Disability in Education


Back in May, a small and mightly team of editors got together to call for and then curate a series of essays on the subject of disability in education. Led by Rumpus Senior Features Editor Eve Ettinger with Assistant Features Editor Davon Loeb and Guest Editor Gretchen Schreiber, this group has put together a rich and meaningful selection for your reading this month. The essays in this series can be identified by their shared featured image, and will be accessible underneath the “Columns>Themed Months” dropdown menu on our site. Below is an introduction to the month, in the editors’ own words.


This September, The Rumpus is running nonfiction features centered around disability in the sphere of education. It’s back to school in every way: These pieces take place in school settings, and our writers have brought generosity, frustration, and thoughtful self-reflection to the page to teach the ableds about what it’s been like for them trying to learn in the world as students, as teachers, and as humans. 

Here we have stories of confidence nurtured, of grief, of reckoning with harm caused. Here we have stories of discomfort and disquiet, rage and relief. Join our authors as they revisit their journeys through the education system and all that it brought them. I’m so excited for you to read what they have to say. 

These pieces you’re about to read capture a relatively narrow set of experiences with disability, complicated by factors of sexism, racism, and classism. There are so many more experiences of disability in education than the ones captured by these authors, but these stories are their own and no one else has experienced the world quite like they have. 

We are so grateful to have edited this issue on disabilities in education. Though we have played but a minor role in the representation of disabled writers, having shared this space and having listened to these writers tell their stories, has been really, really incredible. All too often, the narratives of the disabled are told by the able-bodied, and at The Rumpus, we are working to celebrate inclusivity and agency.

In the process of choosing the pieces for this series, we had to factor in time for revisions, which meant that several great pieces didn’t make it into the main set. We hope you’ll get to read those in the months to come, as they’re ready. This is an evergreen topic and I’m grateful that The Rumpus has made space for it this month and hope that this theme will continue on as other writers submit and run stories about this particular slice of life.