Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

The University and Social Work Under Neoliberalism: Where’s the Social Inclusion for Disabled Faculty?

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 1487 | Downloads: 894

Abstract:  There is an urgent need to increase the social inclusion of postsecondary faculty with disabilities by reducing the need to adapt to ableist and sanist neoliberal standards. In this article, two social work faculty with disabilities argue that their social exclusion is inevitable under systemic neoliberal priorities of individualism, efficiency, and productivity. We engage in a systems analysis of how educational institutions, namely universities, engage in practices and processes of social exclusion of faculty with disabilities through neoliberal ideologies, policies, and practices. Using an autoethnographic case study method, guided by an intersectional and disability justice theoretical framing, the authors challenge the ahistorical and non‐relational tendencies of neoliberalism in its many forms. Using lived experience as data, the authors elucidate strategies to promote social inclusion aimed at universities and at the discipline of social work. In conclusion, the authors advocate for change at the structural level for the social work profession and for postsecondary institutions.

Keywords:  disability; disabled faculty; neoliberalism; postsecondary education; social work; university



© Cameron McKenzie, Maryam Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.