The Ethics of Passing and Disability Disclosure in Higher Education (Spring Webinar 4 of 4)

(DIS)COURSES: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues – Spring 2022 Webinar Series

Join the Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) ( and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature ( for the latest in an exciting, ongoing webinar series on disability literature, media, and the arts, focusing on critical reflection, teaching, and research in today’s world. The Spring 2022 Webinar Series is in four parts.

The Ethics of Passing and Disability Disclosure in Higher Education (Spring Webinar 4 of 4)
With Joseph A. Stramondo
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
5:00-6:30 P.M. Eastern time, via Zoom
Register for this event:

This talk will explore if or when one has an ethical duty to disclose their disability as a faculty member. It will explore such topics as: Who do you have a responsibility to disclose your disability to and why? Do faculty specifically have an ethical obligation to disclose their disability that is entailed by their role? How do you judge whether the ethical reasons you may have for disclosure are outweighed by your own self-interest to avoid the harms of disability stigma and discrimination by passing? Does one have an obligation to disclose all disabilities or is there reason to disclose some disabilities more than others? Ultimately, I will use the methodology of narrative identity and ethics, as developed by Hilde Lindemann, to argue that there are some ethically salient reasons for some faculty members to disclose their disability some of the time, but this duty is not absolute and can be outweighed by other considerations. The ethical reasons for disclosure arise from the notion that a person’s identity is never a private matter, but always relational in nature because human agency is relational. That is, a person is always constrained by others when making the choices that express who they are. However, these relational constraints are not permanent or static, but can be tightened or loosened, allowing for lesser or greater self-determination in matters of identity. Constraints placed on the identity and agency of those with less power are loosened when those with more power open up the social space necessary for acting according to a chosen personal identity. One effective way to open up this social space for disability identity to flourish is for you yourself to identify as disabled. To translate this argument into the institutional structures of higher education, faculty, especially permanent, tenured faculty, sometimes have an obligation to disclose their own disability identity to create the social space for other disabled people with less institutional power to flourish within the academy.
Learn more about Prof. Joseph A. Stramondo

The Spring 2022 (Dis)courses Series is sponsored by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) at the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, with very special thanks to the Syracuse University Libraries, and with additional support from the Center on Disability and Inclusion, the Central New York Humanities Corridor Health Humanities Working Group (Medicine, Disease, Disability, and Culture), the Consortium for Culture and Medicine, Cultural Foundations of Education, Dept. of Biology, Dept. of English, Dept. of History, Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies, the Disability Cultural Center, Disability Studies, The Graduate School, Hendricks Chapel, Information Technology Services, the Intergroup Dialogue Program, La Casita Cultural Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center, LGBTQ Studies, the Renée Crown University Honors Program, the School of Education, and the Syracuse University Humanities Center.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, live captioning, and image descriptions will be provided during each event. Additional accommodations requests for each event can be made when registering via Zoom. The events will be recorded, and accessible videos will be shared publicly on the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) website (

Copies of selected texts will be available for purchase via the Syracuse University Campus Store (

Visit (Dis)courses online ( to register for the Zoom webinars and learn more about the series and our co-sponsors.

Questions? Contact us via email at

To download a PDF copy of the print poster, visit:

A QR code linking to the (Dis)courses website is in the lower right corner of the poster.

Original series poster designed by Professor Emily Vey Duke