Ableism in academia: where are the disabled and ill academics?
Recent coverage in higher education newspapers and social media platforms implies that chronic conditions, illnesses and disabilities are becoming more prominent amongst academics. Changes to funding structures, increased globalisation, marketisation and bureaucratisation of higher education have resulted in a performance-driven working environment where teaching workload and pressures to publish are further intensified due to excellence exercises in teaching and research. The result is low morale and an ever-rising number of reported mental health issues, burnout and stress-related illnesses within academia. This article explores some of these issues in the context of higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. We draw on our research and our experiences as speakers regarding ableism in academia to provide food for thought, stimulate a debate and raise awareness of those academics experiencing chronic illness, disability or neurodiversity, whose voices are not heard.