Resistance from the margin: An autoethnographic account of academic ableism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ableism—which refers to a socially-sanctioned preference for normative bodies and minds, and which presumes one's abilities—is prevalent in any social system, including academia. However, despite an evolving disciplinary identity that seeks to improve work systems by addressing critical social issues, human resource development (HRD) as a field has done little to understand or advocate for the experiences of academics with disabilities. To challenge directly prevailing ableist assumptions and practices in academia, the present autoethnographic study was undertaken to reflect upon and detail my own experience of becoming an academic with a disability, specifically in the field of HRD. The story presented in this article presents evidence of unique challenges and opportunities facing an academic with a disability and seeks to stimulate meaningful dialogue around how to create a welcoming and inclusive academic culture for all. This article also advances autoethnography as a viable research methodology that allows for the authentic voices of members from marginalized communities and mobilizes change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Resource Development Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • ableism
  • academic ableism
  • critical human resource development
  • disability
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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