Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

Nirmala Erevelles

Committee Member 3 Email



This is a memoir that explores my experience of becoming a disability advocate as I and my son navigate the systems inside and outside of schools (e.g., medical, legal, political, and educational). Theoretically drawing upon Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) (e.g., Adams & Erevelles, 2016; Annamma, 2017; Annamma, Connor, & Ferri, 2013; Annamma, Ferri, & Connor, 2022; Annamma, Jackson, & Morrison, 2017; Bell, 2006, 2017; Connor, Ferri, & Annamma, 2016; Erevelles, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015), I explore our lived experience with a particular focus on the intersectionality (e.g., Collins & Bilge, 2020; Crenshaw, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996) of class, race, ability, gender, inclusion, diversity, justice, and equity. Methodically building upon the works on memoir (Barrington, 1997; Couser, 2012; Karr, 2015; Larson, 2007; Roorbach & Keckler, 2008), Black women writing auto/biography and their lives (e.g., Braxton, 1989; hooks, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999; Lorde, 1980/2020, 1984/2007; Morrison, 1992), and endarkened storywork (Dillard, 2012; Toliver, 2022), I use memoir as methodology where I create composite characters and fictionalize settings, events, time, and places (Anthony, 2011; He, 1999, 2003; Seay, 2013; Thomas, 2022) based on the experience of myself and my son, and other characters in our lives. The main composite characters are Black, Indigenous, and women of color with autistic children who share similar struggles with myself and my son. The characters have discourses about home-school-community services at kitchen, boardroom, and classroom tables. Table is a metaphor for places and spaces to have meetings where Black self-advocates and the families of disabled individuals' lived experiences can be shared. Seven meanings have emerged from my dissertation inquiry.

I sincerely hope that through my dissertation research I will be able to better educate myself as a parent, advocate, and educator to fight against ableism with more wisdom and strategies, and to work with community leaders, educators, policymakers, and disabled students and their families and communities to address the causes of inequity of people socially constructed as disabled, improve access to home-school-community services, and support disabled people, their families and communities.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material