Navigating the Terrain of Dis/Ability

An Autoethnographic Cartography

  • Susan Docherty-Skippen Faculty of Education Brock University, Ontario


Through my lens as an adult educator with non-apparent dis/abilities, this paper has been constructed as an autoethnographic cartography in the lived experience of a dis/ability paradigm.  Like a navigational pelorus used to sustain a vessel’s bearing at sea, the relative fluidity of my dis/abled identity, lost and found, has been charted against encounters and relapses of stroke and mental illness.  Drawing from personal dis/ability narratives, I illustrate how I captured and studied the familiar yet unaccustomed geography of my body’s dis/abling experiences.  I describe how the use of visually captivating, artistic underwater photographs of feminine bodies—strong—sensual—alive, and reminiscent of my embodied experiences,  serve not only as visual representations of my dis/ability, but as entry points into the messy process of textualizing dis/ability experiences.

Author Biography

Susan Docherty-Skippen, Faculty of Education Brock University, Ontario

Faculty of Education

Brock University, Ontario