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The Discourse of Disability in Communication Education

Narrative-Based Research for Social Change

Edited By Ahmet Atay and Mary Z. Ashlock

This book examines the ways in which communicative practices influence the lives of students and faculty with disabilities in higher education. Offering their own experiences as teachers and students, the authors use qualitative research methods, mainly narrative and autoethnography, to highlight the intersections among communication, disability, diversity, and critical communication pedagogy. While embodying and emphasizing these connections, each chapter defines the notion of disability from a different point of view; summarizes the relevant literature; provides suggestions for different ways of improving the experiences of people with disabilities in higher education; promotes social change; and in some cases, promotes policy change. Overall, the volume promotes more effective, mindful, honest, and caring interaction between able-bodied and disabled individuals.
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This project has been an enriching and an eye-opening experience. We are grateful for so many people including our coauthors who helped us to conceptualize this project, engage in various inspiring discussions and dialogues about learning and physical disabilities in the context of higher education, and finally helped us to turn it to an edited book that would further our discussions around communication education and disability.

I (Ahmet) am grateful to so many people who encouraged and also motivated me to carry out this project. I would like to thank to my former and current students who inspired me in so many different ways to think about issues around diversity, disability, and communication. I would like to extend my gratitude to Heather Fitz Gibbon and The College of Wooster’s Faculty Development Funds for allowing me to present my work around disability at various conferences. I am also grateful to several colleagues and friends who helped me to conceptualize ideas. I have enjoyed the support of Jay Brower, Tony Adams, Keith Berry, Diana Trebing, Nancy Grace, Diana Bullen Presciutti, Jimmy Noriega, Margaret Wick, and my colleagues’ at The College of Wooster throughout this project. Finally, all my love and thanks to my parents, Ayla and Kemal Atay, and my partner Serkan, who supported me so much during this project.

I (Mary) am greatly appreciative of the faculty, staff, and students at the University of Louisville in the Department of Communication and the Disability...

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