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Against Technoableism

Nonfiction: Social Sciences
Unabridged   4 hour(s)
Publication date: 12/26/2023

NEW! Now Available

Against Technoableism

Rethinking Who Needs Improvement

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696613118


A manifesto exploding what we think we know about disability, and arguing that disabled people are the real experts when it comes to technology and disability.

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Product Description

When Ashley Shew became a self-described "hard-of-hearing chemobrained amputee with Crohn's disease and tinnitus," there was no returning to "normal." Suddenly well-meaning people called her an "inspiration" while grocery shopping or viewed her as a needy recipient of technological wizardry. Most disabled people don't want what the abled assume they want—nor are they generally asked.

In vibrant prose, Shew shows how we can create better narratives and more accessible futures by drawing from the insights of the cross-disability community. To forge a more equitable world, Shew argues that we must eliminate "technoableism"—the harmful belief that technology is a "solution" for disability; that the disabled simply await being "fixed" by technological wizardry; that making society more accessible and equitable is somehow a lesser priority.

This badly needed introduction to disability expertise considers mobility devices, medical infrastructure, neurodivergence, and the relationship between disability and race. The future, Shew points out, is surely disabled—whether through changing climate, new diseases, or even through space travel. It's time we looked closely at how we all think about disability technologies and learn to envision disabilities not as liabilities, but as skill sets enabling all of us to navigate a challenging world.


"Pendolino delivers the essays in a way that keeps listeners' attention during technical descriptions while also capturing the emotional heart of Shew's ideas." —AudioFile

Author Bio

Ashley Shew is an associate professor of science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech, and specializes in disability studies and technology ethics. Her books include Against Technoableism, Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge, and Spaces for the Future (coedited). She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.