Just a quick reminder that the next DRF is happening on Tuesday. Details below.
Tuesday 28rd April, 10am-12am (Room 10111, in Arundel, SHU)
Slot 1: Lucia Radcliffe – Dehumanising experiences of creating a human. critical analysis of being a disabled pregnant woman
Abstract: It is often taken as a given that there is nothing more natural, normal and, perhaps, more human, than a woman getting pregnant and giving birth. That is until disability enters the picture and skews what it means to be (and not to be) ‘natural’, ‘normal’ and ‘human’. “For the first time in my life I have recently come to feel “normal”. In the last year I have graduated, just got married and become pregnant. That’s what normal humans do, isn’t it?” (Mum to be-my subject). However, in the process of creating another human, this woman has somehow become dehumanised by the system, labelled abnormal, and treated ‘differently’. In this ‘paper in progress’ I intend to use the experiences of a pregnant disabled woman to critically reflect on concepts of what it means to be (and not be) human, in particular a ‘normal’ human. As a pregnant disabled women she finds herself feeling judged, surviellied and ‘normalised’ in surprising ways. I approach this project from a critical disability studies perspective, using a multidisciplinary framework to interpret and make sense of her experiences. The main themes emerging are professional power(lessness) and control and the strategic engagement with both ab/normal and dis/abled. In an important move, which I also seek to discuss, this paper is intended to dehumanise the experiences of dehumanisation in order to theorise them and detach the great emotions that this paper holds which I fear would otherwise drown me.
Slot 2: Kumiko Kido – What are the positive experiences for Japanese parents of children with autism?
Abstract: To date, the majority of existing studies on supporting families of children with autism have focused on negative parenting outcomes, such as parental depression, psychosis, or other mental health problems. In this study I will identify positive experiences of parenting as reported by parents of children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. The study seeks to identify the strategies that parents construct for themselves to enable positive experiences to emerge. It also reveals external factors that contribute to turning points in parenting experience. These turning points encourage a shift in parents’ cognitions from conceptualising their experience as tragic to more positive perspectives. This study utilizes as data sources autobiographies written by parents in Japan. The parental definition of ‘positive experience’ also emerges through the collected data. Initial analysis of the data suggests that parents’ narratives of their own experience rebutt the personal tragedy model of disability and lead to more empowering models of parenting.