Narrative-Based Research for Social Change
Edited By Ahmet Atay and Mary Z. Ashlock
AHMET ATAY AND MARY Z. ASHLOCK
Over the last 20 years, the field of communication has seen important increases in studies focusing on different aspects of the discourse of disability and how physical and learning disabilities influence communication between able-bodied people and people with disabilities. Many scholars come to disability-related research because of their lived experiences or the lived experiences of family members and friends (Braithwaite & Thompson, 2000). In our case, we came to disability research because we wanted to understand the web of personal, social, and cultural factors that influence the educational experiences of students with disabilities. Because we teach at different institutions, our experiences with students with disabilities are different. Mary teaches at a large inner-city public university in Kentucky, whereas Ahmet teaches at a small liberal arts college in rural Ohio. Thus, the student bodies we work with are different, although there are some similarities among them. We both teach students with physical and learning disabilities, although our institutions are structured differently and they provide different services to students and resources to faculty. Moreover, we take similar perspectives to teaching, which is infused by our commitment to experiential and interactive learning and critical communication pedagogy. Hence, we both try to empower students who have traditionally been overlooked or silenced due to their disabilities. We are also curious, which led us to a new academic subdiscipline. This book is about this journey.
We came to this research with differing...
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