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Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 399–413 | Cite as

Being the Wizard behind the Curtain: Teaching Experiences of Graduate Teaching Assistants with Disabilities at U.S. Universities

  • Michelle L. DamianiEmail author
  • Wendy S. Harbour
Article

Abstract

This study investigated the teaching experiences of graduate students with disabilities, using 12 semi-structured in-person and phone interviews. We selected participants using stratified random sampling representing diverse disabilities, degree programs, and regions of the United States. Findings suggest that students engage in complex self-accommodation influenced by their dual roles as students and employees. Students also discussed their development as instructors and the need for mentoring and campus spaces for disability. We utilize the metaphor of the “wizard behind the curtain” to explain how these students actively navigate graduate school.

Keywords

Higher Education Teaching Assistants Graduate Students Disabilities Disability Studies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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