“I TELL THEM, I TELL THEM NOT”: DISCLOSING ONE’S IMPAIRMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Muhamad Nadhir Abdul Nasir, Alfa Nur Aini Erman Efendi

Abstract


Besides dealing with architectural and attitudinal barriers in higher education, disabled students also have to go through their identity formation as having some form of impairment resulting in their actions whether to disclose or not to disclose such information within various aspects of campus life. This article explores factors that influence one’s decision to disclose his or her impairment in higher education setting. We collect qualitative data from two groups of research participant. The first group consists of first year university students with various impairment at a public higher learning institution in Klang Valley, whereas the second group comprises of members of a Facebook group known  as ‘Jalinan Mahasiswa OKU Malaysia’. Through qualitative comparative analysis, we uncover ten factors that influence one’s decision for impairment disclosure. Those factors are study course suitability, meritocracy, feeling towards one’s limitation, risk of discrimination, fulfilling one’s rights, risk of manipulation, facilities provision, responsibility, priority and thoughtfulness. These factors produce a complex matrix that needs to be managed effectively. We debate several issues arise relating to these factors. Our debate calls for critical interrogation of issues such as disability conception, individuals’ capabilities and the need for re-operationalizing the term ‘human rights’. We also advocate for further research on this matrix in different contexts of disabled people’s life such as during applying for a job, applying to participate in an event or training, and during applying for services or assistance schemes.


Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.