What obstacles do disabled academics, employees, and students face? How does ableism work in practice? We wish to illustrate this with ableism alerts. Inspired by Athena’s Angels, who address sexism in universities, we want to provide a space to share an anecdote anonymously.
Do you have an ableism alert? Read our rules and email us!
'Inclusive', but no subtitles
A short video from a university about the importance of inclusivity was not subtitled.
Access could not be realized 'on short notice'
I was planning to attend a conference during the COVID-pandemic. Officially, I was not part of the high risk group, but an infection could still have serious consequences for my health. So I inquired as to the possiblilities of remote attendance months before the event. There weren’t any, and they would only realize them if the government required them to through stricter measures. A few days before the conference, such stricter measures were implemented. Then came a message on their socials: ‘Unfortunately we were not able to realize hybrid options on such short notice.’
I would present at a conference. Due to my impairment, I can’t stand for long periods of time, and so I requested a bar stool well in advance. When I asked the panel chair where the bar stool was, it turned out there wasn’t any.
No office space
Once I’d heard that I was hired, a few months before the start of my contract, I informed the university of my access needs. I have a mobility impairment, and I knew that my intended office space was inaccessible to me. It took months before I got assigned an accessible office space.