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Sara Webb-Sunderhaus

CBW Workshop 2019

Lean on Me: Self-Accommodation and Teaching with Disabilities

On October 26, 2017, I had just parked my car on the campus of my former institution,

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. I was walking through the parking garage,

mentally rehearsing for the basic writing class I was about to teach. Suddenly, my ankle rolled. I

pitched forward; as I fell, my arms instinctively shot out in a futile effort to protect myself. I hit

the ground hard, hitting my head in the process, and a perfect storm of injuries occurred to my

right arm, which was my dominant arm. My radial head broke off completely and was essentially

pulverized. My coronoid process—the small piece of bone that keeps the elbow in place—was

shattered; because the coronoid process could no longer do its job, my elbow dislocated,

resulting in significant ligament damage to the lower half of arm. This conglomeration of

injuries—an elbow dislocation with multiple fractures—is called the terrible triad, and believe

me when I say it is indeed terrible. An ambulance rushed me to the hospital, where the next day I

had extensive surgery. The trauma surgeon who performed the operation spoke to me

beforehand, reassuring me he would do what he could to save my elbow and avoid an elbow

replacement, while cautioning me that I had one of the most severe terrible triad injuries he had

seen. I remained calm, mostly because I was still in shock from the fall and subsequent events.

However, right before I drifted off into unconsciousness, I vividly remember thinking that one

moment had changed my life in ways I did not yet understand.

I was correct: my life changed irrevocably when I fell, in ways I could not have

comprehended at the time. The surgeon was able to save my elbow and avoid an elbow

replacement, but my recovery was extremely difficult. I saw little to no gains in physical therapy

for months. I developed a complication called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, a
rare condition that can develop after a traumatic injury to a limb; CRPS causes the nervous

system to go into overdrive and interpret all stimuli as pain. Due to the CRPS, I lost what little

movement I had regained in my elbow, and other problems developed: my right shoulder froze,

leaving me unable to lift my arm to even shoulder level. I could not bend or turn my right wrist.

My right hand—my dominant hand—swelled, developed a scaly appearance, and became

discolored and useless. I was left unable to bend my fingers or use my hand for anything. The

short list of things I could not do includes but is not limited to driving, dressing myself, washing

my hair, cutting food, turning a key or door knob, putting in contact lenses, grasping a pen, or

signing my name. The pain was unbearable; even a light tap or squeeze from my husband or

children was painful enough to make me scream in agony. At my lowest point, I questioned if I

would ever be able to teach or write again.

Fortunately, my care was transferred to another surgeon, a hand specialist who developed

an aggressive treatment plan that included multiple surgical injections in my neck, in an attempt

to reset my central and peripheral nervous systems and put my case of CRPS into remission. I

began working with specialized physical and occupational therapists in even more intense

sessions three times a week, and two more surgeries followed. This past November, over a year

after I fell, my surgeon released me from his care. Therapy ended, and I was declared to have a

permanent, partial disability of my right arm, from shoulder to fingertips. Although I have

regained a great deal of mobility and am no longer in excruciating pain, the reality is that my arm

will never have the range of motion or strength it had before I fell. I am among the nearly 20% of

Americans who have a disability.

Over the past year and a half, I have struggled to come to terms with a changing identity,

sense of self, and expectations. Today I’d like to talk with you about what this process has been
like. Specifically, I will discuss the impact of my disability on my teaching, the types of

resources I have needed and continue to need, and how I have learned to practice self-

accommodation as I continue to come to terms with the ways my life has changed over the past

18 months.

My fall and its aftermath had immediate and long-lasting consequences for my teaching,

but I want to acknowledge right now the privilege of my position, even during what has been one

of the most difficult experiences of my life. I was in my twelfth year of working at my

university, and I had tenure. This meant that I had an abundant amount of paid sick time and a

guaranteed job to return to. Because I fell at work, Worker’s Compensation paid for all of my

care; although I had health insurance through my job, the cost of my care would have been

financially disastrous for my family. The first 24 hours of my care—the ambulance ride, the five

hours in the ER, and the six hours in surgery and recovery—cost over $45,000. I suspect that the

total bill for my care over 12 months was close to a million dollars. Even with my health

insurance, it would have ruined me financially. If I had been an adjunct, with no health

insurance, there is no doubt I would have had to declare bankruptcy. But I was not an adjunct—I

was a tenured associate professor, with a great deal of sick time, supportive colleagues, and a

caring chair. All of these factors were critical resources as I adjusted to my new reality. By the

end of the day that I fell, my chair had arranged coverage of my face-to-face classes, and I had

short conversations with the instructors who took over my classes that weekend. I continued to

teach the online portion of my hybrid course for the remainder of the fall semester.

The opportunity to teach online was an important resource during my recovery. In

“Disability and eLearning: Opportunities and Barriers,” Mike Kent writes, “Accessible

eLearning provides a number of affordances to students and also teaching staff with disabilities.”
Chief among these are disclosure, accessibility, and flexibility, according to Kent, and my

experiences reinforce their importance. Teaching online meant that I could disclose to students

the story of my injuries at a time and place of my choosing—or not at all. It was important to me

to disclose to my students what I was going through last year; the impact of the injury was so all-

encompassing that it felt impossible not to acknowledge it. But, as Robert C. Anderson writes in

“Teaching (with) Disability: Pedagogies of Lived Experience,” “[I]ntroducing one's body into

the classroom requires a deepened level of reflexivity. This journey negotiates personal and

vulnerable spaces. The teacher with a body marked as different (disabled, gay, pregnant) is

keenly aware of embodiment in the classroom” (374). I too was keenly aware of my embodiment

on the rare occasions I was able to leave my home for something other than therapy; I often felt

as if I had a six-foot bubble around me, as no one would come closer. It’s a disturbing feeling to

walk through a store and see everyone clear out and avoid making eye contact—or even worse,

send pitying glances before quickly looking away. I did not want to experience that in a

classroom settling.

I was also not ready to be a representative of disabilities to my students. In “An Enabling

Pedagogy: Mediations on Writing and Disability,” Brenda Bruggemann writes “Standing in front

of a new class, each and every time, I feel the burden of representation” (318). Given the

circumstances I was thrust into last year—a disabling injury whose extent was unclear at the

time, a shifting identity, and very real pain and grief—I wasn’t ready for that burden. I wasn’t

ready to navigate the vulnerable terrain of embodiment. I did not want to become a spectacle in

my own classroom, as happened when I when out in public, or to be asked repeatedly about my

arm and recovery at a moment when I had no idea if I would ever be able to use my arm again. It

was a relief to teach online and have a choice in what to tell my students, rather than having my
disability announce itself with the presence of a giant brace or a swollen, scarred, and misshapen

arm. Online teaching allowed my pedagogy, not my disability, to be front and center, and I took

refuge in that.

Regarding accessibility, Kent writes, “Learning material that is made available online can

have far more options for accessibility than analogue content.” Kent is referring to students here,

but his words can hold true for instructors and certainly apply to my case. I couldn’t use a

computer, due to my injury; my arm was in a brace that went from my shoulder to my wrist, and

I couldn’t turn my wrist enough to type with my right hand. But my phone allowed me to dictate

or type somewhat easily with only my left hand, and I used its apps to email students and work

within Blackboard, our course management software. While videos had always been part of my

online pedagogy, I began creating more of them since it was easier for me to record a video than

send a group email or announcements via Blackboard.

Grading was not as challenging as it could have been, because I was already a heavy user

of technologies I could—and did—adapt to my changing needs. I had been requiring students to

submit work electronically for many years, and I began grading with screencasting technology

eight or nine years ago. At that time, I had been diagnosed with tendonitis in my right arm, and

programs such as Jing and Screencast-o-matic allowed me to record what I was seeing on my

computer screen and what I was saying as I responded to students’ work, instead of typing my

comments. Even after my tendonitis improved, I kept screencasting because it was better

pedagogy; my students found my comments much more clear and precise, because they could

hear my tone of voice and see exactly what I was pointing to in their drafts. Thus, at the time of

my fall, screencasting was well-integrated into my pedagogy, and my students were already used

to receiving feedback through this medium, so things simply continued as usual. If I had not
already been using digital tools in my teaching, I would have had a steep learning curve to

quickly master these resources, especially during the aftermath of a traumatic injury. The fact

that I was already a heavy user of these tools enabled me to keep teaching when I could not have

done so otherwise.

The third affordance of online courses Kent notes—flexibility—may very well have been

the most valuable for me. Given the amount of pain I was in, my lack of physical strength and

stamina, and my inability to use my right arm at all, it was impossible for me to teach face to

face for the duration of the 2017-18 academic year. Online teaching allowed me to work in short

bursts, as my energy allowed, and gave me access to the digital tools I needed as part of my

pedagogy. In a face to face class discussion, it would have been impossible for me to write down

students’ thoughts on a whiteboard or type them and project them on the screen, but online class

discussions allowed me to participate by dictating my thoughts before the pain became too great,

before the prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers caused me to fall asleep, or before I had

physical therapy. When my symptoms were at their worst, I only had 1-2 hours each day during

which I could work, and online teaching gave me the flexibility to make the most of that limited

time. I do not mean to suggest that online teaching is some sort of panacea for the needs of

disabled instructors; it is not. While online courses may be more accessible for instructors with

impairments that affect mobility, strength, and fatigue, they can be deeply inaccessible for

instructors with visual or hearing impairments, for example. Further, even if online teaching may

be more accessible to some instructors with disabilities, that does not mean it is always

accessible to that group of instructors. I am a case in point. While I found online teaching

challenging but possible for a good portion of the academic year, there came a time when

teaching became impossible.

At the end of the Fall 2017 semester, I was optimistic that I would be feeling better soon,

and before I fell I had already been scheduled to teach online for Spring 2018. I continued with

those plans and taught the first half of the semester, at which point my CRPS symptoms became

so severe that I was no longer capable of teaching at all. Once again, the chair of my former

department was critical, as he supported my request to go on medical leave for the second half of

the spring semester and secured instructors for my classes in less than 24 hours. The abundant

sick time I mentioned earlier became incredibly important, as I was able to have paid medical

leave because of it. My former institution’s HR department was not at all helpful throughout the

entire academic year, as they put pressure on me to return to the classroom almost immediately

after I fell and did not understand why I needed a medical leave in the spring. My chair ran

interference with HR and advocated for me at a time when I did not have the physical or

emotional stamina to do so.

During the latter half of the spring semester, I had two surgical injections in my neck,

which improved the CRPS symptoms and eventually put them into remission, and I had two

more surgeries. I was also in physical and occupational therapy three times a week. By the time

the first summer session started, my health had improved enough that I was able to teach the six-

week class. It was difficult, as therapy took a great deal of time and energy, my stamina was still

nearly non-existent, and I was preparing to move to another state during this time. But the

affordances of online teaching I discussed earlier—disclosure, accessibility, and flexibility—

allowed me to successfully complete the summer term. Doing so was an important milestone in

my recovery process, as it enabled me to envision myself as a professor once again. During last

spring semester, one of my greatest fears was that my academic career was over; I really did not

know if I would ever be able to teach or write again, and I was afraid I would have to give up the
position I had accepted at Miami University. Successfully finishing that summer course went a

long way to resolving that fear.

In July, I began my new job as the Director of Composition at Miami, and in August I

returned to teaching in a face to face classroom. Returning to a physical classroom was an

enormous milestone in my emotional recovery—I nearly cried on the first day of class, because I

was so happy to be back in a classroom setting. However, it was also enormously challenging.

The course I was teaching was English 731, The Theory and Practice of Teaching College

Composition—the required course for all incoming TAs who teach first-year composition at

Miami. This course met every day, for four hours a day, for two weeks. The volume of reading,

grading, and preparing for each class was enormous, given the compressed schedule and the time

and labor-intensive nature of the course, and I often needed to meet with the new TAs outside of

class hours as well. Although the course ended after two weeks, fall semester began

immediately, and as those of you who administer writing programs know well, things only get

even more intense in those early days of the new academic year.

Why was this so challenging? Remember that I had been essentially homebound for

nearly eight months; I only left my house for medical appointments and very limited errands. I

was unable to drive for eight months, because I did not have the range of motion or strength

required to turn the wheel or put a car in gear. When I did resume driving in June, it was difficult

and painful; my formerly frozen shoulder ached and my right arm shook from the exertion of

holding my right hand on the steering wheel. I was not able to start my car with my right hand

until October 15, 2018—11 days shy of the first anniversary of my fall. I was on prescription

painkillers for nearly nine months; I desperately needed to take those medications so that I could

function, let alone withstand the rigors of the physical and occupational therapy. Yet those
medications, as well as the unavoidable pain I still felt, slowed down my cognitive processing

and led to a great deal of mental fog. Even after I no longer needed the painkillers and my pain

was significantly lessened, my brain often felt like it was swimming through mud as I searched

for answers to questions or struggled to explain concepts. Finally, when the class began, it had

not even been three months since my last surgery, my family and I had only been living in our

new home for six weeks, and I still had to head to physical and occupational therapy two days a

week after I finished teaching.

Thus, resuming a daily routine that required the ability to work for hours at a time,

improvise quickly as needed and think on my feet in a classroom, drive nearly two hours,

exercise my arm at home every day, and go to therapy twice a week was extremely challenging. I

was also helping my children adjust to life in a new state and city, with new schools, activities,

and friends. When I came home each evening, I collapsed in the easy chair and was usually

asleep within minutes. It is difficult for me to explain the amount of physical, emotional, and

mental exhaustion I felt during the months of August and September. The fall, the resultant

complications, my long convalescence, and the rehabilitation process had robbed me of my

strength and stamina.

What I have had to learn this academic year—and what I am still in the process of

learning—is how to implement low-spoon theories of writing program administration and

teaching and make use of the resources available to me. I refer here to Christine Miserandino’s

spoon theory, which uses spoons as metaphors for energy. She argues that people who do not

live with disabilities or chronic conditions can begin each day with an infinite amount of spoons

(energy), while people with disabilities or chronic conditions have a small number of spoons, and

they require more spoons to get through their day. I live this reality every day, as things I used to
do quickly and easily—such as getting ready for work, driving, typing, writing, and teaching—

now take at least twice as long, require a lot more effort, and/or are far more exhausting and

painful than they were before I fell. This is what disability scholars refer to as “crip time” and

what Ellen Samuels calls “broken time,” writing that crip time “requires us to break in our bodies

and minds to new rhythms, new patterns of thinking and feeling and moving through the world.”

This is exhausting work, and it takes many, many spoons.

The fewer number of spoons I now have available to me mean that I have had to develop

and use other types of resources to help me in my administrative work and face-to-face teaching,

and I will focus on those for the remainder of my talk. The digital tools I previously discussed

are important, but they cannot be my only resources. Critical in developing these resources has

been implementing and sustaining a practice of self-accommodation. In “Low-Spoon Teaching:

Labor, Gender, and Self-Accommodation in Academia,” Sara N. Beam and Holly Clay-Buck

argue that although academics may be accustomed to accommodating the needs of their students

with disabilities, “something happens, however, in the gap between our students and ourselves

where understanding, empathy, and accommodation evaporate in the face of our own self

expectations. Self-accommodation is an intensely important and woefully overlooked academic

practice, especially for women,” adding that “it is directly at odds with America’s culture of

ruthless self-reliance and ‘toughing it out,’ with women’s perceptions of self-worth being tied to

usefulness, with expectations of female availability, and with our own (often founded) fears of

appearing ‘weak’ or less capable than male colleagues” (173). I certainly have wrestled with

these fears—and continue to do so—especially since I am in the first year of a new position;

when I started this job last summer, I had an overwhelming fear that my new department would

regret hiring me, and I felt a tremendous amount of self-imposed pressure to make sure that
didn’t happen. These fears made it even more difficult for me to ask for or accept help,

especially in those early days; as Clay-Buck writes, “I had to overcome the fear of being viewed

as a bother, difficult, or a whiner and advocate for myself the same way I would advocate for a

student” (174). I also had to learn to accept the help that was available and even offered to me

and use it as a resource.

One resource I had to learn to use is my predecessor as the Director of Composition,

Jason Palmeri, who I have been with friends with since we were new graduate students at Ohio

State nearly 20 years ago. Jason has generously shared all of his teaching and administrative

materials as well as his time. Before I fell, I would have been reluctant to use Jason’s materials

and would have been afraid of appearing to rely on him too much; I would have felt like I needed

to go it alone, and I hated feeling like I couldn’t do everything for myself. While I still have

some of those concerns at times, the past year and a half has made its effects known here. For

months, I was completely dependent on others to meet many of my basic needs, an experience

that I found to be humbling and illuminating. It forced me to become comfortable with accepting

help and relying on others when appropriate, and it made me explore why I had such a fear of

being a burden to others. I have learned—and am still learning—that it is okay to ask for help

when I need it. That does not mean that I am over-reliant on others or not doing my job. I do not

have to constantly prove to myself that I am strong or independent, because I know that I am all

of those things; accepting a dear colleague’s help does not lessen me in any way.

I am also learning to rely on the resources available to me as a WPA. My privileges as a

tenured faculty member—one who is now teaching in a doctoral program—reveal themselves

again here, as I have two advanced PhD students who assist me in running the writing program.

Theirs are staggered, two-year appointments, which means that there is always one assistant who
has worked in the writing program the previous year and has a deep level of familiarity with its

demands. Thus, when I began my new role as the Director of Composition, I had an experienced

assistant named Hua Zhu on whom I could rely, as well as another assistant, Megan Schoettler,

whose mentorship I could share with Hua. Hua and Megan assisted me in all aspects of planning

the TA training course, as well as the weekly practicum meetings that occur for the duration of

the academic year, and they have taken on some of the heavy lifting in teaching those courses.

This was especially true during the two-week, TA training course, when I was so exhausted that

there were times I could barely stand in front of the class. Hua, Megan, and I were each

responsible for roughly a third of each class, but they frequently volunteered to take on tasks that

required more physical or mental energy, such as tasks that required standing at the instructor’s

computer station and circulating among our students. Though they have never said as much to

me, I know they learned to read signals that my energy levels were fading, and they would take

on a more active class role in those moments; they would also jump in when they saw me

struggling to articulate a word or retrieve a concept from my memory bank.

My assistant directors have also reduced on me the greatest burden of any writing

teacher: grading. It had been my intention to read and grade all of the new TAs’ work, but I

quickly realized I was simply not capable of doing so. While I responded to the new TAs’ drafts

of major assignments and syllabi and was solely responsible for final grades, Hua and Megan

became primarily responsible for reading the daily work, such as discussion board posts and

brainstorming of assignments. They alerted me in cases when I needed to look over some ideas a

new TA had generated or answer a question directed towards me, but they greatly reduced my

grading workload and continue to do so for the weekly practicums, in which we follow the same

general grading pattern.

Do I worry about exploiting my assistants’ labor, particularly since they are graduate

students? Yes. However, I have learned from talking with them about these issues that they want

to do this work, because it is part of learning how to direct a writing program and mentor new

TAs. Early in the year, Hua told me that it would not be good for me to take on the bulk of the

grading, teaching, or observing the classrooms of new TAs and that we needed to divide it

evenly, because she and Megan need to learn the work of being a WPA by actually doing that

work. They cannot learn if I do not share the workload with them. As a result, I have learned to

let go of some of my fears of exploiting their labor, and I talk openly with my assistant directors

about my limitations, such as when I’m having a bad pain day, as well as their own needs, such

as giving them time off during their candidacy exams. I know that it is an extraordinary privilege

to have not one but two TAs to assist me in this work; if I was still at my former institution, I

doubt I would have been able to become the WPA there after I fell, because I would not have had

the kinds of resources, such as assistants who shared some of the labor, that would make the

position accessible to me.

In addition to talking with my assistants about the impact of my disability, I am now

speaking openly about these issues with my students as well. As I mentioned earlier in my talk, I

did not want to do this sort of emotional work with students last year. I was still healing and in

the midst of fundamental identity shifts; at this time last year, I was grieving the loss of my

mobility, a loss whose extent was still extremely unclear, which made it even more difficult to

process. When I resumed teaching in August, I was still required to wear compression sleeves

and gloves and to use specialized braces that forced my hand and fingers to bend and stretch

multiple times a day. Given that our classes were four hours long, I had to use my braces during

class at times, and there was no way my students would not see and wonder what I was doing.
Thus, I took on “the burden of representation” Brueggemann describes and told my students

about my fall. I showed them the braces, told them I would use them as I taught, and that while

they may see me grimace or appear pained at times, they should not worry about me, because it

was nothing compared to what I had been through. While I could tell my sleeves and braces were

the objects of fascination the first few times the new TAs saw me put them on and remove them

in class, I could also observe that these items quickly became routine in the life of our classroom.

Before the end of the first week, the students no longer flinched when they heard me detach the

Velcro straps on my braces and gloves; it became as routine as the hiss of someone opening a

water bottle.

I’ve now reached a place where it feels like a responsibility, not a burden, to disclose my

disability to students. I want all students to know that people who at first glance may appear

“able-bodied” may not be. I want students—both those with disabilities and those without—to

know that being born with or acquiring a disability may change someone’s life, but it doesn’t

necessarily have to change their goals and ambitions. In short, I want to normalize disability for

them, in ways that professors such as Brenda Brueggemann and the late Kitty Locker normalized

disability and serious illness for me during my graduate work. When I was at my lowest

moments and questioned if my academic career was over, the examples of my former professors

encouraged me that it did not have to be. I disclose my disability now so that I can hopefully be

that type of mentor for my students.

I no longer have to wear compression sleeves or use braces, and shirts and sweaters often

hide the visual evidence of my disabled arm. I don’t think most students pick up on the subtler

clues of my disability—carrying items with my left arm, eating and drinking primarily with my

left hand, and using a phone or computer for notes and taking attendance—because those actions
aren’t typically read through the lens of disability. They don’t necessarily know that I’m not left

handed, and many professors use phone apps to take attendance or utilize laptops in class. But I

still disclose my disability to students on the first day of class and talk openly about my

limitations, because this is how I build “a system of ongoing accommodation,” as Clay-Buck

describes it (174). I inform students that I don’t typically answer emails in the evening, because

my body needs the evenings to recover from the demands of the day, and I am sometimes slower

to return graded work for the same reason. I am currently teaching a three-hour grad seminar,

and I’m honest with the students that my energy starts flagging at the start of the third hour;

when my brain turns to mush and I can’t remember a scholar’s name, they know why, and they

also know they’ll receive an email from me when I remember. I assign lighter reading loads

during times when I know my energy and stamina will be low, and I tell them why. This is the

essence of low-spoon teaching, according to Beam and Clay-Buck: “teaching with few units of

energy and planning ahead for low-energy days by building a classroom culture of collaboration,

flexibility, and adaptation” (173).

Last week a student in my graduate seminar thanked me for the lighter reading load this

week and for being considerate that many of them were preparing for Cs. I told her that while I

did think of them, I also made these decisions for me, as I knew my own preparations for Cs

would deplete my energy and would most likely result in more pain, leaving me unable to

prepare as much for our class. A year ago, I would have been embarrassed to say this to her; I

would have worried about seeming like a bad professor and “less than” my colleagues. The

expectation seems to be that we should push ourselves and our students to our limits, always

doing more and more. Beam and Clay-Buck write that academics—particularly female

academics—"often feel that admitting to needing help or even just needing time to regroup is
inherently ‘weak’ (which is a problematic word to pejorative-ize in the first place) and that

deviating in any way from the script of working ourselves beyond endurance is somehow

something to be ashamed of” (177). I have certainly felt that way at times, but I also know that I

will never have the mobility or strength I had before I fell. I will never be able to work in the

same ways I did before, because I live in crip time now. That is okay—more than okay—to

admit. I still sometimes feel embarrassed to have these conversations with students, but without

exception they have been kind and generous. I hope that sharing my vulnerabilities with them

has led to a classroom environment in which they feel can be vulnerable, and I know I feel closer

to this particular group of students than I ever have by this point in a semester. My students have

helped me reach a point of self-acceptance, and I am grateful to them for that.

On October 26, 2017, the person I was ceased to be. The fall stripped me of my identity

as an able-bodied person who did not have to depend on others and was not afraid of much of

anything. Over the past year and a half, I had to rebuild myself into a new Sara, slowly

reintegrating former facets of my identity—including my sense of self as a writing teacher,

administrator, and scholar—with my sense of self as someone who lives with a disability. I have

also had to work through the many fears I developed in the wake of the fall. There has been grief

and loss in that process, but also acceptance. I miss the person I was before I fell; I miss the ease

with which she used to move through the world and all the things she used to be able to do with

little thought or effort. But I love and respect the person I have become. I am grateful for

everything I can do now—not only the physical gains I fought so hard for in physical and

occupational therapy, but also the emotional gains I have made thanks to psychotherapy and a

deep, sustained process of self-reflection. I have learned to ask for and receive help. I know that
it’s okay to rely on others as resources, and I have become a resource for myself. I am learning to

say this is the best I can do, and that is good enough.

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert C. “Teaching (with) Disability: Pedagogies of Lived Experience.” The

Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, vol. 28, no. 3-4, 2006, pp. 367-


Beam, Sara N. and Holly Clay-Buck. “Low-Spoon Teaching: Labor, Gender, and Self-

Accommodation in Academia.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 37, no. 1,

2018, pp. 173-180.

Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. “An Enabling Pedagogy: Meditations on Writing and Disability.”

JAC, vol. 21, no, 4, 2001, pp. 791–820.

Kent, Mike. “Disability and eLearning: Opportunities and Barriers.” Disability Studies

Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 1, 2015, Accessed 5

March 2019.

Miserando, Christine. “The Spoon Theory.” But You Dont Look Sick? Support for Those with

Invisible Illness or Chronic Illness, 26 Apr. 2013,

Samuels, Ellen. “Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time.” Disability Studies

Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 3, 2017, Accessed 5

March 2019.