Reflections on Working as a Medical Writer with a Disability and How Medical Writers Can Be Disability Allies
I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, but also that good comes from talking about how things came to be the way they are.
The first part of this article describes my personal journey navigating the complexities of having a disability concurrently with those of being a medical writer and from that standpoint can be considered subjective compared with the data-driven information we are used to seeing in our daily work. It is not meant to be a history on disability law or a comprehensive treatise on why people with disabilities are underemployed—other authors have covered those topics in great detail in other milieus, to incremental avail—but, rather, to raise awareness of potential challenges within the medical writing context and how navigating stakeholders’ assumptions about health circumstances can be as arduous as managing the health condition itself. The second part of this article provides practical suggestions on things the medical writing community can do to make sure their own can keep being strong contributors no matter what their circumstances are in life. It is the author’s hope that this article will represent the start of a dialogue within our community and that by sharing one story others feel comfortable sharing their own.
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