Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Wayne Martino


In this study I draw on the perspectives and insights of self-identified disabled (n=14) and mad university students (n=3) at two Ontario universities. The perspectives of disability office workers (n=1) and instructors (n=3) are also included to offer triangulated accounts. I address the following research questions: (i) How are disabled and mad students constituted and represented in Ontario university settings? How do they understand and constitute themselves? (ii) What are mad and disabled students socio-spatial university experiences in relation to issues of access and academic accommodations? I draw theoretically on Foucault and other socio-spatial theorists such as Lefebvre and Soja to consider how university academic accommodations may function as regimes of truths discursively and materially shaping the lives of disabled and Mad students. I sketch cartographies of the present ways disabled and mad students are constituted and come to constitute themselves as disabled subjects. Case study methodology is employed to generate insights into knowledge-power relations shaping disabled and mad subjectivities. This research contributes new knowledge of disablement in university settings with key findings discussing how complex socio-spatial institutional knowledge-power relations shape notions of dis/ability and how disabled students become understood as mis/fits in university settings. This research demonstrates the significance of socio-spatialities in mad and disabled students’ lives, attends to how they are perpetually (re)positioned within institutional spaces, how they craft, understand, and forge their own spaces. Mad and disabled students’ perspectives offer new ways to think about university governance, disciplinary knowledges, pedagogies, constituting practices, subjectivities, socio-spatial struggle, and horizons of being human.