DRF News, Events and Conferences

‘Disability and the Majority World: Towards a Global Disability Studies’ Conference Announced

A FREE! conference hosted by Critical Disability Studies @ Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Disability and the Majority World: Towards a Global Disability Studies: The 1st annual international conference

Date: Thurs. 7th – Fri. 8th July 2011

Venue: Gaskell Lecture Theatre (GLT), Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hathersage Road, Manchester, M13 OJA, UK.

Keynotes include: Tsitsi Chataika, Shaun Grech, David Hulme and Myroslava Tataryn

Description: This first international conference seeks to bring together academics, disability activists, practitioners, organisations, researchers and others from various fields, to discuss a range of key and emerging themes around the complex disability and global South debate. Specifically, the conference will provide a much needed inter-disciplinary, critical, supportive and open space to debate, question and challenge dominant knowledges, discourses and practices, while exploring alternatives.

Call for Papers: We are now accepting abstracts for paper presentations, and welcome contributions around (not exclusively) the following broad areas. We particularly encourage contributions from Southern activists and researchers:

•       Poverty and disability
•       From North to South: whose discourse? whose strategies?
•       The heterogeneity of disability
•       Health and rehabilitation
•       Development, globalisation and beyond
•       Post/neocolonial spaces
•       Researching disability across cultures
•       Trans-disciplinarity

To submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) in an attached Word Document: please email shaungrech@gmail.com. Please ensure the abstract contains name, title of presentation, and contact email.

  • Deadline: 20th June 2011

Registration: The conference is FREE of charge, but all delegates need to register. This will help us gauge attendance and make adequate preparations. To register online click here

  • Deadline: 1st July 2011

For all conference information, including registration and travel advice please visit the disability and the majority world blog:

For specific information, including access information, please email: shaungrech@gmail.com

DRF News, Events and Conferences

Details of ESRC Seminar Series (2011-2013) on Ageing and Disability

ESRC Seminar Series 2011-2013

Title: ‘Opportunities, Challenges & Tensions: Linking the Ageing and Disability Rights Agendas’

Hosted by: School of Health and Medicine, University of Lancaster, UK

Outline: For much of the 20th century ‘old people’ and ‘disabled people’ were dealt with as distinct and separate groups of ‘dependent people’ by UK Government departments and welfare agencies.  Signs of change are now plentiful in today’s demographic, socio-economic and political climate.  Current thinking about the overlapping interests between older and disabled people has drawn attention to common needs for dignified supported living arrangements as well as human rights that transcend age boundaries. These overlaps will expand as groups within the disabled community (with physical, sensory and intellectual impairment) survive into their 60s and beyond on the one hand; and as increasing proportions of healthy adults become chronically ill as ‘deep old age’ approaches on the other.

Facilitated by some of the key thinkers, policy-makers and activists in this field, this seminar series aims to open up opportunities for original and innovative debate on key issues for policy and practice in the UK that will have wider resonance for the developed world. It will explore the opportunities, challenges and tensions involved in the formation of closer links between the ageing anti-discrimination and disability rights agendas. In doing so, the series provides space for dialogue and interdisciplinary debate designed to enhance more critical & innovative thinking on disability and ageing research; paying particular attention to other dimensions of social ‘difference’.

This ESRC seminar series seeks to address some of the real issues and concerns of people ‘on the ground’.

Seminar Programme:

  • Seminar 1: May 12th 2011 ~ Ageing and the Disability Rights Agenda: the Policy and Politics of it all
  • Seminar 2: September 29th 2011 ~ Ageing and disability:writing in’ gender and sexuality
  • Seminar 3: January 26th 2012 ~ Inequalities in ageing and disability
  • Seminar 4: May 31st 2012 ~ Ageing in Place and Supported Living for ageing and disabled people
  • Seminar 5: September 27th 2012 ~ Research with older and disabled people
  • Seminar 6: January 29th 2013 ~ Addressing ageism, impairment and disablism


For further information (including Registration and Contact Details) please click here.

DRF News, Events and Conferences

Disability Studies: (Re)Imagining Disability

Every Spring and Summer the University of Winnipeg‘s  Global College offers intensive 3 credit hour courses on a range of special topics with visiting scholars from around the world. These Institutes generally run for a two week period with daily lectures offered in class or online. Students are invited to take advantage of the unique opportunity to learn from global experts and this year we are being invited to (re)imagine disability!

Disability Studies: (Re)Imagining Disability will be taught by Professors: Michelle Owen (Disability Studies, University of Winnipeg, Canada) and Nancy Hansen (Disability Studies, University of Manitoba, Canada)

The course is designed to provide students with grounding in disability studies and promote exploration of current topics in the field.  The shift from the bio-medical model of disability to the social model opened the way for disability activism and critical disability studies. Primary importance will be placed on the development of analytical skills and critical thinking.

For more information click here.

DRF News

Details of a Two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship (Canada)

The School of Disability Studies at Toronto’s Ryerson University (Canada) is pleased to announce a two-year post doctoral fellowship to support the scholarly contributions of a disabled woman. The Ethel Louise Armstrong Post-Doctoral Fellowship seeks to bring to Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies a disabled woman who has graduated in the past five (5) years from any discipline that will advance the interdisciplinary scholarship related to Disability Studies.

The incumbent will be based in the School of Disability Studies and will be expected to:

  • enhance and expand the interdisciplinary nature of the School; 
  • seek opportunities for collaborative research and publication, and
  • deliver an annual public lecture on her research.

The fellowship awards a starting salary of $45,000 plus benefits. Starting date: October 1, 2011 though some flexibility may be negotiated.

To apply for this fellowship, you are asked to send (by May 1, 2011)

  1. A letter of application identifying yourself as a disabled woman;
  2. A program of study demonstrating how your research could advance interdisciplinary scholarship related to Disability Studies;
  3. A statement indicating opportunities for collaborative research and publication within your own discipline as well as more broadly within the academic community of Ryerson University;
  4. A writing sample

For further information on Ryerson University, please visit http://www.ryerson.ca/.

For further information on the School of Disability Studies, please visit http://www.ryerson.ca/ds/

For further information on the Fellowship (and to apply), please contact Dr Melanie Panitch (Director School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University): mpanitch@ryerson.ca

DRF News

Next DRF Seminar Rearranged for May

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the next DRF seminar (due for March 25th) is being postponed.  Apologies for any inconvenience.  The rearranged DRF schedule for the remainder of the 2010-11 academic year, is as follows:

DRF Seminar #6 *FREE!*: Tuesday 12th April 2011: 2pm-4pm

Venue: Room 10111 (First Floor) Arundel Building, Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB


  • “How do nurses affect the parent experience of preschool autism assessment and diagnosis?” ~ Julia Halpin  (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University)
  •  Title TBC ~ Ellianna Mantaka-Brinkmann (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University)


DRF Seminar #7 *FREE!*: Thursday 12th May 2011: 1pm-3pm 

Venue: Room 10111 (First Floor) Arundel Building, Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB


  • “Imagined Possibilities: exploring teachers’ perspectives on factors influencing the educational opportunities for children with the label of autism in a mainstream school context.”~ Sue Chantler (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University):

In this research study for my professional doctorate I worked with a group of primary school teachers to examine their reflections on the factors which influence the educational opportunities for children with the label of autism in a mainstream school context. The focus for this seminar will be on what emerges on working with the data, including some reflection by the researcher on her chosen methodology.

  • “A visible / invisible identity” ~ Erin Pritchard (Department of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University)

It can be argued that disability is viewed as homogenous where by non-disabled individuals are unaware of the various disabilities that exist, instead having a stereotypical view of disability and therefore effecting who counts as disabled. I want to show how stereotypes of disability and representations of dwarfs construct a misleading view of dwarfism, often not being regarded as a disability which in turn causes social problems and problems of identity. Although dwarfism is a very visible disability which attracts a lot of negative attention it is not often viewed as a disability by both disabled and non-disabled people due to what is regarded and seen as a disability by them. Using the social model of disability and recent interviews that I have conducted with dwarfs this paper seeks to demonstrate how dwarfism is a disability constructed by an unaccommodating built environment and by an attitudinal environment.

We will be drawing up the schedule for 2011-2012 in due course ~ if you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a future DRF seminar please contact Rebecca Mallett on r.mallett@shu.ac.uk. Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book you’d like to facilitate a round table discussion on.  

DRF News, Events and Conferences

“Abnormal: Towards a Scientific Model of Disability”: UK Exhibition Now On

A new and exciting exhibition is currently being held at Newcastle’s Centre for Life (UK) until March 25th 2011. ‘Abnormal: Towards a Scientific Model of Disability’ was developed by Ju Gosling as part of her residency at the National Institute of Medical Research, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Working along side two medical research scientists, conversations explored how perceptions of science and scientists affect society’s attitude towards and treatment of disabled people.  Illustrating the relationships between disability, society, science and medicine, the exhibition was produced as a result of these conversations and addresses the scientific model of disability.

There are two other events taking place in conjunction with the exhibition. The first is a discussion panel on the evening of Wednesday 23rd March 2011 –Does Society want Science to Understand Disability or Eradicate it?’ **Booking is essential **

The second is a workshop with the artist on Saturday 26th March 2011 (from 11am to 4pm); however, this event is smaller. If you are particularly keen to attend, please let Jane Sellick know (j.m.sellick@durham.ac.uk), as the organisers have offered to increase its capacity, if there is sufficient demand.