Instructors with a hidden disability may choose to talk with their students about their disability, they may choose to pass as normal, or they may deal with their disability in ways that challenge the binary of showing/hiding. Communication about disabilities occurs in contexts that provide a range of possible cultural values that can work to reinforce an individual’s sense of belonging to a group or organization. To examine how graduate students negotiate their disability or illness in the classroom context, I conducted three interviews with graduate instructors addressing how they communicate their disability in the classes they teach. I learned that these instructors often do not explicitly discuss their conditions with their students. Rather, they performed hidden disabilities in both verbal and nonverbal messages. I perform excerpts of these disability narratives by using poetic transcription to highlight the cultural values that surface in each narrative. I then discuss some implications of how hidden disabilities are expressed in university contexts.
Eugene, Nicole C.
"Misfits in the Front of the Classroom: Poetic Narratives of Teaching with a Hidden Disability,"
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research: Vol. 15
, Article 3.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol15/iss1/3