22 SES 14 D, Diversity of Staff and (PhD) Students
Disability in higher education is mostly considered under inclusive educational policies and practices mostly for students and less for faculty members. The main purpose of the study is to explore the work experience of faculty members with disabilities to enable them fully participate in the academic work life. To do so, addressing the attitudinal and environmental barriers that the disabled faculty members have been encountered in the light of their work life experiences and explaining their experiences through self-knowledge and social knowledge are the goals of this research.
Disability is just an inter-individual difference brought by human nature, which should be respected and valued. Disability is an overlooked form of diversity, which should be recognized but unfortunately, it often results in discrimination in society. Individuals with disabilities have been experiencing social isolation, segregation in society, discrimination, externalization by the majority culture, cultural humor just like individuals from diverse ethnicity, race, gender and cultural backgrounds (Yates, Ortiz, & Anderson, 1998). Universities all around the world are building more diverse workplaces however those workplaces are not always inclusive. Individuals with disabilities have been experiencing social isolation, segregation in society, discrimination, externalization by the majority culture, cultural humor just like individuals from diverse ethnicity, race, gender and cultural backgrounds (Yates, Ortiz, & Anderson, 1998).
There are two main aspects of this study as being a faculty member and being a disabled individual. Being a faculty member comes with many roles and responsibilities. There are four main domains of scholarship as the scholarship of application, the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of integration, and the scholarship of teaching (Boyer, 1990). Academic work life is discussed in terms of Blackburn and Lawrence`s (1995) self-knowledge and social knowledge while the disability is discussed in terms of Oliver`s (1996) social constructionist approach.
The social model of disability depicts the fact that common prejudices and stereotypes, inflexible work conditions, inaccessible knowledge, unattainable right, unreachable buildings and unachievable transportation are the actual disabilities to hold back the individuals with disabilities from dealing with daily life. The social model emphasizes the necessity of removing these barriers since once these barriers are removed, individuals with disabilities can make choices on where and how to live, where to go and what to do on their own (Tomlinson, 1997).
According to Blackburn and Lawrence's research on what faculty members do and why they do it, the performance and motivation of faculty members depend on the ongoing interaction between self-knowledge (self-perceptions of competence, commitment and work effort preference) and social knowledge (social responses to colleagues work environment) (Blackburn & Lawrence, 1995). The concept of self-knowledge consists of perception of self and perception of the environment and involves many variables as interest, commitment, efficacy and psychological characteristics and these cognitive variables can evolve according to the changes in the environmental conditions in contrast to socioeconomic variables such as race and gender (Blackburn & Lawrence, 1995).
The faculty members shape their social knowledge depending on their environmental responses to work experiences with their colleagues, administrators and institutional norms and practices thus they allocate work effort accordingly (Blackburn & Lawrence, 1995). The reinforcement from colleagues in the same institution, faculty members from other institutions, graduate students and professional acquaintances who present different perspectives, criticism and motivation form the intellectual climate (Blackburn & Lawrence, 1995).
The research question that guides this qualitative research is “How do the faculty members with disabilities experience academic work life in Turkish Higher Education?” The purpose of this phenomenological research is to engage in a more dialectic process between the questions asked and answers gotten rather than testing a fixed hypothesis. The target population is all the faculty members with disabilities in Turkey. There are two identifications for the participants as being a faculty member and being disabled. Since there are no available data sources to find and reach out the faculty members with disabilities in Turkey and the population size is small, “snowball sampling” is the only option to reach the participants. Semi-structured interviews with the faculty members with disabilities from many Turkish universities are conducted.
The expected outcome of this research is to identify the issues and experiences of faculty members with disability in their workplaces. While this research will raise awareness on the inclusiveness of faculty members with disability, it will also provide the educational administrators and policy makers with facts and options for amendments and guidance in order to develop inclusive and sustainable education policies.
REFERENCES Anastasiou, D., & Kaufmann, J. (2011). A Social Constructionist Approach to Disability: Implications for Special Education. Exceptional Children, 77(3), 367-384. doi:10.1177/001440291107700307 Blackburn, R. T., & Lawrence, J. (1995). Faculty at work: Motivation, expectation, satisfaction. London: Johns Hopkins University Press. Blaser, A. W., & Smoller, F. (1995). Team Teaching a Senior Seminar with a Faculty Member with(out) Disabilities. Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED391727 Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. New Jersey: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Oliver, M. (1996). Understanding Disability: From Theory to Practice. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Macmillan. Tomlinson, S. (1997). Advances in the Sociology of Disability. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 18(1), 129-132. Yates, J. R., Ortiz, A., & Anderson, R. (1998). Issues of Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Culture. In R. Anderson, C. Keller, & J. Karp, Enhancing Diversity. Washington, United States: Gallaudet University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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