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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Rowan, Karen


Despite writing centers commitment to inclusion and accessibility, recent scholarship has pointed out way in which writing center praxis approaches disability from a problematic and ableist standpoint (Rinaldi, 2012; Dembsey 2020). One area in particular where writing center studies tends to adopt such a standpoint is in its policies and practices concerning disability disclosure (the process of reporting one’s status as disabled). Writing center praxis often frames disclosure as a necessity for the sake of addressing student need, while some sidestep overtly requiring disclosure by assuming disclosure as a natural part of the tutoring process. In both cases, writing center scholarship overlooks the challenges and issues disabled individuals must negotiate when disclosing their disabilities. This article highlights some of the key challenges involved in disability disclosure. It then works to analyze writing centers’ approaches to disability disclosure, arguing that writing center praxis tends to frame disclosure according to two problematic assumptions: that disability is a unique problem to the “normal” tutoring process, and it must, therefore, be disclosed in order to “fix” it. Additionally, writing center scholarship often assumes that all disabilities are visible. This article looks at two recent contributions to writing center praxis on the topic of disability, paying particular attention to how these approaches to disclosure complicates and problematizes praxis.