Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher EducationSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. Please contact email@example.com to use this work in a way not covered by the license. The print version of this book is available for sale from the University of Michigan Press. :
For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.
14. While an argument that more senses equals more learning could be used to impose unwarranted assessments of ability upon learners, there is little proof—and little to be gained from arguing—that one organization or utilization of these pathways is better than another, or that learning happens best when they are all “maxed out.” This said, Gunther Kress also argues that, because a culture selects and privileges certain forms of embodied engagement, some will be “affectively and cognitively at an advantage over those whose preferred sensory modes are not valued or are suppressed in their culture” (“Multimodality,” 187). Kress sees how this cultural exclusion works, and wouldn’t fail to recognize that there is a short jump from this attribution of cultural exclusion—a disadvantage only when the social practice disadvantages—to the attribution of a cognitive, even a biological deficiency. I would argue that this may lead us to attribute disabilities to learners who don’t have access to whatever comes to be defined as the full range of connected modes. So we must remain critical not just of which literacies a culture privileges, but also which combinations of literacies and which interactions between literacies come to represent advanced (or deficient) cognition
[ return to text ]