Ableism and Exclusion
Challenging Academic Cultural Norms in Research Communication
Keywords:Ableism; Research management; Exclusion
Academic institutions are abelist. This, however, does not have to be the case. How do individuals involved in research management address this culture?
In the context of the drastic changes in Higher Education since the 1990s, and an increasing emphasis on equality and inclusion, initiatives such as Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter have led to more awareness of exclusionary practices. However, statistics on disability highlight serious issues in relation to disclosure rates for staff and staff report being stigmatised and their career choices undermined or invalidated. This can be particularly true for those who research into or around ableism.
In this environment how can research managers raise awareness and empower all academics to ask for and gain adjustments to support their work? How has the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact on higher education institutions and their finances affected this issue?
In this paper we consider some of the challenges of conducting research on ableism in academia and what it can tell us. We then discuss the changes that can be made to research management that would help address and challenge the ableist academic culture. This would be achieved through raising expectations, placing inclusivity and accessibility at the heart of research communication and encouraging, equipping and challenging the academic community to embed these practices in the dissemination of their research.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Jennifer Leigh, Josie Caplehorne & Sarah Slowe
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