The abrupt switch to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted pervasive ableism; accommodations that had been “impossible” were suddenly available. This critical commentary draws from interviews with 16 students and our own ethnographic accounts as student/professor to understand how COVID shaped disabled experiences in the classroom. As a student with a disability, Elizabeth was hyperaware of her vulnerability to illness, but also experienced herself as less impaired online. She could control her learning environment to minimize sensory and mobility challenges. Additionally, professors’ flexible policies helped her to manage energy, time, and symptoms. However, Elizabeth and her peers feared an uncritical return to “normal.” As we witness students’ struggles for inclusion, how might professors resist returning to rigid, ableist practices?
Parsloe, Sarah M. and Smith, Elizabeth M.
"The Threat of Returning to “Normal”: Resisting Ableism in the Post-COVID Classroom,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 2:
3, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol2/iss3/8