DRF News

Pacific Rim International Conference (May, 2015: Hawaii, USA)

from… the organisers of the Pacific Rim International Conference (May, 2015: Hawaii, USA)

 

“For our 31st edition, Pac Rim is merging and partnering with another conference, so there is sure to be plenty of surprises! 

The Pacific Rim International Conference, considered one of the most ‘diverse gatherings’ in the world, encourages and respects voices from “diverse” perspective across numerous areas, including: voices from persons representing all disability areas; experiences of family members and supporters across all disability and diversity areas; responsiveness to diverse cultural and language differences; evidence of researchers and academics studying diversity and disability; stories of persons providing powerful lessons; examples of program providers, and; action plans to meet human and social needs in a globalized world.

In 2015, new topic areas will promote thoughtful discussion and suggest new ways to integrate education, technology, advocacy, activism and interdisciplinary research. We all strive to strengthen communities and enhance the lives of all human beings. Together, we can harness the tremendous synergy generated by the intermingling and cross-fertilization of diverse perspectives, and ‘spread the word’ as we continue our professional and personal life journey.

Take your first steps to the islands by visiting the website: www.pacrim.hawaii.edu.

We welcome your ideas, suggestions and enthusiasm. Then join us in Waikiki, Hawaii, May 18 & 19, 2015.”

 

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DRF News

Minimising Restrictive Practices in Health and Social Care ‘Safe Restraint’ Project – Consultancy Brief September 2014

[Posted on behalf of Disability Sheffield].

Disability Sheffield is a user led organisation, run and controlled by disabled people. We promote independent living for disabled people in Sheffield. By independent living we mean that disabled people have the same freedom and rights to exercise choice and control over their own lives as any other person

As part of Sheffield Individual Employer & PA Development Group and in partnership with Active Independence, Doncaster, we are running a project funded by Skills for Care under their ‘innovative workforce development fund. This project focuses on raising the issues of minimising the use of restrictive practices in Health and Social Care.

Overview of the project

Recent key documents jointly issued by Skills for Care and Skills for Health on Workforce Development Guidance for Employers seeking to minimise the use of Restrictive Practices in Health and Social Care sets out a clear Framework to be used by all (Skills for Care & Skills for Health 2014).

The focus of the project is to start to develop this conversation with individual employers and their Personal Assistants (PAs) by informing employers of the framework and gaining knowledge of how and when to use it as well as looking at developing good practice resources for PAs. Part of developing the conversation means working with representatives of the statutory services to inform and make changes to their practices. The Common Core Principles of self-directed support are about ensuring those people employing their own staff receive personalised and practical support to promote their health & well-being in ways which respect and promote their independence. Minimisation of restrictive practice plays a key part in this.

This project will develop a range of resources that are accessible in format which target employers in receipt of a Direct Payment and those who self-fund. The information raising action will then lead onto following up with developing a range of co-produced resources and events which will raise the profile of the issue and also inform wider implementation as there will be experts through experience informing future learning and practice. Opportunities already exist through current activity that enable a range of communication routes to be used to enable engagement with some harder to reach groups e.g. younger employers and those going through transition.

Project Outputs and Outcomes

By the end of the project, it is intended that a number of key outputs will have been delivered:

  • A general easy read flyer raising the issue & distributed to Individual Employers;
  • Contact with the widest range of employers who might be interested in progressing the project;
  • 3 separate co-produced questionnaires for statutory staff, individual employers & PAs which will provide information on existing practice, help develop a training needs analysis tool and provide a method for delivery to inform future practice;
  • Piloted sessions for individual employers and PAs on how to have the conversation that ‘Recognises the values and idiosyncrasies of the employer ‘, ‘What restrictive practices means’ and ‘Best support / interventions within a social context reflecting the social model of disability’; and
  • Information on sign posting to other support and advice.

It is intended that the project will involve obtaining feedback from up to 40 statutory staff (Social workers and clinical staff ), 20 Individual employers and 20 Personal Assistants. In addition in Sheffield Mentors / Coaches will have been trained to have the discussion and the topic will have been raised at the monthly employer drop in sessions. In Doncaster the topic will have been raised at the regular PA peer support group meetings.

It is intended that the project will result in an increased awareness and development of good practice within Sheffield and Doncaster with regards to appropriate restrictive practice. Alongside this, individual employers, PAs and practitioner will have access during the project and beyond to resource and training information developed during the project to support and develop their practice within this area.

Impact will be measured by the number of people who have been reached and the extent to which awareness has been raised; numbers attending the training sessions and responses to evaluation forms asking people how useful they found the training and the changes they plan to make to their practice.

Delivering the project

We are looking for a consultant to deliver an evaluation of this project. We are content for this to be a freelance/self-employed individual/team or an individual /team based within an institution.

This is a time-limited project and we are therefore looking for someone/a team who would be able to start work immediately. The work needs to be completed by 15th may 2015. There is up to £5,000 (inclusive of VAT if applicable) available for this piece of work.

Skills and knowledge

This is a short term consultancy and the consultant should have an excellent knowledge about the issues that impact on disabled people. We expect the consultant to:

  • Have knowledge of workforce development and innovation in the adult social care sector;
  • Have expertise in both process and impact evaluation – and of both quantitative and qualitative methods;
  • Have knowledge of research governance procedures in the social care sector;
  • Demonstrate their ability (and provide an undertaking) to complete the project within the specified time.
  • Demonstrate their ability to produce work to the highest standards – in particular the final report and project presentation
  • Have in place appropriate CRB/DBS disclosures and safeguarding policies and relevant professional standards/memberships; and
  • Have excellent communication skills and willingness to communicate with the project steering group throughout the course of this consultancy.

The main key tasks of this brief drawing on the practice and learning in Sheffield and Doncaster are to:

  • Provide an evaluation of the delivery of this project, both in terms of the delivery of project outputs and whether (and the extent to which) the project met its intended objectives;
  • Produce a short accessible report and standalone summary, suitable for Skills for Care publication; and
  • Deliver a presentation of key findings and recommendations for future learning and to inform national practice.

Registering your interest

If you are interested in delivering this project please register your interest by submitting a maximum 4 sides of A4 outlining your suitability for this role including your experience and skills and a brief summary of how you would propose to undertake the work, including timings. Additional information (e.g. Brief CVs, lists of relevant projects, testimonials etc.) can be attached.

Please send your expression of interest by 9am on Wednesday 8th October 2014 to: Emily Morton at Emily.morton@disabilitysheffield.org.uk

If you require this information in an alternative format please contact Emily at the above e-mail address or on Sheffield 0114 2536750

Consultancy Arrangements

  • The successful Consultant is expected to sign a contractual agreement prior to commencing work on the project and have relevant self-employed status and insurance cover.
  • The work shall be carried out in the Consultant’s offices and all expenses incurred in carrying out the work required by the brief shall be the responsibility of the Consultant unless otherwise agreed in writing.
  • The Consultant shall treat as confidential any information obtained in the course of the work.

 

DRF News

CFP: Special Edition of Journal of Popular Television on ‘Disability and Television’

Call for Papers: Disability and Television

Special Edition of Journal of Popular Television

Guest edited by Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and Brett Mills (University of East Anglia, UK)

Debates about disability – whether related to production and industry, content and representation, or audiences and consumption – have been largely ignored in the study of television, and this special edition of Journal of Popular Television aims to encourage the field to engage in this increasingly significant topic. We intend to provide a space to explore the contributions television studies and disability studies can make to one another, as areas of enquiry but also as fields engaged in the socio-political world.

We acknowledge the wide range of ways in which ‘disability’ has been defined and welcome submissions that engage with the complexity of the term and the uses to which it is put. Likewise we are interested in ‘television’ in its broadest sense, whether fictional or non-fictional, from docudramas and comedy to news and sports across all platforms.

We are keen for the edition to include as wide a range of voices, formats and approaches as possible, so while the ‘traditional’ academic article is welcomed, we also encourage other formats, such as personal reflections, treatises and manifestos or anything else that may be relevant and appropriate. Submission lengths may also be variable, so shorter and longer pieces are also invited.

We therefore invite expressions of interest from those interested in contributing to the special edition. This is due to be published in Autumn 2015, and submissions would be due 28 February 2015.

If you’re interested in contributing please contact Rebecca Mallett (r.mallett@shu.ac.uk) and Brett Mills (brett.mills@uea.ac.uk) by 8th September 2014 with an outline of your intended contribution; formal abstracts are not necessary at this stage. If you’d like to talk through any initial ideas with either or both of us before this date, please feel free to get in touch.

Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences

Event Report: Gender and Dis/ability Day – thinking about ‘access’ #gendisability

I’ve finally got around to writing up a report from our Gender and Dis/ability day. Here it is:

In the final chapter of her brilliant book, Feminist Queer Crip, Alison Kafer poses three points of coalition to help us move towards ‘accessible futures’: 1) talking about access and toilets; 2) linking disability and environmental justice movements; and 3) having feminist-disability conversations around reproductive justice. All were topics discussed by around 50 people in Sheffield on May 10th 2014 at Gender and Dis/ability: Asking Difficult Questions; a one day event co-hosted by the DRF based at Sheffield Hallam University, people from the University of Sheffield (including members of the Postgraduate Gender Research Network [PGRN], Sociology and History departments) and Lancaster University.

The idea for this event began when I (Jenny Slater) presented at the Troubling Gender conference hosted a year earlier by Charlotte Jones and Jennifer Kettle, convenors of the PGRN. The Troubling Gender conference was great, stimulated much discussion, and a credit to those who presented and organised. However, despite an intersectional focus, mine was one of the only papers to ‘trouble gender’ alongside dis/ability. Noting this, conversations began with one of the organisers, Charlotte Jones, as to how we could explicitly address an often missing analysis of dis/ability in a future gender-based event; and the Gender and Dis/ability event was born.

Gathering a number of interested people together, conversations began. As an organising team we were committed to thinking holistically about ‘access’; we wanted this to be apparent discursively, theoretically and experientially throughout the day. We thought about ‘access’ along the lines of gender and disability, but also in terms of cost (we wanted a free event), and who would feel expected and welcome (we made a call which we hoped would attract people outside of academia).

We managed the above to varying degrees; without a budget, some things were tricky. Everyone involved in organising the event were employed and/or students in a university so we could book a space free of charge within a university building. Yet, a university building wasn’t our first choice of venue because, whilst university buildings may make some feel welcome, they’re not places everyone feels they belong. Those who haven’t been to university, for example, may not feel they are (to use Tanya Titchkosky’s words) ‘expected participants’ at such an event. Furthermore, one only has to look at the architecture of most university buildings to find that disabled people are not the ‘expected participants’. Although finances meant we had to settle on a university building, finding a building we felt was suitably accessible within the university was difficult.

We settled (eventually) on the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. This offered us three rooms, in addition to toilets, a foyer and a small kitchen on a ground floor, with some parking outside. The building was in no way perfect – for reasons none of us could fathom, a cobbled floor inside separated the main conference rooms from the toilets (including the accessible toilet). The foyer was small with little room for seating and there wasn’t a space for us all to ‘be together’ during the day. Working within university regulations, we couldn’t offer an informal crèche to allow access for those with children, as is sometimes done in other radical/DIY spaces.

We deliberated over how to overcome some of our access dilemmas. We relabelled toilet doors so, rather than the gender binaries presumed and concreted through ‘male’, ‘female’ and ‘disabled’/‘accessible’ toilets, we had ‘toilets with urinals’, ‘toilets without urinals’ and ‘accessible/private’ toilets (something I’ll come back to). We discussed whether it was better to have less general conference space in order to provide a quiet room for those that may need it for a variety of reasons including taking time out or administering medication (and decided yes, it was). We wrote notes to people chairing sessions asking them not to presume pronouns of participants. As people signed up to join the event, we asked what we could do to make the space more accessible to them (and after the event, we asked again – so we can continue to struggle towards ‘access’ in the future).

So, access wasn’t ideal – there were things we would have liked to have done differently. Yet, we wondered through the conference what it would mean to have a ‘fully accessible’ space. We asked this question of our participants overtly through our wall of post-it-notes for people to add their thoughts. One delegate asked ‘can access needs clash?’ to which someone responded, ‘yes – I trip on the textured pavement which is put down for visually impaired people’. We also borrowed a toilet door from Sheffield University’s students union on which participants scribbled their toilet-related thoughts. As well as some ‘bog’ standard puns (‘URINE TROUBLE’; ‘this event is THE SHIT’; ‘FLUSH AWAY YOUR PRECONCEPTIONS’), delegates’ scribblings made us think about what it means to have access to toilets. This included having changing places (most ‘accessible toilets’ aren’t accessible enough); having more space to manoeuvre in toilets, more toilets in non-commercial spaces (‘FREE TO PEE!’); and relabeling doors with what’s inside rather than who’s allowed or expected to enter to try create spaces away from the (cis) gaze.

Toilet Door Graffitti

Moreover, conversations of access, inclusion and belonging continued through workshops and presentations (we tried to have one workshop and one presentation session running throughout). The first few sessions, for example, included Hannah Paterson running a workshop asking how activism and protest could be made accessible; Naomi Jacobs thought about in/exclusions of stories of women and disability in the bible; and Peter Fuzesi and Melania Moscoso addressed questions of bodies, autonomy and power.

Frances Ryan, journalist for The Guardian and The New Statesman, was one attendee at the event. In an article written after attending she noted that “some of the differences that disability provokes can complicate feminism’s understanding of female bodies and the oppression of them”. Cat Smith and Mathy Selvakumaran‘s presentations on fashion, desirability and norms highlighted some of the often uncomfortable relationships between ‘disability’ and ‘femininity’. We wanted to make recordings of the event available to those who could not attend, however, our technical failings meant only one of these recordings worked – you can, however, listen to Cat and Mathy’s discussions on our new DRF SoundCloud page. I’d also recommend Cat’s article, Normcore is Bullsh*t, and Mia Mingus’ blog to think some more about the issues raised in these talks.

Similarly important discussions carried on after lunch with presentations on queer disabled identities. Alexa Athelstan introduced the work of Peggy Munson in an important talk which included bringing our attention to fragrance free as an access requirement (something I myself need to learn more about). Following this Suchitra Chatterjee discussed hate crime in a presentation called ‘Race, Gender and Disability – or the Physically Disabled Bisexual Transgender Woman of Colour in the Room’. For Frances Ryan, the feminist-disability dilemmas are perhaps “never […] more riddled than with abortion”.  Hazel Kent facilitated a workshop on reproductive justice to ask some difficult questions regarding the exclusion of disabled women from abortion debates and the conflicts between pro-choice arguments and reproductive rights which are fully supportive of parents with disabled children.

For the penultimate session I attended Jude Woods’ workshop on doing intersectional, participatory community work. We talked about the tensions of working intersectionally with groups of people whose priorities may differ. The struggles and complexities of coalition through social movements was a theme running throughout the day, and immediately on leaving this workshop a friend told me I had missed “a GREAT panel” next door – where Míriam Arenas-Conejo and Anna Wates were discussing dis/ability and/in social movements. Two pertinent tweets (#gendisability) after this session read: “Walking as action and agency linked to political protest but little thought given to pace or visibility” and “The Street romanticised as place of political action, but gendered as male space, exclusionary for disabled people”.

One of the parallel sessions in the final slot of the day was cancelled so we ended on a workshop which everyone was invited to attend – and again, the conversation came back to toilets. Charlotte Jones, Hari Byles and myself facilitated a workshop called, On the Toilet: the Politics of Public and Private Space. In the book aptly named, Toilet, it’s pointed out that toilets are spaces often considered mundane, amusing or unimportant; they’re often left forgotten or ignored… until, that is, they are inadequate or unavailable. Charlotte and I met Hari through a shared conviction that toilets as more usually inadequate for some than for others. As our toilet door graffiti showed us, toilets are places which bring up issues of in/exclusion, public/private, identities and norms. During the workshop we discussed people’s feelings on our toilet door relabeling. Some thought it was a good idea to label toilets by writing/showing what’s inside them. Some felt relieved to not have to worry about the problematic gender binaries toilets presented them with. Others pointed out, however, that they were still searching for the ‘right toilet’ (i.e. the one that they thought coordinated with their gender identity). Whilst some with physical impairments felt oppressed by the relabeling of the accessible toilet, as they worried that they’d be waiting even longer than usual for the only space accessible to them.

I could write about toilets for ages. Instead though, I’ll direct you to People In Search of Safe and Accessible Restrooms, or PISSAR, who are worth looking at for more on access and toilets. The point I want to end on, though, is that the conference finished with some of the dilemmas we as an organising team started with: conversations around what it means to ‘have access’. Issues of ‘access’ are never straight forward; yet, like Kafer suggests, moving towards accessible futures is about struggling together through coalition – moving forward with some of the difficult conversations we had on that Saturday in May. We believe these conversations are always worth having and we hope that that dialogue/action though the Gender and Dis/ability event will continue. You can join the conversation through twitter via @shudisability @gendisability #gendisability (you can also see some of the tweets made through the day here). Alternatively, I (j.slater@shu.ac.uk) or the Gender and Disability team (gender.disability@shef.ac.uk) can be contacted through email. We hope the event will happen again somewhere and in some form– so watch this space (and, if you’re interesting in getting involved in helping to organise, get in touch!).

Thanks to Charlotte Jones for her feedback on this blog post and all that contributed to what was a brilliant day.

 

DRF News

Reminder: A Week of ‘Disability’ Events (May, 2014: Sheffield, UK)

If you are in/around Sheffield next week and are into ‘disability’, you are certainly in for a treat. There are 3 events (detailed below) which might just take your fancy. Info below.

Event 1: the next (and final for this academic year) DRF seminar

Date/Time: Wednesday, 7th May 2014 (10.30am-12.30pm)

Slot 1:  Joshua Sawiuk (Univ. of Leeds, UK): The Importance of the Social Life for Disabled Students in Higher Education

Slot 2: Charlotte Jones (Univ. of Sheffield, UK): Intersex and/as Disability: Exploring the tensions between identity, medicalisation and social justice

Venue: The seminar will be held in Room 10110 (first floor) of the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.

To offer to present in 2014-2015 seminars or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 6691.

Event 2: Symposium: Disability and Austerity: Pan-national Reflections

Date/Time: Thursday, 8th May 2014 (2pm-5pm)

Venue: University of Sheffield – Education Building, Room 1.02.

Event 3: Gender and Disability: Asking Difficult Questions

Date: Saturday, 10th May 2014

Venue: University of Sheffield- Humanities Research Institute (HRI), 34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY.

Children, Familes and Young People, Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture

Reminder: Next DRF Seminar – Thurs. 13th Mar (2pm-4pm)

When: Thursday, 13th March 2014: 2pm-4pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)

Where: Arundel Room 10111 (SHU) [the Arundel Building = 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.]

Everyone welcome!

Slot 1: Cassie Ogden (Univ. of Chester, UK): Troubling Borders with Bodies that Seep: an critical sociological exploration into children’s experiences of leaky realities and how we can learn to accept our bodies in all its leaky glory.

Slot 2: Jenny Slater (SHU): School Toilet Chat: Exploring how Issues of Space, Access, Embodiment, Identity and ‘Normal’ Function in the the Lives of Young People

For George (2011), toilets are “the big necessity”; a mundane part of life that, until absent or inadequate, we rarely pay attention. One place these facilities are consistently found to be inadequate are in schools (Burton, 2013, Greed, 2010). Vernon, Lundblad and Hellstrom (2003) reported that 62% of boys and 35% of in the UK avoided using toilets whilst at school (citing reasons of lack of hygiene, privacy and bullying); and in 2013, a study in Scotland similarly highlighted the poor state of school toilet (Burton, 2013). Here I seek feedback on a proposal which hopes to utilise theorisations of disability, queer and fat activists and academics, to think hard about school toilets as transdisciplinary spaces to explore how issues of space, access, embodiment and normal function in the lives of young people.

 

DRF News

Event: 30th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (May 2014: Hawaii, USA)

Announcing the 30th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.

Theme: Learn from Yesterday. Live for Today. Envision Tomorrow.

Date: 19th – 20th May 2014

Place: Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

For more information: 

 Proposal submissions deadline: 31st January 2014.

The event is preceded by the Pacific Rim International Forum on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (17th May 2014) at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii.

DRF News

Call for Abstracts: Disability and the Majority World: 2nd International Conference (Sept 2012, UK)

Date: 26th- 27th September 2012

Venue: Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), UK

Keynotes: Rod Michalko, Janet Price, Tanya Titchkosky and Maria Kett

FREE conference organised by Critical Disability Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University (CDS@MMU) supported by BWPI and Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), University of Manchester

The 2nd international conference Disability and the Majority World will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University. The conference seeks to bring together researchers, disability activists, practitioners, organisations, and others from various fields, to discuss a range of key and emerging themes around disability in the global South. It provides a much needed inter-disciplinary, critical, supportive and open space to debate, question and challenge, while exploring alternatives in a safe and friendly environment.

Call for Abstracts is now open – Deadline: 22nd September 2012

Abstracts for paper presentations are now being accepted.  The conference welcomes contributions around (not exclusively) the following broad areas, from all disciplinary perspectives.  They particularly encourage contributions from activists, researchers and practitioners from the global South:

  • Poverty and disability
  • War and conflict
  • Health and rehabilitation
  • Migration
  • Development
  • Globalisation, neoliberalism and beyond
  • Post/neocolonial spaces
  • Researching disability across cultures

Those wishing to present a paper, please send an abstract (maximum 300 words) in an attached Word Document to S.Grech@mmu.ac.uk. Please ensure the abstract contains name, title of presentation, institution (if applicable) and contact email and please insert ‘abstract for conference’ in the subject line of your email. Paper presentations are 15 minutes.

Registration

The conference is FREE of charge, but all delegates need to register. This will help gauge attendance and make adequate preparations. Please register here

Cancellations: the organisers would appreciate if those registered but no longer able to attend to please inform us by email Shaun Grech: S.Grech@mmu.ac.uk

Meals

The conference is free, which means that lunch and refreshments will have to be purchased from the University or elsewhere. Please let the organisers know if you have any dietary requirements so we can make the refectory aware of delegate requirements.

Bursaries

While the organisers acknowledge the need, the fact that they are keeping the conference free, means that they are unable to provide bursaries (for travel, lodging or other expenses) to attend the conference.

DRF News

REMINDER: DRF Seminar: Fri. 25th May 2012 (Sheffield, UK)

Date/Time: Fri. 25th May 2012 (Friday) 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Venue: Room 10212 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.) ***Please note the change to our usual room***

Join us for:

Everything about us without us: the struggle of disability activists for Independent Living in Iceland

Embla Ágústsdóttir, chairwoman of the independent living cooperative in Iceland (NPA miðstöðin), embla@npa.is

&

Freyja Haraldsdóttir, directress, of the independent living cooperative in Iceland (NPA miðstöðin), freyja@npa.is

Chair: Jenny Slater

Abstract: Iceland is one of the countries that lacks policy and practice for personal assistance and independent living for disabled people. A user-led cooperative on personal assistance was founded by 33 disabled citizens in Iceland in 2010, who have since been fighting for the recognition of personal assistance as a way in providing services.

The government decided in the beginning of 2011 to start a three-year pilot project following the transference of services for disabled people from the state to the municipalities. This pilot project has been delayed but is in its first stages and will be ongoing until the end of year 2014 when personal assistance is supposed to become a legal right.

In this presentation we want to shed some light on the struggle for independent living in Iceland. We want to share our experience on how this process has developed from the viewpoint of disability activists and how we have experienced the need to fight for our involvement and having a voice, even when it comes to working with disability organizations and the academia.

Is, after all, everything about us supposed to be without us?

Please feel free to circulate and hope to see you there!

DRF News

Event: DRF ‘Encore’ Seminar: 25th May 2012 (Sheffield, UK)

The final DRF seminar of the 2011-12 academic year is scheduled for tomorrow (3rd May 2012)  and we are pleased to announce that there will be an encore.

Date/Time: Fri. 25th May 2012 (Friday) 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Venue: Room 10212 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.) Please note the change to our usual room.

Join us for:

Everything about us without us: the struggle of disability activists for Independent Living in Iceland

Embla Ágústsdóttir, chairwoman of the independent living cooperative in Iceland (NPA miðstöðin), embla@npa.is

&

Freyja Haraldsdóttir, directress, of the independent living cooperative in Iceland (NPA miðstöðin), freyja@npa.is

Iceland is one of the countries that lacks policy and practice for personal assistance and independent living for disabled people. A user-led cooperative on personal assistance was founded by 33 disabled citizens in Iceland in 2010, who have since been fighting for the recognition of personal assistance as a way in providing services.

The government decided in the beginning of 2011 to start a three-year pilot project following the transference of services for disabled people from the state to the municipalities. This pilot project has been delayed but is in its first stages and will be ongoing until the end of year 2014 when personal assistance is supposed to become a legal right.

In this presentation we want to shed some light on the struggle for independent living in Iceland. We want to share our experience on how this process has developed from the viewpoint of disability activists and how we have experienced the need to fight for our involvement and having a voice, even when it comes to working with disability organizations and the academia.

Is, after all, everything about us supposed to be without us?

Please feel free to circulate.