Undue Hardship: A Scholarly Personal Narrative about Working with Invisible Disability in an Ableist Daily Newsroom Culture

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


Page, Shelley




I worked as a journalist for twenty-five years with an invisible disability, systemic lupus erythematous, until I left my difficult but successful career after failing to win doctor-recommended accommodations. I share my journey using a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) format informed by interviews with thirty-seven current and former journalists with disabilities, as well as twenty-one union officials, newsroom managers, and media executives. Using my experiences at three daily news organizations as the through line, I uncover previously untold stories from other journalists with invisible disabilities to explore the prevailing fear of disclosure within a macho, competitive news culture; workarounds and side deals that erase disability as a workplace issue; the habitual denial of accommodations; and how those exiled from daily news organizations write about their stories — as I have — outside the mainstream. This SPN has implications for both journalism education, the journalism profession, and critical disability studies.


Industrial and Labor Relations




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Journalism: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 


Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).