Tuesday, 29th January 2019
Time: 2pm – 4pm.
Place: 12.02.19 Charles Street Building, Sheffield Hallam University. City Campus
This is on the second floor of the Charles Street Building which is just next to Arundel where we held meetings last year.
Speaker 1: Esme Cleall
Title: History as a tool of public engagement: disability, identity and the past
In 2017 I worked with Sheffield Voices, a self-advocacy group of adults with learning disabilities, and Sandra Thomas, a film-maker, to make a short film about the history of disability in Sheffield, where we all live.
The film documented the discussions we had about history: What did we mean when we spoke about the ‘past’? What did it mean to be disabled when our parents and grandparents were young? Could history teach us about the roots of the hate-crime which so many of the group experienced? It also provided an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges members of the group faced today such as cuts to public funding.
These were difficult discussions to have. They involved exploring negative words that were used in the past to mean someone with a learning disability – ‘idiot’, ‘moron’, ‘imbecile’. And they meant presenting information that made members of the group sad and angry.
In this session I will show the 15-minute film (subtitled) that we produced. I will follow it by a 10-15-minute paper which reflects on the ethics of me, as an academic who does not have a learning disability, in working this group who have consistently been excluded from academia. I also reflect on the extent to which the film was coproduced? And think about what is the role of history and the past in thinking about and engaging in disability activism today?
Speaker 2: Shona Davison
Title: Pros and cons of autistic parenthood
Abstract:There is a dearth of research on autistic parenthood. Parenting increases engagement with services such as healthcare and education, which means that autistic parents are forced to engage with services that do not understand them or their needs. This study uses case studies and thematic analysis. Six autistic parents were interviewed about the pros and cons of being an autistic parent. This resulted in four themes: autistic characteristics, relationships, indirect effects of autism and stress. An important finding was that all participants reported negative relationships with professionals and three participants were fearful of losing their child(ren). One parent was falsely accused of fabricated and induced illness, which led to a lengthy traumatic investigation. The findings are discussed with recommendations for future research.