Rosemarie Garland-Thomson wrote an influential essay for the NYT in 2016 entitled Becoming Disabled:
The fact is, most of us will move in and out of disability in our lifetimes, whether we do so through illness, an injury or merely the process of aging.
I met with Rosemarie today to deepen my understanding of the disabled world. Using an arts lens, she described to me the three ways that we experience disability in culturally-motivated experiences:
- Through the work of an artist who is disabled.
- Through disability being represented in work.
- Through disability as a driving concept in work.
This framework made me think of how when you replace the word “disability” in each of the three categories above, it covers a
Rosemarie also shared how it is important to consider how to approach bringing a disabled person into the workforce with needed attention to:
- Thoughtfulness around roles that don’t exacerbate barriers in the actual work to be done.
- Expectations that the speed of performing work will be generally different (i.e. take longer in some cases).
- Bringing colleagues consciously up to speed with how to work with a disabled person.
And always having strong consideration for the value and benefit of bringing difference into the workplace. Love that! —JM