Towards a disability justice pedagogy in the higher education classroom



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The purpose of this study is to explore what Disability Justice (DJ) pedagogy is in social science and humanities higher education classrooms. While higher education has been engaging with pedagogical practices to aid the inclusion of students with disabilities (i.e., universal design), fewer faculty have engaged with DJ as a framework for pedagogical approaches and practices. This dissertation takes up this gap in the research. Therefore, I examine and put into conversation three different pedagogical approaches: (1) anti-oppressive pedagogies (critical pedagogy, engaged pedagogy, and decolonial pedagogies), (2) feminist pedagogies, and (3) accessible/disability pedagogies to help inform the beginning stages of a DJ pedagogy. I do this in concert with two methods, autoethnography from my own personal experiences as a disabled person, and semi-structured interviews with instructors who center disability and accessibility in their teaching as well as with students who have disabilities. This dissertation identifies the largest barriers to implementing DJ and defines access in the classroom from a DJ pedagogical perspective. Finally, this dissertation offers workshops to serve as a foundation for educators who wish to align their teaching practices with a DJ pedagogical approach.



Women's and Gender studies, Disability Studies