Academic Ableism and Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 3-5 p.m. MST | Online

This 2-hour session will involve a 30-minute keynote address from Dr. Jay Dolmage (University of Waterloo) followed by a 1-hr panel discussion with disability scholars from across the University of Alberta including, Dr. Lindsay Eales, Dr. Danielle Peers, Dr. Joshua St. Pierre, and Dr. Joanne Weber.

Transcript available here

Ableism in academia plays out in many aspects of being a Faculty member, student, and/or staff member on campus. As ableism relates to teaching and learning, and as we continue to manage the impacts of the pandemic on higher education, one place where it is being experienced more and more is with increased numbers of students with approved accommodations and exam deferrals. These increases (and the increasing requests for them) are forcing more conversations about how to support students with disabilities. In some cases, these conversations reveal a lack of awareness about the purpose of accomodations and what needs to be done to properly support students. These conversations also reveal assumptions about why students might be seeking accommodations and the implications of providing them. This session will raise awareness about how ableism in academia is present in the way we work to support students, staff, and instructors. It will provide knowledges to help reshape attitudes and beliefs about accommodating students with disabilities so that we can work not just reactively but proactively to improve how we meet our teaching and learning communities' needs.

ASL interpreters and live transcription will be available. If you have any additional accommodation needs, please e-mail Dr. Ken Cor directly at and we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.

Submit questions for the panel:

Jay Dolmage

I have a lovely partner named Heather, a dog named Bingo, and three hilarious children named Vern, Francine, and Murphy. I am committed to disability rights in my scholarship, service, and teaching. My work brings together rhetoric, writing, disability studies, and critical pedagogy. My first book, entitled Disability Rhetoric, was published with Syracuse University Press in 2014. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education was published with Michigan University Press in 2017 and is available in an open-access version online. Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability was published in 2018 with Ohio State University Press. I am the Founding Editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.


A biographic photo of Dr. Jay Dolmage from the University of Waterloo