Dear Grad Student

Disabled in Grad School: Ableism, Accessibility, & Burning It All Down (PART 2)

December 10, 2020 Elana M. Gloger, M.S. Episode 17
Dear Grad Student
Disabled in Grad School: Ableism, Accessibility, & Burning It All Down (PART 2)
Chapters
Dear Grad Student
Disabled in Grad School: Ableism, Accessibility, & Burning It All Down (PART 2)
Dec 10, 2020 Episode 17
Elana M. Gloger, M.S.

In this episode of Dear Grad Student, Elana chats with Cait Kirby and Kayden Stockwell, of @DisInGradSchool, about being disabled in grad school. This is PART 2 of 2. You can find Part 1  HERE

In this episode they discuss: polls,  accommodations, identity-first vs. person-first, the 2020 election , & shout out Black, Indigenous, People of Color pushing the disability movement forward.

Mentioned in this episode: 

@DisInGradSchool has a list of Disability Advocates on Twitter -- this list is always growing!

Academia-related Disability accounts on Twitter to follow: @DisInHigherEd, @DisabledStem, @DisabledAcadem, @chron_ac, @ChronInvisSTEM, @ND_in_STEM, @AcademicAbleism, @DisMHMatters, @StemDisabled, also: #DisabledinSTEM

Cait's website --> CaitKirby.com
Kayden's website --> kaydenstockwell.com

More 'Dear Grad Student' episodes in the area of Racism and/or Diverse Identities

Find all episodes, merch, & ways to support the podcast at: https://deargradstudent.com

Find the podcast on Twitter: @DearGradStudent
Find the podcast on Instagram:
@DearGradStudentPod
Find Elana on Twitter:
@elana_gloger

Transcripts edited by Kayden Stockwell, follow him @KaydenStockwell and at www.kaydenstockwell.com

Music provided by: Open Those Bright Eyes by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4171-open-those-bright-eyes
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Support the show (https://patreon.com/deargradstudent)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Dear Grad Student, Elana chats with Cait Kirby and Kayden Stockwell, of @DisInGradSchool, about being disabled in grad school. This is PART 2 of 2. You can find Part 1  HERE

In this episode they discuss: polls,  accommodations, identity-first vs. person-first, the 2020 election , & shout out Black, Indigenous, People of Color pushing the disability movement forward.

Mentioned in this episode: 

@DisInGradSchool has a list of Disability Advocates on Twitter -- this list is always growing!

Academia-related Disability accounts on Twitter to follow: @DisInHigherEd, @DisabledStem, @DisabledAcadem, @chron_ac, @ChronInvisSTEM, @ND_in_STEM, @AcademicAbleism, @DisMHMatters, @StemDisabled, also: #DisabledinSTEM

Cait's website --> CaitKirby.com
Kayden's website --> kaydenstockwell.com

More 'Dear Grad Student' episodes in the area of Racism and/or Diverse Identities

Find all episodes, merch, & ways to support the podcast at: https://deargradstudent.com

Find the podcast on Twitter: @DearGradStudent
Find the podcast on Instagram:
@DearGradStudentPod
Find Elana on Twitter:
@elana_gloger

Transcripts edited by Kayden Stockwell, follow him @KaydenStockwell and at www.kaydenstockwell.com

Music provided by: Open Those Bright Eyes by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4171-open-those-bright-eyes
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Support the show (https://patreon.com/deargradstudent)

Elana Gloger:

[Musical intro] Dear Grad Student, welcome to Part Two of this giant episode all about being disabled in grad school. Part One was released on Monday, December 7 and, if you want to know what the heck we've already talked about for 50 minutes, I highly recommend checking that episode out first. Anyways, today's episode is all about burning down this- ugh, man, did it again- I mean, it's all about being disabled in grad school and ableism with the wonderful grad students who run the DisInGradSchool Twitter account, sixth year biological sciences PhD candidate Cait Kirby and second year developmental psychology PhD student, Kayden Stockwell. I want to call this "How to Not be an Asshole", but I'm not going to call it that. I'll call it something more useful, and I should stop swearing this episode I'm gonna have to flag it as explicit.

Cait Kirby:

Yea, that what I was- that's- I was about to point out that you started out with like, "I never swear-"

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] I literally don't!

Cait Kirby:

"-I allow myself to swear just one time." And now we're, like, 15 swears in [laughs].

Elana Gloger:

You know- you know what happened? I got passionate. And when I get passionate, my filter goes. And I- and you know, I will reel it back simply because this goes into- through, like, professional circles. And, like, I [inaudible]-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

-You know, I'm very aware of that. I don't know. I think that- a couple- there are a couple F words in there that I think were very appropriate, in my personal opinion.[Cait laughs] But no, you're totally right. I was- I, like, called myself out. Like, "I never do this". And now we're, like-

Cait Kirby:

[Crosstalk, jokingly quoting Elana] "Only one, only one!-

Elana Gloger:

-Oh, no, but I promised!

Cait Kirby:

-I'll allow myself just one!" [Elana and Cait both laugh]

Kayden Stockwell:

[Laughing] I'm glad we- I'm glad this topic has inspired the passion.

Cait Kirby:

Yes.

Elana Gloger:

Oh yeah. [Cait laughs] Alright. So, Cait, go ahead and give us the poll. Let's jump back in.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah! So, uh, one of the polls I was uh really excited about- um, and I s-say "excited about" because it was relevant to me and I wanted to, kind of, um have other people to c-commiserate with, I guess. Um, the question was: "If you have ever considered taking a leave of absence from grad school due to d-disability, chronic illness, or mental health, d-did your ability to pay for healthcare factor into your d-decision?" And so here, um, we had an N of 27. And, um, 74% of those respondents said that "Yes, it factored into their decision and they STAYED... in grad school". Like, they didn't take a leave of absence-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] Like, a leave of absence they needed or wanted.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly, yeah. 12.8% said "Yes and they still took leave." And then, only 11.1% said that "No, they d-didn't factor in being able to pay for healthcare when they were thinking about t-taking a l- a leave of absence." And why this is so relevant, is that, for a lot of people who are struggling with their d-disability or being d-diagnosed, oftentimes the first thing that your advisor, or your Director of Graduate Studies, or the chair of your department might tell you is: "You should take a leave of absence." But the problem with that is, that, if you're needing to pay for healthcare- and we did a poll and... grad students spend a lot of money on healthcare [laughs]- if you a-are needing to use health in-insurance, and I think it was something like f-for 68% of grad students their health in-insurance was tied to their enrollment status as a grad student. And so, when you're thinking about, um, taking a leave of absence, um, you might lose your health in-insurance if you take that leave. But you also- often, it's an unpaid leave of absence and so you lose your stipend. And so, if you get sick, like I did, and you're trying to figure out what's wrong and then everybody tells

you:

"You should definitely figure out what's wrong. Go, leave. Lose your health insurance and lose your income." It means that you will never get better again, because you will not be able to go and figure out w-what's wrong. And those were just staggering n-numbers that- that 74% factored in the cost but had to stay because of that factor. I thought was un-unbelievable.

Elana Gloger:

I mean- and it even makes me think about the people that said no. I wonder how old those people were. Because if they're under 26 and- and covered by their parent's insurance, that could explain why they said no. So, that number might be even smaller in terms of, like, the only reason they didn't have to worry about it is cuz it was still covered under their parent's, because there are grad students under the age of 26. That's why they didn't have to worry about it, but otherwise they're screwed. I even think about, like, when I got to grad school and I got health in- I mean, I had health insurance from my parents, but like, started to be an adult and use it, um, in terms of, like, checkups or like, "Go to the dermatologist, you have acne and you're 24!" Things like that. I was suddenly like, "Oh, this is expensive to go to a checkup, still." And I was confused by that, you know. Not to mention people who have regular doctor's appointments for, like, specialists that- right, they're regularly seeing which is, like, let me say, a normal thing. It's astonishing that, like, A) healthcare was factoring into that, B) with healthcare, it's still expensive! And then, some departments are more accommodating than others. I know that my department is like, "Yeah, go on leave, but we'll give you, like, a grading TA that's, like, just try to get it in." Or, like, if people need to take full leaves, I've still heard of people kind of being covered, they'll just put them on, like, an RA.

Cait Kirby:

Amazing.

Elana Gloger:

So, it- it really depends. And like, again, this is my own anecdotal, whatever this is. [Laughs] This- I do not speak for my university or my department. But just to say that I think it really, really varies because I have seen absolute horror stories online where people have talked about accommodations not being met or, like, again, like you've said, the encouragement of leave without abled professors realizing what the implications of that leave means. Like, mom and dad are not necessarily millionaires hanging out who can just, like, fund you to be leaving.

Cait Kirby:

Or, I mean, you might not interact with your parents. You might- I mean, I mean, you might also interact with them, but YOU are actually helping to support them financially. Right? Like, there are so many complicating ways in which we should just, I don't know, personally, I think we should burn the whole system down.

Elana Gloger:

Burn it down! Yeah, I'm definitely on the side of burn it down. Uh, this is- I, like, joke every t- every couple episodes will be, like, really hit some themes, and like, we can call this "The Burn It Down" podcast.

Cait Kirby:

Yessss!

Elana Gloger:

And, uh, this is the "Burn It Down" episode. [Cait laughs] Definitely- I mean, I fall in the same place and I think that it's, like, you know, as I think about "Why don't other people seek this who are abled? Like, why don't people care?" And part of me is like, "Well, this is a really uncomfortable realization to understand that you are, like, basically dehumanizing, um, and holding people back with FULL POWER", like, you have full power NOT TO, and you are, consciously or not, it's a really uncomfortable thing. When I think about the psychology of it, I'm like, "Oh, yeah, no, this makes total sense." It's not less disgusting. But like, it makes-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

-total sense. I'll also say that I think that there are a lot of well-meaning people who just don't know where to look with this. And so, when we- even thinking about, like, the advocacy piece, which I know we'll get to in a moment here of, like- you know, there, I think, is a role for, especially, abled students to bring awareness to their departments... who may be very well intentioned, but don't see it OR who might, maliciously, not be seeing it, like, you don't know where they fall.

Cait Kirby:

Mmmm.

Elana Gloger:

So, my personal stance, as we'll find out here in a few minutes, is that I think that abled students have a responsibility in trying to close that gap. But, before we do that, I know, Kayden, there was a poll that you wanted to share as well, in terms of some staggering numbers that you had noticed, just from some of the results.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah, so in part of talking about some of the, um, like, barriers to accessing accommodations for grad students, um and that may be a little bit of a specific problem to grad students, is that grad students often inhabit multiple roles. You know, we are students TAKING classes, but we are also TAs or Instructors of Record TEACHING classes, we are also in labs or doing archival work. And then, there's also a phase where we are, you know, we finished coursework, um, so we're only doing research. We have oral exams or comprehensive exams. So, there's a lot of, sort of, beyond just: "You are a student in a class taking accommodations", there's a lot broader range of things that you might need to access [in] these different roles that you are sort of contractually obligated to fill. In- er, my personal experience, and then hearing on the internet, disability services office don't necessarily know how to, sort of, manage these different

roles. So, one poll we asked is:

"If you have been a teaching assistant or an Instructor of Record, have you needed accommodations in that role as a TA or Instructor of Record?" And this poll did have very few responses, had about 10 people... for a couple different reasons that I could, sort of, imagine. But, for that poll about 65% of- or about 60% of the people who needed accommodations for their role as a TA did not receive accommodations. And so, only about 20% of people who needed TA accommodations were actually able to get those accommodations for their teaching position. And, you know, that could reflect things such as the office didn't know how to grant those accommodations, or they saw them as unreasonable. Because there's this whole rhetoric around "Oh, we have to grant you REASONABLE accommodations"... Who gets decide what's reasonable?

Elana Gloger:

Yeah, back to the conversation of like, "Who's granting this and why?"

Kayden Stockwell:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

And what right do they potentially have or not? Yeah.

Kayden Stockwell:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Kayden Stockwell:

Um, and then you also have, potentially playing into this small number of responses to this poll is, you know, grad students who may not register with the- with the Office of Disability Services for fears of stigma or access to the documentation needed. Or these sort of feelings of "Not disabled enough". You know, as an indicator of what is happening in terms of accommodations for these non-classwork accommodations [this] is, sort of, concerning of, "How accessible is the academy, when you're not just solely sitting in a class as a student? In all of these other roles that you have to fulfill?"

Elana Gloger:

Yeah, and, and I'm even thinking, like, how messed up that really is to be like, "We're gonna give you a job that pays you to do this, (which is great), and provides health care, (which is great). But we're not going to make it accessible for you to do the job in the way that other people are able to do the job, whether it be, like, there are just logistical roadblocks, that I have the power to fix but I'm not going to. Now, go to the job." Like, that doesn't make sense. And- and let me get back on my point, still illegal and- and right? I mean, we think about- they make it not illegal by being, like "It's not reasonable." Or they make it less illegal by being like, "Oh, that's not possible, we can't, so try to make it, you know, more- accommodate your accommodations for us", essentially. But it's really complex. And it's really messed up because it's tied into your ability to pay for grad school. And it's tied into your ability to have that healthcare, which really goes back to Cait's point. I mean, ahh like, another word that's popped into my mind is, like, it's very easy for universities to abuse disabled grad students.

Cait Kirby:

I mean, the point is, it's really easy for universities to abuse GRAD STUDENTS. It's very common for universities to abuse grad students. It's just EVEN EASIER to abuse disabled g-grad students, because, again, to kind of return to that question earlier about like, "What happens if you don't get an accommodation? What do you have to do?" Well, especially, I'm- I'm in a STEM f-field. In my field, you have one advisor.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah, me too.

Cait Kirby:

And so, if you need accommodations, and your one advisor doesn't give them to you, what do you do? Now, in other fields, you might have, like, a team of advisers or like a group of advisors. And so, it might be a little bit easier to just slowly back away from one advisor and go towards another. But- but again, this is an issue that impacts ALL grad students. We should have a bigger mentoring network, there should not just be one person who gets to decide your entire career for you. But that- it's so much worse for disabled grad students. If you just happen to get an advisor who doesn't want to g-give you accommodations, who do you go to? If you complain to the chair of the department, A) your advisor could be the chair of the department, right? But B) that's their colleague! Are they going to take your side or their colleague's s-side? And-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] Either way, you become That Person. Even if they agree with you-

Cait Kirby:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

-you become That Person that, oh, now they have to deal with.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly. And, like, then what is your letter of recommendation going t-to look like? Because you are- your career is tied to that letter. Um and then-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] And it ties your disability to your career in a way that- I don't want to say "shouldn't be" because a disability is not a bad thing- but what I should say is that the other person's PERCEPTION of your disability is tied to your career.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly, yeah. And again, as we're talking about over and over again, there is this perception about what you should be able to do as a grad student. And so, asking for these accommodations is, oftentimes, seen as, I think- as we opened the episode with- is kind of, like, a weakness. But in reality, it's just you getting the thing that you need to do the job.

Elana Gloger:

That they've asked.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly. It's just leveling the playing field. It's not extra, it's not, um, special, it's not because you're weak. It's just giving you the same thing everybody else has.

Elana Gloger:

Right. It's not giving you an advantage. It's not even, and I will use the word here, it's not even helping. It's accommodating, right? It's- it's just the leveling.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

This is not giving you a one up.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

Whereas- whereas if an abled person got the same accommodations, for example, perhaps it would be an advantage for an abled person to get an additional 20 minutes because they don't need the 20 minutes. Right? A person who requires 20 minutes for a disability is the same as an abled person not having the 20 minutes. That is the point.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly.

Elana Gloger:

You know, as we're talking here, even when you were talking about students shouldn't just have one advisor. I'll even add on top of that, it is expected, at least where I'm at with psychology, that, like, you do collaborate, but it is always the student seeking out. Which I think, professionally, networking-wise, makes a lot of sense. And it has a role. And I also think that it should not be the ONLY way that students are gaining additional advisors. Like, institutionally, we should be provided multiple and then the ones that we're- that we're networking and reaching out, of course, that's a skill we should develop. Of course, that is something, that, thinking about our own record and our line of research, of course, we should be doing that. But in terms of having additional people on our side, I think you're totally right. I think that there needs to be more from the institution on providing that for us. Because it becomes really weird when, if one per- one thing is happening with one person, and then we have to go to their colleague to call them out. And then, we're the person that called them out, whether or not they take it well.

Cait Kirby:

Yep. Yep.

Elana Gloger:

Like, it doesn't- it's not a good look. It's not good on us. It's not good on the other- on the, you know, person we have to call out or call out to and... man, that's complicated. And, like, how do you navigate that? Often, from my own perception, it's, like, people are giving up their needs to try to function in this, like, really kind of messed up system.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, I mean, I think having any kind of structure for that is r-really important. I don't know, um, if Kayden wants to talk about, like, networking and, like, neurotypicality or not. I don't know, I'm just throwing that out there for you. [Laughs]

Kayden Stockwell:

Sure. So yeah, um, at- at my institution at least, and my undergrad as well, they would have- there'd be like a career center, or even the department, or whatever, would hold, like- like, networking sessions, or teach you how to network, um and then, you know, opportunity to, sort of, practice, and then you will legitimately gain new connections. But ALL of the norms of networking are very based in neurotypical, sort of, ways of socializing. So, how outgoing you're supposed to be, and the facial expressions you're supposed to make, and the eye contact, and the back and forth flow of conversation, are all generally ways that non-neurotypical, for example, like, autistic students, is not natural to us. And so, it's very challenging. And I would- I would go so far to say, is problematic when, potentially, a large part of your grad student and further career success is dependent on your ability to sort of, uh, emulate these ways of socializing that are not natural to you.

Elana Gloger:

Excellent.

Kayden Stockwell:

And a lot of times, if you bring up that "Oh, networking is challenging for me" or someone notices that you're not doing it in a way that they expect, a lot of times

the first suggestion will be:

"Oh, you should go to these networking workshops where they can teach you how to act like a neurotypical person."

Elana Gloger:

Which is problematic.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yes.

Cait Kirby:

Yes.

Elana Gloger:

Not necessarily unhelpful in terms of like, yeah, if your goal was to fit into the norms, that would be a good suggestion. But the problem is the norms, not my inability to fit into that. [Laughs] Yeah, yeah, I think that that it's a good point, it makes me reflect even on what I just responded to you, Cait, where I was like, "Yeah, that's a normal part, that makes a lot of sense." And I'm like, I don't know, not that I would take it back... I think that when we think about, like, science and collaborating with and in terms of, like, creating science, yes. And I would add, on top of that, as I'm reflecting back on your comment, Kayden, like, again, live here as we're recording, that like, what it means to and how to and, you know, what people should expect in terms of when somebody wants to collaborate, or what a collaborator sounds like, looks like, acts like. That, to me, sounds problematic. I mean, I don't know, you can feel free to disagree with me. But in terms of how I view networking is, like, expanding science. I think that, at its core, what- you know, the connections made are important. I think you make such a good point about HOW they are made and people's ability to make those connections based on the NORMS, it is really problematic.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah, and I agree. It's like- I don't disagree with this idea that we should have multiple advisors, that science should be collaborative. I very much agree that science should be collaborative. But if my ability to collaborate is contingent on my ability to make a quote unquote good impression at a network- a good social connection and not my ability or my scientific knowledge, then that is a barrier. That's- that's a barrier.

Elana Gloger:

Agreed, snaps. I- I totally agree. And so, as we're talking about all of these things, you know, I think we've highlighted a lot of major issues, but I'm not expert on that. And I don't have polls and I haven't put hours and hours and hours into advocacy thought about this as you two have. And so, I'm curious what you both have opinion wise or- or more objectively wise [inaudible], what can abled students do to promote accessibility in their department? I know we talked a little bit before about, like, we talked about generations of students and faculty. Do abled students have a role bringing this to their department? I think about, like, the diversity, equity, and inclusion task force that are started on college campuses, especially after everything over this summer with George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement coming BACK into focus, luckily. I know from Twitter, disability is often not included in that conversation. And when people try to include it, they're either shut out or it's like, "Oh, yeah, we'll do what we need to do to get a gold star and then, okay, back to this- to this, you know, what we think is the only way to define diversity." So, all of that being said, you know, as we think about that, how can, in your mind, abled students promote accessibility better? You know it reminds me- just before I finished this very long winded question- it reminds me that, like, when I talk to Black students on this podcast, I usually say like, "It's not your job to educate me, it's my job to educate myself." And so, I'll say the same thing with you both. I'm not sitting here asking you so that you educate me, but rather, I think it's useful on the podcast is- I don't know who's listening to this. I don't know if this is- these are gonna be disabled students, I don't know if it's gonna be abled students, but for the abled students listening who may have questions, what can they be doing to promote disability accessibility and disability awareness within their departments or just generally as grad students?

Cait Kirby:

Um, well, so I- I will start, I guess, the answer with one of the things that you've already said, which is that d-disabled is not a bad word. I was recently called a "grad student of disability." And I think- [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

They tried soo hard.

Cait Kirby:

They tried so hard, but what they wanted to do was separate ME from disabled. Um, and it's funny, because in the context, like, the disability part wasn't even the important part. Like- like, the word really was, like, immunocompromised, like that, like- like, that was the word that we needed. But the point was that they were like, sooo worried about calling me a "bad word." But the reality is- is that disabled is not a bad word, we should not be using euphemisms. I will make a note that within the disability community, there is this back and forth between what's called person-first and identity-first language.

Elana Gloger:

Yes.

Cait Kirby:

And so- so, person-first is like, "I am a person with whatever." And then, id-identity-first is like, "I am a d-disabled person."

Elana Gloger:

Yeah. And you have heard me probably go back and forth today. So like, I'll be really clear, like in psychology, when we think about, like, the word like, "an addict", or "a schizophrenic", we're moving away from that. So that's where you hear my own bias, where instead I would say like, "A person with a, you know, addiction", you know, or "A person who uses substances." Or I would say like, "A person with schizophrenia." That's where my own language, as you have heard today, is "A person with a disability" and I have been very person-first. And I think it is, depending on how a person- like, some people identify with and some people say it's part- it's part of them and not- and not their whole self, or however you want to word it. Like, I wouldn't say- I would say I'm a Jewish person because I identify with it and not, like, a person who- who practices Judaism. Right? That would be like that person-first. So, that makes a lot of sense. But I like that you mentioned that it's complex, because different people identify with their disability differently.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly. Yeah. And so, the- the reason that I bring that up is, like, A, don't be afraid of using the word but B) also be cognizant of, like, what the person that you're talking to, or the person you're talking about, prefers. Like, if a person calls themselves a disabled person, like, don't correct them and tell them that they're a person with a disability because, like, that happens, like, that's a real thing.

Elana Gloger:

People correcting other people on their own identities is, like, my- is like the thing on the 2020 bingo card I, like, just didn't really see coming. I mean, most of it has been, but like- like, I've seen it- I've seen it mostly in race language, where people are like, "Oh, you're not Black, you're African American." And then, people being like, "I'm from England, like, I'm not like- I can just be Black." And that's just an example of something I've seen, but it's like-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

-please stop telling people what their identity is, across the board. Like, PSA from the Dear Grad

Student podcast:

please stop telling people what their identities are and let them just tell you what theirs are and accept it. That's enough.

Cait Kirby:

Yes, yes. Yes. Also, snaps over here!

Elana Gloger:

[Laughs, says in sing-song voice] The snaps podcast.

Cait Kirby:

[Laughs] Um, but like, also kind of, to go with that, is that I think part of the reason why people view disability as a bad thing- like, there are- like, there are tons of reasons, there's, like, a lot of history- but I think part of it is that we- we as a- as a society don't really view disability as d-diversity in the same way that we view other identities. And we have a poll for this.

Elana Gloger:

Yessss, I'm living! Give me the polls.

Cait Kirby:

[Laughs] We asked about how many participants- how many respondents had a multicultural center and out of 30 respondents, 70% said that their university had one. Out of 29 participants, more than 70% said that their university had an LGBTQ+ center. But then when we asked about a d-disability cultural center, which is separate from the disability services office, out of 31 respondents, more than 70% said: "No, there was not a disability cultural center on their campus." And so, maybe if we had these cultural centers that sort of elevated disability as, like, a culture and as a form of diversity then people wouldn't be as worried about using that word and about identifying with that as- as part of who they are.

Elana Gloger:

Definitely. It reminds me- I think the Twitter post that I was talking about- that I was seeing was, like, somebody was talking about, like, a mom group that was talking about, like, different ways to refer to their children with a disability- dis- their disabled children. See? I'll work on that. It's hard to know, like, I don't know what those children would have wanted to be called, whatever.

Cait Kirby:

Sure, yeah. Yeah, yeah,

Elana Gloger:

But the mom was basically like, "My kid's not disabled, they have special needs" or "My kid's not disabled, like, they're specially abled", and the person was like, "Your kid is disabled. And that's not a bad word." And by and by doing all of these euphemisms, you're MAKING it a bad word, like, you're making part of who they are this, like, bad thing. When it is- it is- it is JUST a thing that occurs, right? And like, not even to call it normal, because that assumes that there's an abnormal, but like, it just IS. It's a descriptor. It is a- it's a adjective.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah, it- it, like, totally reminds me of

that:

of thinking about it being a bad word. And I even find myself, like, when I was tweeting about, I think, when my past guest Karen Tang spoke at a disability event, um, because she identifies as disabled. And I remember tweeting about her speaking at it, and like, I was retweeting it, and I found myself being like, "How do I want to write this? Because A) like, obviously, it's important to pay attention to how we talk about things, and I'm very aware of it. But also, I felt weird the first time I, like, typed out disabled and I was like, "Oh, like, is that- am I wording this in, like, the most inclusive and blah, blah, blah way?" And then I was like, "That's how SHE worded it. It's not bad!" And so, I'm still checking myself because I have those biases of, like, it is new to me that disabled is not, like, not derogatory but, like, minim- like minimizing.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

You know? It is just an adjective.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah. B- but- and, I guess, while we're talking about that- we haven't addressed the fact that, um, some parts of the- of the d-disability community... Well, I don't know how to phrase this. Sometimes, mental health and disability are considered to be, like, two really distinct things. Um, and I think that that is part of the issue, with like, getting more traction about a-accessibility in the academy. That- I mean, I know my personal understanding of d-disability includes mental health, includes mental illness, includes d-depression and anxiety. That, like, all of those- if- it- if you have those things and you want to i-identify as d-disabled, more power t-to you. Because, to me, that- those are all under the same umbrella. But I think a lot of the movement towards, like, mental health and, like, um mental illness positivity can sometimes isolate those two things.

Elana Gloger:

Mmmm.

Cait Kirby:

And I think that by separating them, we're sort of, like, losing maybe some of the power of that movement. And, this is not our poll, but this is uh research um that's- that's- that, um, grad students experience depression and anxiety at significantly higher levels than the rest of the population. And so, if- if anybody's gonna to make strides here, like, make a movement, if we are all inclusive under the same umbrella, I think there is power in those n-numbers and in making things accessible for everyone.

Elana Gloger:

Definitely. And- and, like, it reminds me as we think about some universities developing these taskforce I've talked before, I don't think much is going to come of them simply because I think it's performative activism. But for schools, where things are actually happening, or if you are a grad student that has an ability to join one of these, please do not forget disability awareness and actions to promote disability accessibility in your departments. I think that, obviously, like you mentioned before, different identities have different needs. Don't forget that. And if you're somebody who is hearing this and you're like, "Wow, I have a lot of, like, reflection to do, or I have a lot of awareness to do", as- as I constantly am trying to. Because this is a lot more, sort of, in my mind as something new compared to, I don't know, I think about, like, ethnic identities like being Jewish, that's something that's always been on my mind. But being disabled as a different identity, that hasn't been. That this is something to include. You know, I think about if a student in class is asking for extra time or, like, you see something like that going down, not to necessarily say go to bat for them because it might not be your place. You don't need to be- I'm not saying this is our white people, but like, you don't need to play the savior role. But- but just to say that there's things that you can do to promote or advocate within your department. And I know you mentioned, Cait, I think, earlier that there are, like, email templates that disabled students have for, like, doing this. I wonder if, if this exists already? Are there templates for, like, non-disabled students who, as an abled student, can come and say things? Like, I just wonder if that exists? Is that something that is necessary for abled students to have the ability to be like, "Hi, this is a problem in my department that I'm not experiencing but it's a problem that needs to be brought up for current and future students who might be dealing with it." I don't know.

Kayden Stockwell:

So, when we- for our, like, daily actions as we were doing for- in October, when we were writing email templates, we did try to write them in a way that, you know, sort of a standard template, but then you can insert your own details. And so-

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] Oh, cool.

Kayden Stockwell:

-to make it specific to your institution and what your offices are called. But then you could also identify yourself, you know, as a non-disabled ally or as a disabled student. So, you could, kind of, customize the templates that we made to fit your experience.

Elana Gloger:

I'm obsessed. I'm going to be linking that Tweet wherever you guys have that link. I'll put it in the episode description. So, anybody listening who's like, "I want that kind of template to start these conversations." Guess what exists? Thanks, guys. And I'll have it linked, for sure.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah. I think, yeah, you make a good point in, sort of, talking about what non-disabled students can do is like, there's a lot of, like, a labor burden for disabled students in, you know, having to be representatives on DEI taskforce when maybe that's not what they want to do, or they don't feel like they have time or the energy to do that. Or so, like, a example I can think of is, like, um when everything moved to Zoom that- I have heard a lot of disabled students spend time, like, advocating for captions on Zooms, um [inaudible] live captions, which- and so, that's a lot of work from the disabled person's perspective. So, that's something that like a non-disabled person could email their department chair and be like, "Hey, this is an issue that these classes aren't accessible. What can we do to have live captions on all of these classes or these department meetings?" And so, email templates are one way to do that. But um, yeah, just thinking ways, sort of, at the more systems level, what can you do sort of take- to, sort of, ease this labor burden? Um, and then you can also think of it, like, as the individual level, say, in that situation where a student has extended time on a test and then maybe the professor is giving them problem, is you could ask the student, you know, in a private place, when it's convenient, if

you know them:

"Can I do anything to help you?" And maybe they can, and they can- and maybe there is something they can do to help. Um, but to also accept if the person says: "Nope, I'm good". Then, okay, that's great.

Elana Gloger:

I think that acceptance piece is key. Because I think that, kind of like you mentioned, Cait, like they're very- I think that there are a lot of well-meaning people. I think there are a lot of well-meaning people who have either not done their research or have not looked at the right sources for what they're trying to go for. And I think that- and I don't know if you guys can identify with this, but like, as a white person we see portrayed in multiple different areas, whether it be a movie of a disabled person, like- I don't know, a lot of movies with disabled people... That's actually interesting, as I think about that, another conversation, I'm sure. But like, as a white person, I see a lot of portrayal of white saviorship. And so, when somebody says no being like, "No, I'm still gonna fight for blah, blah", if they say no, like, just take it. Like, they have told you their needs and their desires and, like, you don't need to violate that.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

And I think they- it feels well intentioned on their end, but it is not.

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah, and like, a common sort of example that I see sometimes of that is if someone's in a, like, a manual wheelchair, you know, you can ask: "Do [you] need help going up this hill?" But if they say no, you should not forcibly grab their wheelchair and push them up anyways. Or if a blind

person is walking, you can ask:

"Oh, do you need help navigating somewhere, need directions?" And if they say no, you should not grab them.

Elana Gloger:

No, no, don't do that! You know, it also made me realize too, like, that something I didn't think about, like, somebody who is either, I guess, especially in a manualized wheelchair and this example of, like, the fact that there are handles on the back. Like, I wonder how many people have experienced people just grabbing and being like, "Let me help you up the hill!" with not even a question. Just being like, "Oh, I'm, you know, doing a good deed because I helped." It's, like, it's not a good deed if they didn't consent to it, dude, like, you just look like a dick.

Cait Kirby:

Yes.

Elana Gloger:

I don't know why I assumed that was a male, but I did. [Laughs] But that- that's violating their needs and wants and consent is not a good deed.

Cait Kirby:

I saw I saw somebody post on Twitter that they are blind and they went to vote. And one of the, like, poll workers just basically grabbed their arm to, like, help walk them to wherever, like, the polling thing was, during a global pandemic of a virus that is very easily transmittable! And so, the person was like-

Elana Gloger:

[Groans]

Cait Kirby:

-"You just- you just risked my life to touch me when nobody asked you to do this, right? Like, I'm fine. I got it. If I needed your help, I would have asked for your help." And so, like, there are very real consequences to just putting your body near someone else's body without asking them, right?

Elana Gloger:

Yeah. Man. It's violating.

Cait Kirby:

Exactly. Yeah, yeah. And it's- I mean, it's infantilizing. It's like, "I'm- I know better than you. I know what you need. I know where you need to go. I can help you get there." Without really giving any, sort of, ownership or agency to the disabled person.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah. And I think that agency- I mean, we ha- we haven't even fully tou- like, there's so many things we could talk about here, right? When we talk about, like, you know, uh kind of similar with, like, a disabled grad student is not a less capable grad student. And even just, like, the unsolicited advice that again, like, there's this, like, well-meaning thing, um, can- can be very sour very quickly because people just don't think as far as they should. And, you know, I'm really glad that you brought up polls. Um, I know I've said, as we're wrapping up here, this is just going to be two episodes. So, people listening, you're already in the second one and it's fine. [Cait laughs] I'll say, like, I'm glad you brought up polls, because, you know, we're recording this on Sunday November 8, and yesterday, Joe Biden, a man with a stutter, and the first Black and Indian Vice President- female Vice President, I should say, were, you know, declared President and Vice President Elect of the United States. And I would love, before we hit onto final thoughts here, are- like, what you think might come of this? Are we feeling hopeful? Is there a sense of like, there- there might be some great things done and some great things not done? I'm- I'm curious, maybe, what the disabled community reaction has been and also, like, what your personal reactions have been. I mean, I know we- we kind of already talked privately about our political standings. Obviously, we're- the three of us are thrilled that this has been the- the person elected. But in terms of how it is directly affecting the disabled community, I'm kind of curious what might come of this.

Cait Kirby:

Um, well, so, excitingly in- in his speech- which I don't know if it was, like, technically an acceptance speech because this year is just so weird...

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] I think it was.

Cait Kirby:

I think so too.

Elana Gloger:

Did you last night? I watched it.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

I was crying.

Cait Kirby:

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Elana Gloger:

[Laughs] That sounds dramatic.

Cait Kirby:

No, it's- I mean, like, every part of every part of last night was just so much. I mean, I read a tweet thread about Kamala's outfit-

Elana Gloger:

[Sound of admiration]

Cait Kirby:

-that, like- that, like, it was a pantsuit for Hillary and it was white because of the suffragettes.

Elana Gloger:

I did notice, though, that SNL had the EXACT outfit replicated in, like, hours later.

Cait Kirby:

No way! [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

Literally, it was unbelievable. But anyway... [Laughs]

Cait Kirby:

Anyway! Yeah. So, I mean, so I- I stutter. And, so, obviously this is, like, a ver- like, very complicated feelings about this whole thing. And I've written Twitter threads about this-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] Ooh I can link them below.

Cait Kirby:

I mean, it's just gonna be, like, pages of links.

Elana Gloger:

I can't wait.

Cait Kirby:

Like, so many links.

Elana Gloger:

Well, now that there's two episodes, they can be twice as long as other ones.

Cait Kirby:

[Crosstalk] Yesss! Okay, okay.

Elana Gloger:

So, I'm very excited.

Cait Kirby:

But so, I mean, the way that Joe Biden talks about his s-stutter, the way that the media talks about it, is that he's overcome it. And-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] It's like inspir- it's not quite inspiration porn-

Cait Kirby:

Yes!

Elana Gloger:

Oh, it is inspiration porn.

Cait Kirby:

I mean- I mean, more or less. Yeah. Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

Which is-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

Should we define that? I don't know if people know what that is.

Cait Kirby:

Ye- yeah. So, um, I don't even know how to, like, articulately define this. But, like- like, inspiration porn is, basically, whenever you, like, praise or, like, are inspired by something that a- a d-disabled person has done. Not because it's inspiring, but because it's inspiring BECAUSE they're disabled.

Elana Gloger:

And they, like, did something in spite of a disability. It's, like, no, they did that because they were forced to because you didn't accommodate them. And now you think that it's really beautiful when it's actually abusive. But that's okay [Sarcasm].

Cait Kirby:

Exactly! Yeah. And- and- and so, like, his- like, the idea of somebody overcoming a stutter is so complex for me. Because m-many children stutter d-developmentally and so, like, many children just, like, do it while they're figuring out how to speak and then they- they just, sort of, grow out of it.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Cait Kirby:

But for about 1% of the population, it p-persists. We continue stuttering forever. And if they read my t-thread, I have all this, like, science info linked there about, like, the areas of the b-brain involved and blood flow-

Elana Gloger:

[Interjecting] Not surprised whatsoever. [ Cait laughs] Obsessed. Very organized. More organized than me.

Cait Kirby:

[Laughs] And so, like, once you stutter persistently you- you don't really overcome it. There are things you can do to stutter less. There are- there are ways that you can hide it. And so, one of the ways is to covertly stutter, which is basically where you hide it, where you switch the words that you're saying, where you switch the direction of the sentence midway. And it's a pretty common way for people to stutter when they don't want people to kn-know about it. And that's essentially what Joe Biden does. And so, for me, I feel, like, so proud and also angry, at the moment, that, like, I wish that he could have the opportunity to embrace it. Because the messages I'm getting are: "I'm not valuable unless I hide it. That I need to be working really hard." And it's- it takes a lot of work. It's really, really, really hard to hide it. And so, I don't want to and so I just, like, stutter freely and you all have to be more patient.

Elana Gloger:

Absolutely.

Cait Kirby:

And that's just it. [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

Well, and it's a- you're right. I would love for him to just do a speech and stutter through it.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, I would love that!

Elana Gloger:

And not have you get this this thing of "Joe Biden got over it and you can too!" And it's like, "And I don't need to! I could-"

Cait Kirby:

Exactly!

Elana Gloger:

"You're right, I could, and I don't need to nor do I want to. So, I'm not going to."

Cait Kirby:

Well- and maybe I couldn't, right? It's not that easy.

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] Or that.

Cait Kirby:

And- yeah. And, like, lots of people just, like, just can't. No matter how hard you try, you just can't. And that doesn't make me bad or lazy or anything. It just means that, like, I'm putting that effort towards other things. And so, this is a very, very, very long- we are on the first intro sentence still, Kayden, this is- this is just-

Elana Gloger:

We haven't moved.

Cait Kirby:

-a run on sentence! We haven't moved!

Elana Gloger:

Kayden, like, stepped away for a minute and came back and we're STILL talking about... [Laughs]

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, like, we haven't even done anything yet. But! So, like- I'm so, like, energized and proud about this but I'm also so sad because it's ableism that makes it so that he can't, right? It's the fact that all of the- all of the outgoing administration has mocked him for it. I'm sure that m-many of his peers and colleagues have. I know that I encounter it on a daily basis, uh, right? That- that, like, just going out and speaking is- is challenging.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Cait Kirby:

And it would just be so amazing if we could just, like, have him embrace it and not have to feel like he's hiding it. But so, in his speech- so, now that we finally gotten through that first sentence... [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

Yes.

Cait Kirby:

Um, in his speech he actually, specifically, called out disability. And it specifically said that we need to be making the promise of this country, or something like that-

Elana Gloger:

For everyone. Yes.

Cait Kirby:

-for everyone and he explicitly included d-disability in there. And then, somebody on Twitter tagged Jake Tapper from CNN. And so, after the speech last night, Jake Tapper got on air and talked about how the d-disability community is a political force and we are here and we vote. And, um, he called out the hashtag CripTheVote, which you should check out on Twitter, it's awesome.

Elana Gloger:

[In sing song voice] I will link it below.

Cait Kirby:

[Laughs] But, I mean, part of why the disabled community was able to vote was BECAUSE mail in voting- the access to mail in voting increased because of COVID. And so, I know that you asked earlier about, like, COVID and access in the academy, but there's also COVID and access in just, like, our being able to vote. Which- I mean, there are, like, other complications to voting for d-disabled people that just- like, making mail in voting isn't going to resolve everything. But- so, that was really energizing that, like, IN the speech there was no mocking of d-disabled people. In fact, it was, like, uplifting and embracing. But then also, earlier you mentioned about how in one of our polls, it's possible that people answered the way that they did because they're on their parents' insurance. And that's only available because of the Affordable Care Act.

Elana Gloger:

Yes.

Cait Kirby:

And that's something that the current administration has been trying to push out and get rid of for their entire four years. And now, we don't have to worry about that with the incoming ad- administration. But I will point out on November 10, which is in two days, the ACA is going up in front of the Supreme Court. And so, it is on the chopping block this week. And so, while- yes, the community is excited, we're also scared, right? We're also worried that- what's going to happen in the next week-

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] Wow. Um, and I didn't even know about that.

Cait Kirby:

-to threaten the ACA? Yeah, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

You know, by the time the episode comes out, we'll- we'll know the outcome of that.

Cait Kirby:

Oh, yeah.

Elana Gloger:

And, you know, anything info wise about that outcome, either way, I'll also probably link in the episode for people to find out about. Like, I should probably have known that and, like, I'm- I am all over Twitter, generally. And like, I haven't seen any of that. So, even people who are working to be informed are not going to be informed on all points. Which, like, fine, like, it is very hard to be, like, updated on literally everything and we're all getting PhDs and, like, this shit's hard. But you know-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah. Yeah, Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

-it's- it- I'll definitely try to get a- a link for some info for people to, sort of, like, to bring it to more people's awareness. I think that it's- that is scary.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

Wow. Yeah. I can't even get into the Supreme Court right now.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

I see Kayden responding as well. He also seems very angry at it, so we're collectively a lot of rage here. [Cait laughs] But I am curious if you had anything, um, Kayden, in terms of, like, your thoughts on this incoming administration and what it- it might mean or perhaps might not mean for the disabled community?

Kayden Stockwell:

Not specifically about the, um, election of Biden and Harris. Um, but there was- I don't know if it was a record, but I feel like it might've been, of disabled people elected in, like, senate and congressional and local elections. That I don't have numbers off the top of my head, but there is, I believe, a thread compiled of people who openly identified as disabled who were elected in places that I can send.

Elana Gloger:

[Crosstalk] Oh, wow.

Cait Kirby:

[Crosstalk] Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

Absolutely, yeah, I would love to link that. Again, as, like, I mentioned way, way, way back HOURS ago, you know, representation. It's really important when it comes to, like, faculty. And undergrads seeing disabled faculty and what it means that, like, THEY could be a faculty. Same for elected office. And when we talk about, like-

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

-more voices coming to the table with- with issues that matter for them. More disabled people coming to the table, hopefully, means additional advocacy that, unfortunately, is not being done by people who don't own those identities.

Cait Kirby:

Well, I think, especially in the wake of K-Kamala Harris being elected and the fact that in her speech, she specifically called out Black women and- and N-Native w-women and Asian women, um, in a- a part of her speech. I do want to point out that, like, we are two white disabled people here. But that the d-disability community and the disability j-justice movement and the strides that have been made have really been by d-disabled Black, and Indigenous, and Asian- like, basically, disabled people of color are carrying this m-movement and are really p-pushing everything forward. And so, I- I really don't want to miss highlighting how important the continued contributions of disabled p-people of color are. Um, and I'm sure that we can, like, link you to- I mean, we have threads on our- on our group Twitter account highlighting these voices and authors and speakers. Because really, really, really the movement would not be where it is without them.

Elana Gloger:

I'm really glad that you brought that up. And I think you mentioned way at the very beginning of the now first episode about the identities that you hold. And I think that it's important- I have seen a lot on Twitter that, like, you know, not only are these, like, political movements being on the back of, like, Black, Indigenous, you know, people of color otherwise, in general, but the disability movement has, also. And I think you're right, it's incredibly important to not just credit that but also to- to promote those voices. And hopefully, we can get some accounts, as well, that people can follow.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah.

Elana Gloger:

I know that I follow a lot of different accounts to get those kinds of voices on my timeline so that I'm having those thoughts come up. And I think it's important that we are listening to different voices and certainly giving credit where credit is due. And so, as we are actually legitimately wrapping up this time, I swear, we've just had such an important conversation, I really didn't want to cut us off. I want to thank both of you for the hours that you have chatted with me now. I wanted to see- do either of you- do you want to give, like, final thoughts? What are, like, the big takeaways that you hope anybody listening to this episode would take away from the things that we have chatted about today?

Cait Kirby:

So, I think the takeaway or, like, the final thought or the overarching theme for me kind of goes back to that, like, burn it all down, kind of, idea. [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

Yesss. Burn it with fire.

Cait Kirby:

[Laughs] Yeah, well so, the academy is built on this white supremacist, ableist, capitalist, productivity minded structure. And so, like, let's just get rid of it, right? [Laughs] Like, the only way to really make it a space for disabled p-people and people from, really, all sorts of marginalized groups, the only way to really do that is to, like, tear down all these structures that we have. Timed exams. I mean, like, the fact that I- I need accommodations if I want extra time to give a talk. Like, I, like, I shouldn't need accommodations for that! You should just listen and be like, "Oh, okay, it takes you an extra couple minutes. We'll just give you an extra couple minutes."

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Cait Kirby:

Like, this is not hard for anybody. And, like, the inherent mistrust that the academy builds in. The inherent mistrust in students, that if we're asking for extra time, if we're asking for accommodations then- that we're lying. And then, like, those constant comparisons. I think that- that- that trying to break down these s-structures where there's competition and comparison between grad students. Um, if we can get abled grad students to stop this culture of overwork, which I know is hard because it comes from the top down, right? Like, we're getting this culture of overwork from other people. But again, all of these are pieces of this white supremacist, ableist, capitalist, productivity structure. And so, each of these little pieces, if we can just get rid of it- which, I know, I mean, it's, like, so hard and I don't know how anybody does it, but just burn it all down.

Elana Gloger:

Great. I also think there's something to be said about, like, accessible rigor, I think is possible. Like, we're- at least I am not and I'm going to assume but tell me if I'm wrong- like, we're not saying that grad school shouldn't challenge us or that grad school and academia shouldn't be constantly looking to progress science and advance ideas and promote progressivism in the sense of, like, science and ideas. Like, obviously, you know, in some cases like curing cancer, or curing Alzheimer's, or looking at climate change, or what have you. And all ideas are important, but just in thinking about those main things, we're not saying to slow that down we're saying make it possible for all people to participate in.

Cait Kirby:

Yeah, yeah. And like, how many voices are we missing who are going to be making these really incredible discoveries because they think differently, because they do things differently, because they plan experiments in a different way? Are we missing out on good science? Because we're- I mean, I know that we are, this is a rhetorical thing.

Elana Gloger:

[Laughs] Yes.

Cait Kirby:

But like, how much of that are we missing out on because of this l-lack of access? Oooohhh, it just makes me angry. Now. I'm gonna swear!

Elana Gloger:

Yeah, no, I- you, um, remind me of- I can't start, we've been recording for two hours and 10 minutes of your time, which I have not respected. [Cait laughs] So, Kayden, I'm curious, any, like, final thoughts? Any, like, big theme ideas or, I don't know, things that you wanna repeat that you hope people take away if they heard these two episodes?

Kayden Stockwell:

Yeah, I guess some of my final points are to really seek out and listen to the lived experience of disabled people and disabled grad students. And to not assume that just because someone is not visibly disabled that there are not disabled students in the room-

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Kayden Stockwell:

-whether they be your cohort mates or students in the classes that you are teaching. And also- I think it was Cait, that you and I might have had this discussion on Twitter a long time ago- but this- the numbers we talked about of 20% of undergrads identifying as disabled and about 8% of graduate students and about 4% of faculty and the- the, sort of, metaphor that tends to come up in this area- but with a lot of representation of marginalized identities- as you, sort of, move up the academic structure of- sort of, this idea of, like, this leaky pipeline. Which- Cait brought up the, I think, good point, I believe, that it's not the best analogy because it implies, sort of, a passive process or that people are leaving because they don't want to [be in academia]. When it's really- this represents this- these numbers are narrowing, not because of passive things, but because of active barriers that are put up by, as Cait said, white supremacist, ableist, capitalist institution. And that YOU- as a grad student, as an undergrad, as a faculty member- can do things to change that.

Elana Gloger:

Yeah.

Kayden Stockwell:

And so, use the positions and the privileges that you have to learn about disability and be informed by the disabled people in these spaces and NOT in these spaces to see what you can do to make the academy more accessible for everyone.

Elana Gloger:

Wow. I just had to, like, absorb that. I feel like that was, like, my soul is processing that, like? Absolutely. I think that both of you just have wrapped up- especially with the, sort of, two thoughts you both came in here with just so beautifully- everything that we've talked about over the last couple of hours. Again, I want to apologize for violating the time management rules I said at the beginning, but also to thank you so much for the time that you've put into this. I hope that, you know, everyone listening has made it through these two episodes and have hopefully walked away either feeling heard or feeling like they have some reflection to do, depending on where you're coming from as you're hearing this episode. And I just want to thank you both so much for your time. I do want to remind people where they can find you on social media. In Episode One, I would have already done this in my own outro because obviously we're not going to just randomly cut that in and act like we're fancy, we're not, we're just gonna cut it off in the middle. But Kayden and Cait, where can people find you online? Maybe want to give your personal accounts first and then we'll give that- the disability grad student account second.

Kayden Stockwell:

Sure. So, you can find me, um, on Twitter and my handle is @KaydenStockwell. K-A-Y-D-E-N-S-T-O-C-K-W-E-L-L.

Cait Kirby:

All right. And then, you can find me on Twitter. Um, my handle is caitskirby. That's C-A-I-T-S-K-I-R-B-Y. You can also find me on my website. That's CaitKirby.com.

Elana Gloger:

And you're on the job market.

Cait Kirby:

I am on the job market! I've been on the job market. The job market is HORRIBLE. [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

[Chanting] Hire Cait! Hire Cait! Hire Cait!

Cait Kirby:

I would like a job, please. Thank you.

Elana Gloger:

[Laughs] If I had a job, I would give it to you.

Cait Kirby:

No, but then you wouldn't have a job.

Elana Gloger:

Oh, that's right. But if I had a second one, if-

Cait Kirby:

[Crosstalk] If you had a second job. [Laughs]

Elana Gloger:

-I had an opening, I would give it- I don't have that either... I'm not in charge of anything. [Laughs]

Cait Kirby:

You have beautiful podcast! You're in charge of a beautiful podcast!

Elana Gloger:

You're right. I have no FUNDING. Let me- I'm in charge of a fund-less podcast. [Laughs]

Cait Kirby:

Oooohhh...

Elana Gloger:

That's okay, we're doing our best. And then, where can people find your group account on Twitter?

Cait Kirby:

So, our group account on Twitter is Disabled in Grad School, but the handle is actually DisInGradSchool. That's D-I-S-I-N-G-R-A-D-S-C-H-O-O-L. I feel like I'm at, like, the- the doctor's right now and I have to be like, "C as in Charlie, A as in Alpha."

Elana Gloger:

[Laughs] I felt that way when I was, like, first recording my outro where I, like, spell my name and my, like, handle and things like that. I feel like I've- now it's just rote memorization cuz I've done it so many times. For the very first time I was like, "How do I spell my name? Am I spelling my name?" And I, like, got really in my head. It was, like, when you look at something for too long and you're like, "Is that how you spell that word?" But it's, like, my own name. So, been there. Totally relate. Again, thank you both so, so, so much for coming and chatting with me today. I look forward to getting this episode out everywhere. Um, everyone, please go give them a follow. Listeners, again, thank you so much for listening to these two monstrous but impactful and important episodes. And I will catch you next time. We did it! Two episodes, one week. I'm not tired, you are! If you want to find more Dear Grad Student, you can find the podcast on social media. You can find the podcast on Twitter @DearGradStudent, on Instagram @deargradstudentpod, on YouTube by searching "Dear Grad Student Podcast." If you just want to connect with me online, you can find me on Twitter @elana_gloger. That's E-L-A-N-A underscore G-L-O-G-E-R. And if you like what you heard on the podcast today, catch up on all of your missed episodes! I know I keep saying this, but really, I have a whole semester worth of tips and tricks and commiseration and celebration all about grad school. Send an episode to a friend, we all just need a little bit of community around this time of year. Plus, word of mouth really helps the podcast. And, if you can, please rate and leave a review for Dear Grad Student on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or, you know, wherever you find your other favorite shows. Reminder that ALL of the resources and links mentioned in today's episode can be found in the description. And until next time, warmest regards, best wishes, sincerely, Elana. [Musical outro]