NY Times Article on Concealing or Revealing Disabilities

Quandary of Hidden Disabilities: Conceal or Reveal?

After reading this article, I applied the expressed concerns within a workplace to a college setting. I thought back to my mindset from a month or two ago before class started and weighed both sides of questions readers of that article might ask themselves. I suggest that you read the article, put it into the appropriate context for your life, and ask yourself what you would do.

 

Do I want to ask for special accommodations in class? 

YES. Special accommodations are completely necessary if the situation warrants them. In my case, recording lectures and a reduced distraction test environment are accommodations.

 

BUT, if I don’t ask for accommodations, then I’ll fall behind.

Correct. Had I not asked for permission to record class lectures, I would most definitely be behind in some classes.

 

Will I be noticeably different and will people ask questions?

In most ways I am not noticeably different; However, before class last night someone realized that my pen recorded. Completely out of left field, they bluntly asked me if I have a disability. I responded point blank that I had brain surgery to remove a tumor, and the conversation was over.

 

I don’t want to reveal my medical condition in class or in my dorm hall for fear of being thought of differently.

I didn’t see a reason for revealing my condition in class until we started Physics labs. Physics is over my head to begin with, so explaining how it takes me longer to process what we were just taught in a lecture and transferring the concepts over to a lab helped my lab partners realize that I need some extra help along the way. It was a necessity for me to give lab partners context.

 

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