Project Title

Content Warnings, Autonomy and Educational Accessibility for Student Survivors of Violence

Presenter Hometown

Lexington

Major

Anthropology/Sociology

Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Amanda Green

Mentor Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Abstract

Student survivors of violence are increasingly requesting content warnings in college syllabi, but these requests are not always welcome. As a result, survivors—the demographic for which the content warnings debate among post-secondary educators is most critical—express perceptions of being ignored, spoken for, and invalidated, especially when requests for accommodations are denied. As a result, the student survivors claim that the higher education institution disregards their trauma, undermines their agency, and denies them the opportunity to seek accommodations or participation in a process that ordinarily provides accommodations for disabilities, thus diminishing their overall educational experience. The aim of this paper is to show how emotional, mental, and physiological triggers impede a student survivor’s accessibility to their higher education by comparing accounts of triggers from survivors to educational settings similar to those described in case studies and interviews. In showcasing symptom-active survivorship (an affirming term for survivors of violence, with or without a PTSD diagnosis, who have emotional, mental, or physiological symptoms that impact their lives) through the words of survivors, this paper argues that content warnings and other accommodations with respect for survivors’ agency in educational settings is essential for their educational accessibility and overall student success. This paper will include an analysis of survivors’ personal accounts of symptom-active survivorship through a feminist disability studies perspective and apply these symptoms to an educational setting. This analysis provides clear evidence that student survivors of violence need educational accommodations and the agency to acquire accommodations in order to obtain educational accessibility.

Presentation format

Poster

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Content Warnings, Autonomy and Educational Accessibility for Student Survivors of Violence

Student survivors of violence are increasingly requesting content warnings in college syllabi, but these requests are not always welcome. As a result, survivors—the demographic for which the content warnings debate among post-secondary educators is most critical—express perceptions of being ignored, spoken for, and invalidated, especially when requests for accommodations are denied. As a result, the student survivors claim that the higher education institution disregards their trauma, undermines their agency, and denies them the opportunity to seek accommodations or participation in a process that ordinarily provides accommodations for disabilities, thus diminishing their overall educational experience. The aim of this paper is to show how emotional, mental, and physiological triggers impede a student survivor’s accessibility to their higher education by comparing accounts of triggers from survivors to educational settings similar to those described in case studies and interviews. In showcasing symptom-active survivorship (an affirming term for survivors of violence, with or without a PTSD diagnosis, who have emotional, mental, or physiological symptoms that impact their lives) through the words of survivors, this paper argues that content warnings and other accommodations with respect for survivors’ agency in educational settings is essential for their educational accessibility and overall student success. This paper will include an analysis of survivors’ personal accounts of symptom-active survivorship through a feminist disability studies perspective and apply these symptoms to an educational setting. This analysis provides clear evidence that student survivors of violence need educational accommodations and the agency to acquire accommodations in order to obtain educational accessibility.