Procedures and practices that are ableist in the educational system have been long overlooked. Speakers having differing abilities than neurotypical or able-bodied individuals is often not something that is considered in basic course assessment tools. This is important to address because although there are institutional policies and procedures in place to help students with differing abilities, instructors of public speaking have the autonomy or power to determine how such accommodations will affect the speech grade determined by the assessment tool. Power relations are significantly complicated in educational settings when strict hierarchies are imposed, and when instructors abuse their authority, which might lead to unequal power dynamics, especially at the beginning of a course, because the instructor holds power in shaping the course. Additionally, since assessment tools such as rubrics reinforce societal norms, they can also encourage bias from the instructor (Ashby-King et al., 2021). This analysis will examine current assessment tools used by instructors in the public speaking course from a critical disability lens paired with rhetorical content analysis to uncover ableist perspectives.



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