Impact on professional life and career


So another side of this—what is a joy—but professionally it’s completely changed my life. So I’m an academic and for the first 15 years, 14 years of Oliver’s life, there was no way that I was going to confuse my research and interests with disability. Partly because I felt that was self-interest and partly because I felt that I had other things that were really more interesting to me. And over time, that feeling of self-interest has given way to other sensibilities, but also just my own understanding of disability. And I’ve had a chance to start teaching course and perspectives on disability and injury and so forth. And that has been so enriching for me because it’s getting myself out of the mindset of “everybody with a disability is just like our son”. Trying to understand this vast diversity of things that come under this label “disability”, and the consequences that has for the human condition, both positive and negative, has been rewarding, hugely rewarding for me professionally. And it’s gotten me into all kinds of new relationships with different people who work professionally in this sphere of academia. Again, those are relationships that I otherwise wouldn’t have made, but I’m so glad that I’ve made them.

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