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Disability in PracticeAttitudes, Policies, and Relationships$
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Adam Cureton and Thomas E. Hill, Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812876.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

Hiding a Disability and Passing as Non-Disabled

Hiding a Disability and Passing as Non-Disabled

(p.15) 1 Hiding a Disability and Passing as Non-Disabled
Disability in Practice

Adam Cureton

Oxford University Press

I draw on my experiences of passing as non-disabled to explain how a disabled person can hide his disability, why he might do so, and what costs and risks he and others might face along the way. Passing as non-disabled can bring greater social acceptance and inclusion in joint projects, an enhanced sense of belonging, pride, and self-worth, and an easier time forming and maintaining personal relationships. Yet hiding one’s disability can also undermine some of these same values; for example, it prevents someone from living up to normal social expectations or sharing important aspects of himself with others. Hiding a disability can also interfere with a person’s self-respect, self-acceptance, integrity, and self-development. Although the chapter does not take a stand on whether hiding a disability is, overall, prudent, wise, or morally justified, it draws out some lessons about disability from why someone might want to hide it.

Keywords:   disability, passing, self-respect, pride, integrity

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