What can be learned about the pandemic through the lens of disability, and conversely, what can we come to know about disability through the Covid-19 pandemic? Rogers-Shaw contemplates these reciprocal questions in a highly original essay that is wide in scope. After thinking about how to best describe the experience of reading her work, the word “wondrous” came to mind, as the essay is both delightful and powerful. Why? Because she examines and explores what has recently concerned many of us in education, that is, the pandemic’s impact upon the lives of both teachers and students with and without disabilities. We have heard all kinds of stories in social media (Selwyn, 2020), along with formal reports (Barbour, 2021) and journal articles on the crest of an anticipated wave of information (Osofsky et al., 2020). Still, we don’t yet have a cohesive, substantial body of knowledge that makes sense of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on education in the United States and around the world. Amid these scary and confusing times, Rogers-Shaw has given us useful ways to (re)consider dis/ability in light of the pandemic, and vice versa, illustrating shortcomings of society at large and education in particular, while offering some possibilities for much-needed change.
Connor, D. J.
On Turning Tables, Hubris, and Humility: Reflecting upon Carol Rogers-Shaw’s “Disabled Lives & Pandemic Lives: Stories of Human Precarity”.
Occasional Paper Series,