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"Not wishing to be the white rhino in the crowd" : disability-disclosure at University

Inge Blockmans (UGent)
Author
Abstract
This article reports on a qualitative study identifying the drivers for and boundaries to disability-disclosure in interability interactions as experienced by 13 students with physical impairments at five Belgian higher education institutions. Through surveys and in-depth interviews, the study explored whether the students experience, prefer, and expect differences in communication about their impairments with temporarily able-bodied peers, instructors, and staff. Interviews provided insight into the nuances of disclosure and topic avoidance decisions that differ by disclosure target: disabilitydisclosure is mainly a balancing act between fulfilling physical needs and maintaining a normal, positive identity. The visibility of impairments seems to play a minor role in the students’ initial orientation toward disclosing. The functions of disability-disclosure as posited by the Communication Predicament of Disability Model and the CARE-keys to effective interability communication (i.e., Contact, Ask, Respect, Empathy) are discussed as well as the implications of the findings for Communication Accommodation Theory.
Keywords
interability communication, communication accommodation theory (CAT), communication predicament of disability, communication privacy management theory (CPMT), CARE, disability, ableism, stigma, self-disclosure, topic avoidance, qualitative research, thematic analysis

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Citation

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MLA
Blockmans, Inge. “‘Not Wishing to Be the White Rhino in the Crowd’ : Disability-disclosure at University.” Ed. Howard Giles. JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 34.2 (2015): 158–180. Print.
APA
Blockmans, I. (2015). “Not wishing to be the white rhino in the crowd” : disability-disclosure at University. (H. Giles, Ed.)JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 34(2), 158–180.
Chicago author-date
Blockmans, Inge. 2015. “‘Not Wishing to Be the White Rhino in the Crowd’ : Disability-disclosure at University.” Ed. Howard Giles. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 34 (2): 158–180.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Blockmans, Inge. 2015. “‘Not Wishing to Be the White Rhino in the Crowd’ : Disability-disclosure at University.” Ed. Howard Giles. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 34 (2): 158–180.
Vancouver
1.
Blockmans I. “Not wishing to be the white rhino in the crowd” : disability-disclosure at University. Giles H, editor. JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2015;34(2):158–80.
IEEE
[1]
I. Blockmans, “‘Not wishing to be the white rhino in the crowd’ : disability-disclosure at University,” JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 158–180, 2015.
@article{5837887,
  abstract     = {This article reports on a qualitative study identifying the drivers for and boundaries to disability-disclosure in interability interactions as experienced by 13 students with physical impairments at five Belgian higher education institutions. Through surveys and in-depth interviews, the study explored whether the students experience, prefer, and expect differences in communication about their impairments with temporarily able-bodied peers, instructors, and staff. Interviews provided insight into the nuances of disclosure and topic avoidance decisions that differ by disclosure target: disabilitydisclosure is mainly a balancing act between fulfilling physical needs and maintaining a normal, positive identity. The visibility of impairments seems to play a minor role in the students’ initial orientation toward disclosing. The functions of disability-disclosure as posited by the Communication Predicament of Disability Model and the CARE-keys to effective interability communication (i.e., Contact, Ask, Respect, Empathy) are discussed as well as the implications of the findings for Communication Accommodation Theory.},
  author       = {Blockmans, Inge},
  editor       = {Giles, Howard},
  issn         = { 0261-927X},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {interability communication,communication accommodation theory (CAT),communication predicament of disability,communication privacy management theory (CPMT),CARE,disability,ableism,stigma,self-disclosure,topic avoidance,qualitative research,thematic analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {158--180},
  title        = {"Not wishing to be the white rhino in the crowd" : disability-disclosure at University},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X14548071},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2015},
}

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