Date of this Version
Western Journal of Speech Communication 55:3 (Summer 1991), pp. 254–274.
Persons with physical disabilities were studied to determine how they communicate when they perceive able-bodied persons are expecting or demanding disclosure about their disability in new relationships. An interpretive analysis was performed on 350 pages of transcripted data from interviews with disabled adults. The results showed that disabled persons were able to describe the communication of able-bodied others and their attributions when disclosure was demanded or expected. This study revealed communication strategies disabled persons use to manage disclosure. These strategies were discussed as regulating privacy boundaries, whereby disabled persons seek to be acknowledged as “persons first” by controlling dissemination of private information.