A Duoethnographic Exploration of Disability Ally Development

Elisa S. Abes, Megan E. Zahneis


We explore through duoethnography how our relationship and dialogue across identity differences — a non-disabled white, cisgender, Jewish, lesbian professor and a disabled white, cisgender heterosexual student — mediated our development as disability allies. Couched in the relationship we developed through our work together in the academic discipline of disability studies, we explore structural and intersectional allyship, the power of language, and internalized ableism. We share the transformational learning that occurred for us through our duoethnographic dialogues and encourage vulnerable relationship-building across differences to explore the complexities of allyship. Both of us leave this study with more questions to explore, and we hope this work inspires others to engage in further reflections, dialogues, and allyship.


identity; allyship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v40i3.7038

Copyright (c) 2020 Elisa S. Abes, Megan E. Zahneis

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