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Taking inspiration from Maria R. Palacios’ poem “Naming Ableism,” this article attempts to name some of the ways that ableism has and continues to manifest itself in writing center discourse. Topics discussed include writer “independence,” diagnosis of disabled writers, impairment-specific practices, negative discussions of disability in writing center literature, incorrect use of the word “accessibility,” inaccessible space, and access fatigue. This article concludes by suggesting that writing centers can move from a culture of ableism to a culture of access by applying concepts of interdependence and access intimacy. Readers are given suggestions for how to move forward, based on their role(s) within the writing center community.


Dembsey, J. M. (2020). Naming ableism in the writing center. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal18(1), 3-13.