Alice Wong. A podcast on disability rights and how to be a better ally.

Academic, Activist, or Advocate? Angry, Entangled, and Emerging: A Critical Reflection on Autism Knowledge Production. A piece about how autistic people are treated in the process of knowledge creation.

“But you don’t look disabled” – Invisible disabilities, disclosure and being an ‘insider’ in disability research and ‘other’ in the disability movement and academia.

Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. A book that 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.

Disability as Diversity.

Resources for Neurodiversity in HE

Neurodiversity in higher education: a narrative synthesis. This narrative synthesis draws together a corpus of international literature on how neurodiverse students experience higher education and the ways in which higher education institutions respond to the cluster of neurodiverse conditions.

How Neurodivergent Students Are Getting Through the Pandemic. Students with anxiety disorders, autism and other disabilities are struggling with the disruption of their normal routines after the move to remote education.

Student experiences of neurodiversity in higher education: insights from the BRAINHE project. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 27 current and previous students with a range of specific LDs by means of semi-structured interviews, using a thematic approach. The findings revealed that participants shared many life experiences and preferences for learning irrespective of their type of LD.

Resources for Postgraduate Researchers

Disabled in Grad School: I, Too, Dread the Accommodations Talk. This post is part of a series about being disabled at university, with a focus on graduate school: problems we encounter, how we deal with them, and what you can do that will make things easier for fellow graduate students with disabilities.

Our Disabilities Have Made Us Better Scientists.

The Adjusted PhD: What Accommodations Work(ed) for You?

Teaching and Learning Resources

Guidance for Viva examination of Autistic/neurodivergent PhD Students.

Intersectionality, Disability, and UDL.

Understanding the interaction of competence standards and reasonable adjustments. The guidance will be of use to all staff involved in developing and assessing competence standards. This includes course directors, course programme managers, course tutors, departmental disability representatives, external examiners, disability services staff, inclusive practice managers, placement tutors, placement mentors, admissions staff, and marketing and recruitment staff.

Intersectionality: A pathway towards inclusive education? This article aligns with recent international approaches to inclusive education and argues for a broadened understanding of the term, specifically in the context of Austria, which currently focuses only on children with disabilities.

Guidance: Designing Learning for Autistic and Neurodiverse Students. Collaboratively created guidance from the OpenTEL.

University Reasonable Adjustments. This site forms part of So, You’re Autistic (SYA)? at the University of Kent, a support programme teaching those with a diagnosis, awaiting a diagnosis, or self-diagnosed.

Advising neurodiverse thesis and dissertation students. These thoughts intend to help faculty think accurately, compassionately, and helpfully about their students who have learning and other differences.

Top 5 autism tips: autistic students at university. Tips for university lecturers supporting autistic students.

What I wish you knew. A guide for staff from autistic students.

Examining intellectual prowess, not social difference: Removing barriers from the doctoral viva for autistic candidates. This article presents a set of reasonable adjustments designed to remove social barriers from the existing viva process for the benefit of autistic doctoral viva candidates.

Inclusive teaching and learning: what’s next? This paper reflects the ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a route to Excellence’ published by the Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group’s (DSSLG) in January 2017 and highlights actions that may be required to attain the goals set out in the report. 

Hacking Graduate School for Neurodiverse Learners. The first of a 3-part series on supporting postgraduate neurodiverse learners.