This study presents three perspectives about how the life experience of individuals with disabilities is profoundly affected by the attitudes of others. A first perspective is presented by three individuals who had sustained significant, traumatic injuries. They each shared with me their experiences with acceptance and the attitudes of others. A second perspective comes from me, as the author of this article. As a person with a virtually lifelong disability, I have interpreted those experiences through a lens mediated by my own relationship to disability. These interpretations have informed a third perspective, that of a fictional representation of the role that the attitudes of others play in the lives of individuals with disabilities. That representation of attitude is presented as a one-act play. Within an oral history framework of narrative inquiry, the play offers a synthesis and restorying of the meanings inherent in each of these individual stories. Its purpose is to provide the reader/audience with a more intimate understanding of disability, demonstrating the relationship between others’ perceptions of disability and its apparently significant and categorical difference from the mainstream. Finally, the implications of this perception of disability as difference are made specific within the context of the ongoing employment challenges that continue to confront individuals living with disabilities.
Disability, Creative Non-Fiction, Narrative Inquiry, Oral History, Employment, Difference
Mr. Breen would like to acknowledge the support of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting and Best Canada Graduate Scholarship; the Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplement; and the University of British Columbia Four Year Fellowship for PhD Students.
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Recommended APA Citation
Breen, J. S. (2017). Disability as Difference - A Fictional Representation. The Qualitative Report, 22(10), 2722-2741. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2017.2996