disability, disability research, Uncategorized

Disability Studies Student Society Symposium (Liverpool Hope University, UK: June, 2016)

The Disability Studies Student Society Symposium at Liverpool Hope University hopes to bring together students across the North-West (and beyond) to share, discuss and advise on research methodologies in disability studies.

We invite submissions of abstracts of up to 300 words for paper presentations that detail methodological approaches to research projects, both those that have been completed and those that are currently underway. We are not expecting polished papers, rather we want to create a safe and open space to share ideas, concerns and questions.

The symposium is open to students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We are interested in hearing about a range of innovative and creative methodologies within the growing field of disability studies.

The student symposium will be held at Liverpool Hope University on Wednesday 22nd June 2016. A full schedule for the symposium will be updated and available shortly as will be details for registration.

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted for consideration by 22nd April 2016 to 12000935@hope.ac.uk. Presenters will be informed via email by 22nd May 2016.

For more information regarding submission, or general information concerning the symposium please contact: Leah Burch – Email: 12000935@hope.ac.uk

Children, Familes and Young People, disability, disability research, Familes and Young People

PhD Funding: Towards adulthood: exploring transitions to adulthood for young people with learning disabilities in a devolving Greater Manchester

From: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/research/research-study/scholarships/2016/towards-adulthood-exploring-transitions-to-adulthood-for-young-people-with-learning-disabilities-in-a-devolving-greater-manchester.php

Project summary

The interdisciplinary project will explore ‘transitions’ of young people with learning disabilities to adulthood in Greater Manchester.  The participatory study will build on previous research (Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and civil society, ESRC funded) and will enhance pathways to impact for the impact narrative allied to this research.

Project aims and objectives

The Children and Family Act (2014), which followed the publication of Support and Aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability (DfE, 2011), was intended to improve transitions for young people with learning disabilities into adulthood.  The introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans, that document children and young people’s support needs from birth to 25, were specifically designed to end the so-called ‘cliff edge’ that had been identified for young people with learning disabilities who found themselves transitioning to adulthood often without adequate services and support.

The transition to Education, Health and Care plans in Greater Manchester is still on going and the impact of the changes as a result of the Children and Families Act are unknown.  However, research suggests (Hatton, 2015) that many young people who have been identified with Special Educational Needs are still lost in transition to adult services.  Thresholds for accessing adult social care, following the Care Act, 2014, are rising and the Devolution Manchester agenda will also result in a huge shake up in the way that education, health and social care are delivered.  This timely research will explore the following objectives:

  1. To explore the social construction of ‘learning disability’ and ‘adulthood’ in the lives of young people in transition;
  2. To explore the policy and cultural contexts of transitions for young people with learning disabilities in the context of devolution Greater Manchester;
  3. To understand the nature of the support that young people with learning disabilities receive in transition;
  4. To explore examples of ‘good practice’ in transition in Greater Manchester;
  5. To develop an evidence base to inform policy and practice in Greater Manchester, regionally and nationally, in relation to transition for young people with learning disabilities.

The objectives will be met through the following research phases

  1. Review of literature on ‘learning disability’, ‘adulthood’,  ‘transition’ and ‘devolution’ Greater Manchester (Aim 1 & 2)
  2. To work in coproduction with young people with learning disabilities, their families and allies to understand their experiences of transition. (We envisage that research will draw on range of multi-media methods to work collaboratively with a diverse range of young people) (Aims 3 & 4)
  3. Analysis (Aim 5)
  4. Dissemination & impact generation activities, including policy focused summary cards and briefing papers. (Aim 5)

The proposed project builds on existing research within The Research Centre for Social Change: Community Wellbeing and offers pathways to impact from the Research Centre.

This application has the support of Manchester People’s First, an advocacy organization led by people with learning disabilities in Manchester and Breakthrough UK, a disabled people led organization in Manchester.

The research team will work with the student to co-author high quality journal articles (REF 2020).

The research team is led by Katherine Runswick-Cole, an experienced disability researcher, supported by Sue Caton, an established researcher and PhD supervisor with a PhD in transitions for young people with learning disabilities (completed 2003), and Leanne Rimmer, a new member of the Psychology staff at MMU who has an interest in housing and wellbeing.   The supervisory team exceeds the requirements for completions at MMU.

Specific requirements of the project


  • Good honours degree (or equivalent) in social care, psychology, sociology, disability studies, education or related discipline
  • Masters level qualification or equivalent professional experience


  • Proven record of strong organisational skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Good team working skills
  • Good interpersonal skills and strong negotiating skills
  • Good IT skills
  • Evidence of ability to work collaboratively and to work on own initiative
  • High level of motivation

Knowledge & Experience

  • Genuine desire to pursue PhD study and to develop their skills as a researcher
  • Knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing young people with learning disabilities in transition to adulthood
  • Knowledge and understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Experience of paid and/or voluntary work alongside people with learning disabilities
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of disability studies
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of the Devolution Greater Manchester context
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of participatory and multi-media research methods
  • Developing knowledge of public engagement activities and pathways to impact

Student eligibility

UK, EU and international students

Supervisory Team

Informal enquiries can be made to:

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole, Director of Studies
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2906
Email: k.runswick-cole@mmu.ac.uk

Dr Sue Caton
Email: s.caton@mmu.ac.uk

aging, CFP, disability, disability research, Disability Studies and...

CFP: Review of Disability Studies – Special Forum on Disability and Aging

Call for Papers: Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal Special Forum on Disability and Aging

  • “Empirically, we need to remember these facts: barring sudden death, those who are aging and those who have a disability can be only artificially separated at a particular moment in time. Or except for the possibility of sudden death, everyone with a disability will age, and everyone who is aging will acquire one or more disabilities.” (Zola, 1989, p. 6)
  • “Rather than merely read old age as disability, or disability as akin to old age, it is crucial to consider how an older person’s body read as having a disability is different from a younger person’s body read as having a disability. Similarly, it is crucial to consider how an older person’s body read as having a disability is different from an older person’s body read as not having a disability.” (Chivers, 2011, p. 22)
  • Population aging is taking place in nearly all countries across the globe and, by midcentury, older persons (ages 60 year and over) are projected to exceed the number of children for the first time ever (UN, 2013). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2010), chronic non-communicable diseases associated with old age will soon represent the greatest burden on global health. Within reports published by global governing bodies, disability is routinely assumed and directly referenced as a consequence of population aging. Although powerful in their potential to direct support to targeted issues, such reports may also contribute to a “crisis rhetoric” (Kennedy, 2002, p. 226) that rests on an “inappropriate conflation” (Chivers, 2011, p. 22) between disability and aging, which begins with the assumption that all older people are disabled by virtue of their being old. Such conflation has implications for public policy and entitlement to services and supports.

Research, policy and practice have tended to treat disability as a product of unsuccessful aging, and aging as an obstacle to living well with a disability. There is a paucity of research that explores the nuances and complexities of the relationship between disability and aging (Freedman, 2014). Conceptually, aging and disability are not only separated temporally, but spatially as well. There is, for example, very limited research on the experiences of young people living within nursing home environments and other residential care facilities despite the co-residence of older and young adults.

  • The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS) seeks proposals for a special forum on disability and aging. We are currently soliciting papers of approximately 6000 words in length. The deadline for submission of papers is October 31st, 2015. Papers should be submitted to the RDS online submission system at www.rds.hawaii.edu. Upon submission, please submit under the “forums” category from the pull-down menu and indicate in the “notes for the editor” that your paper is for consideration for the special forum on disability and aging.

Papers considered for inclusion may take the form of academic and creative works, as well as reflections on international disability-specific policies, practices, pedagogies and developments.

Topics to be explored may include:

  • (Trans-/)Disciplinary approaches to disability and aging
  • Disability and aging as made to appear in/by technology, design and the built environment (e.g., Universal Design)
  • Decolonizing disability and aging (post-/anti-colonial approaches)
  • Disability, aging and embodiment
  • Disability, aging, and the labor market
  • Disability and/as (un)successful aging
  • Epistemological relations to disability and aging
  • Genealogies of disability and aging
  • Geographies of disability and aging (social and cultural/local, national, inter-/transnational)
  • Global policies and best practices that connect disability and aging
  • Intersectional analyses that foreground disability and age
  • (Dis)ablism and Ageism
  • Living well: Social philosophical approaches to the good life from the dual perspectives of disability and aging
  • Points of connection and contestation between disability studies and aging studies (e.g., caregiving studies)
  • Queering disability and aging
  • Theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the study of disability and aging
  • The chronologization of the life course

Submissions to this special forum will undergo a process of multiple editor peer-review. Authors will be notified of whether their papers will be included in the forum by December 1st, 2015. Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the RDS website at www.rds.hawaii.edu for more information about the Journal and its formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to review previous issues of RDS in preparing their paper and to subscribe to the Journal. All submissions must follow the RDS publication guidelines posted on the website.

  • RDS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. The Journal contains research articles, essays, creative works and multimedia relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. If you have any questions please contact the Special Guest Editors Dr. Katie Aubrecht [katieaubrecht@msvu.ca] and Dr. Tamara Krawchenko [tkrawche@gmail.com]

  • Works Cited

Chivers, S. (2011). The Silvering Screen: Old Age and Disability in Cinema. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Freedman, V. (2014). Research gaps in the demography of aging with a disability. Disability and Health Journal, 7, S60-S63.

Kennedy, J. (2002). Disability and aging – beyond the crisis rhetoric. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 12(4), 226-228.

United Nations. (UN). (2013). World population ageing. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. New York: United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WorldPopulationAgeing2013.pdf

World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Global health and aging. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/global_health.pdf

Zola, I. (1989). Aging and disability: Toward a unified agenda. Journal of Rehabilitation, 6-8.