Krysia Waldock

Episode 172,   Jul 07, 2023, 02:53 PM

My guest this week is Krysia Waldock, who is doing a PhD at the University of Kent that straddles various disciplinary areas. Krysia is based in the University’s Tizard Centre and has an undergraduate background in languages.

A diagnosis of autism led to Krysia doing a Masters in Autism, which in turn resulted in her doing a doctorate, something she never thought she would do, where she is looking at religion, disability and people who are marginalized.

We talk about the barriers, often institutional, that have been set up in terms of disability, and the notion of hermeneutical injustice, and the importance of giving people the requisite tools, towards fostering inclusion and belonging.

Krysia discloses her experience of meeting like-minded people at university, and the benefits of telling students about one’s own disability, before moving to a discussion about the nature of education and how it fits with, for example, a grammar school ethos, and the notion of ableism.

We talk about Krysia’s own educational journey and her interest in local social and cultural history, and how it can sometimes take a long time to find own’s own niche, and how this links with the neurodiversity paradigm.

We find out how Krysia ended up doing two languages, French and German, for her degree, and how it led to learning about theoretical frameworks that she can draw on now, and the need sometimes to go for a ‘both and’ rather than an ‘either or’ scenario. We talk about possible future career scenarios and where she thinks her research will lead.

Krysia identifies those areas where there has been progress and what happens when one self-identifies as autistic, and what happens with employers who don’t understand, or choose not to understand, about what an autistic person could offer to their profession.

Then, at the end of the interview, we talk about the way traditional forms of education can be so exclusionary and we discover why Krysia is very much an ‘in the moment’ type of person.