Constructing Disability Creating a Keyword Portfolio

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Carolyne M. King


The Keyword Portfolio assignment is a semester-long project in which students trace their developing understanding of disability concepts, drawing together terms from class readings and discussions with an identification of these concepts at work in their daily lives. Students compose multiple entries across the semester. In each entry, students first define the chosen disability concept using their own language, and then present and explain an example of the concept in action. After assembling their term entries, students write an introductory, reflective cover letter where they describe their chosen audience for the portfolio and explain their composing choices and organization. In these letters, students generally report that they use their own experiences with terms and positionality and so seek to help students ‘like them’ to access disability tenets and to gain comfort with the material more quickly. Students also describe elaborate webs of connections among their chosen terms, illustrating that they gain broader knowledge of disability concepts and their inter-relationships through the assignment.

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King, C. M. (2024). Constructing Disability: Creating a Keyword Portfolio. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 8(1).