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The Claw (White Memorial Fountain) with the Old Union in the background. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

The Disability Identity

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What is the disability identity?

The disability identity encompasses a broad range of individuals and conditions. It is essential that we embrace and acknowledge these differences to accommodate and support the disability community at Stanford.

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Disability and college

College can be as daunting as it is exciting. Embarking in a higher education and starting this new chapter in one's life can be stressful, especially when paired with a disability. It is important to look at the resources that are offered for a more accessible experience and to connect with others who may share a community with you. The Disability Community Space strives for equity and to create a space that is nurturing and educational. If you are curious about disability, are looking to find community, or want to partake in the myriad of initiatives on campus for students with disabilities, please consider becoming a part of this space.

What is ableism? How do you identify microaggressions?

Disability is complex. The term houses a variety of different conditions including but not limited to physical disabilities, learning disabilities, neurodiversity, and mental illness.  Ableism is the discrimination towards individuals with disabilities. This highly oppressive behavior goes against the mission of Stanford and will not be tolerated. Stanford is committed to non-discrimination and the University's compliance is monitored through the Diversity and Access Office. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to recognize discrimination as it may show up in the form of a microaggression. Comments or actions that feel uncomfortable or uneasy are microaggressions that could very well be targeting an individual from a specific community. In the Disability Community Space, we aim to provide a place that offers safety and protection from these discriminatory actions. To also combat ableism at Stanford, we have the Protected Identity Harm Reporting to support students in marginalized communities who have been targeted. Please know that if you feel targeted, you are not alone. Along with the resources provided at the university, the Disability Community Space aims to support and assist students who feel that they have been subjected to acts of hate and ableism.