Children, Familes and Young People, Critical Theory, Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Majority/Minority Worlds, Policy and Legislation

Book Launch: Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: Critical Approaches in a Global Context

The Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities invites you to a book launch with wine reception for Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: Critical Approaches in a Global Context edited by Tillie Curran and Katherine Runswick-Cole.

6pm-8pm, Friday 31st January

Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1H 0PD

Free and open to all, but registration required. Please email Harriet Cooper to register ( Book Launch on Fri 31 Jan_’Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies’


DRF News, Policy and Legislation

BBC Marks 40 Years since First UK Disability Act

Those of you in the UK may be interested that this week the BBC (especially BBC News) are running a series of features looking at issues facing disabled people. It has been titled Access All Areas and is being done to commemorate 40 years since the first UK Disability Act. The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, which was passed in 1970 and championed by (Lord) Alf Morris, included ideas such as the right to proper assessment of your needs and the need to make environments accessible to disabled people.

More information on the Act can be found here and an outline of the series can be found here.

An interesting BBC survey commissioned for the ‘Access All Areas’ series can be found here.

This also coincides with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Friday (3rd December 2010).  An overview of what British broadcasters are doing to celebrate this day can be found here.

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture, Policy and Legislation

2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” Call for Papers

The 2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii (18th-19th April 2011) is now calling for papers.  More informaiotn on the conference can be found here.  This post is specifically about the Disability Studies Strand: Culture, Policy and Global Change.

Disability Studies approaches disability as a social and cultural phenomena in which localized and global interpretations include socio-cultural, historical, political and rights-based perspectives.  The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities topic area, Disability Studies: Culture, Policy and Global Change, seeks to imagine and convey where Disability Studies is at present, how it is evolving, and what it entails for the immediate and more distant future.

They welcome proposals in any area of Disability Studies, including:

  • Current developments and national and global approaches to Disability Studies programs;
  • Historical and contemporary perspectives about Disability Studies;
  • Retrospectives and future directions in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act;
  • Present and future impacts of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Disability Studies
  • The role of the Internet and technology, including social networking, distance learning, Universal Design and online research tools, on Disability Studies research and dissemination
  • The intersections, including integration and collaboration, between Disability Studies and other disciplines
  • The ways in which Disability Culture has informed Disability Studies

Please see presentation formats on the Web site:

You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

For more information about this topic area, contact the Disability Studies Co-Chairs:

DRF News, Policy and Legislation

How did disability do in the UK’s ‘bonfire of quangos’?

Yesterday, the UK government announced the details of, what has been termed, a ‘bonfire of quangos’ in a move to improve accountability and, crucially, to cut costs. It will axe 192 of public bodies while merging another 118.  ‘Quangos’ is a term for “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations” which are funded by, but operate at arm’s-length from, government.  In terms of disability-related bodies, the status of the following quangos is as follows…

Equality and Human Rights Commission – to be retained (but with a focus on core functions and ‘better use of taxpayers money’)

Equality 2025 – will be retained and will advise on areas covered by other relevant bodies that cease to exist.

Disability Employment Advisory Committee – abolished (transfer function to Equality 2025)

Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board – abolished (transfer of functions to Department for Work and Pensions and Equality 2025)

Disabled Passengers Transport Advisory Committee – abolished (Department for Transport will consider other ways to consult disabled passengers)

General Social Care Council – abolished

Independent Living Fund – still under consideration (‘options being considered’)

DRF News, Policy and Legislation

Bye Bye DDA – the UK gets a new Equality Act

The majority of the provisions under UK’s new Equality Act comes into force today (1st October 2010), with the rest being phased in by 2013. Previous separate legislations- (such as the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), the Race Relations Act (1976), the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) – were considered complex and the slow progress on some issues of inequality and discrimination has been cited as proof that segregated legal frameworks were not working.  Under the new act groups (on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex (meaning gender) and sexual orientation) are provided the same levels of protection from discrimination across all the protected characteristics and all sectors.

Key changes include:

  • Protecting people from discrimination in the recruitment process. The Act makes it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants questions about disability or health before making a job offer, except in specified circumstances.
  • Protecting people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic.  The Equality Act will protect people who are, for example, caring for a disabled child or relative. They will be protected by virtue of their association to that person.
  • Extending the equality duty to require the public sector to take into account the needs of all protected groups (except marital and civil partnership status). The new Equality Duty will require public authorities to consider the needs of all the protected groups in, for example, employment and when designing and delivering services.  Although timescales for this Duty are still to be confirmed.
  • Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
  • Extending protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.

For an Equality Act 2010 Starter Kit visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

For a more comprehensive list of changes visit the Government Equalities Office website.