Disability Studies brown bag, May 2 @noon, Heather Evans on disability, identity, and the law

Come support a Sociology graduate student!

Heather Evans, Ph.D. Candidate, UW Sociology, and recipient of a Disability Studies Program Harlan Hahn award

‘Disability Consciousness’: Impairment & Identity under the Legal Lamp Post

Friday, May 2, 2014
Savery Hall 408
University of Washington

Abstract: This study examines everyday understandings of the law, the construction of disability, and identity management among individuals who experience intermittent, non-evident impairment, or impairments sometimes referred to as ‘invisible disabilities’. Specifically, I examine how adults who have acquired ‘invisible’ impairments that come and go in episodes manage (or avoid) disability disclosure in order to negotiate accommodations in the workplace. This presentation draws on data from nine life history case studies to provide a phenomenological analysis of how people with non-evident, episodic impairment conceptualize ‘disability’ and identify the primary discursive frameworks individuals use to negotiate work and disability identities. Using these data, I examine how perceptions of the law and legal discourses shape these decisions.

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