The dominant productivity narrative centers a certain kind of individual–an able-bodied, white, male knowledge worker, who has some considerable degree of control over his own schedule. This norm is unspoken, and often invisible until we know to look for it. Many, many individuals do not fit this mold: their identities may include being disabled, queer, a person of color, female, and/or many other facets. Lateral productivity replaces the simplistic assumed author and audience with the myriad complexities of real life, positing that we are the better for hearing from those both like and unlike ourselves.

I will mostly be speaking from my perspective as a disabled person. I cannot speak for all perspectives; there are many different kinds of disabled experiences, even between people with the same disability. I hope to include other perspectives both by listening to and learning from others and by giving them their due credit.

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