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People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM fields, and all too often, they face isolation and ableism in academia. Uncharted is a collection of powerful first-person stories by current and former scientists with disabilities or chronic conditions who have faced changes in their careers, including both successes and challenges, because of their health. It gives voice to common experiences that are frequently overlooked or left unspoken. These deeply personal accounts describe not only health challenges but also the joys, sorrows, humor, and wonder of science and scientists.
With a breadth of perspectives on being disabled or chronically ill, these stories highlight the intersectionality of minoritized identities with the disability community. Uncharted features essays by contributors who are d/Deaf, blind, neurodivergent, wheelchair users, have experienced traumatic brain injuries, have blood sugar disorders, have rare medical diagnoses, or have received psychiatric diagnoses, among many others. In many cases, the scientific field is not fully accessible to them, and they frankly describe struggling as well as thriving alongside their conditions.
This book serves as representation for scientists who have never felt comfortable disclosing their disability or who have never felt fully understood. The stories shared in this book seek to normalize medical conditions and disabilities in scientific culture, offering recommendations for how and why to improve access. Uncharted is vital and compelling reading for current and aspiring scientists who want to make their fields more inclusive and supportive for everyone.
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