DRF News

Reminder: Next DRF Seminar ~ 3rd May 2012 (Sheffield, UK)

DRF Seminar Series: Seminar #7

Date/Time: 3rd May 2012 (Thurs) 2pm-4pm

Venue: Room 10111 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.)

  • Slot 13: Steven Graby (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds): Autism and/as “disabled” identity 

Abstract: TBC

  • Slot 14: Louis Nisiotis (Sheffield Hallam University): A Cyber Campus to Support Inclusive Education

Abstract: This study aims to review and explore the use of cyber campuses as a potential learning tool to support people who cannot regularly attend the University. Students whom due to various reasons have to be away from the University are missing important learning experiences and this research investigates the concept of cyber campuses as a support tool to overcome some of the barriers that restrict or exclude them from education. 

A virtual inclusive learning environment capable to support and enhance students learning experience has been developed. This presentation shall discuss the research method, the motivation behind this research and the expected contributions in knowledge. Also the work that has been done, the work that is intended to be carried out and the research challenges that are emerging during this investigation shall be presented.

***Coming Soon*** We will be shortly announcing dates for 2012-13 so watch this space if you would like to present a paper in an upcoming seminar. 


DRF News

Second Keynote’s Title and Abstract Announced for Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 3rd International Conference (Chester, UK: June 2012)

If you need any further encouragement to attend the Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 3rd International Conference at the University of Chester (June 26th-27th 2012), here are details of our second keynote speaker: China Mills, who will be discussing…

Spoof: Faking Normal, Faking Disorder


“[T]he most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed” (Steve Biko, 1978: 92).

How do spoof, ‘fake’ psycho-pharmaceutical adverts work to queer the ‘real’ adverts, and the disorders they market the drugs for? How do they crip conceptions of normality and sanity?

These spoof ads point to a creeping psychiatrization of our everyday lives, a psychiatrization globalised through ‘mental health literacy’ campaigns and psycho-education in low-income countries of the global South. This paper will explore how this psychiatrization interlaces with colonial subject formation. For while pharmaceutical adverts and psychiatry interpellate, hail, ‘make up’, and elicit particular subjects – as pharmaceutical citizens, neurochemical selves; there is also a force at work in ‘making up’ these subjects, through the power of the gaze, that for Frantz Fanon; objectifies, seals, crushes and abrades. But how does medication broker subjectivity? How does it, as the ads claim, restore us to ourselves, make us whole again?

This paper will attend to the visual, to mechanisms of looking, to psychiatric fields of visibility. In India, many mental health Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), go to rural areas to ‘identify’ people with ‘mental illness’, making them visible through diagnostic systems developed in the global North, and medicating them. They say these people are ‘invisible people’. So how do medication and psychiatry make people visible? What ways of ‘seeing’ do they make possible? For Homi Bhabha (1994) invisibility does not signify lack; instead it works to disrupt identification and interpellation through refusing presence. Thus how might these ‘invisible people’, those who refuse to ‘reproduce hegemonic appearances’ (Scott, 1990), work to disrupt the gaze of psychiatry? Might invisibility; the doubling, dissembling image of being in two places at once (Bhabha, 1994), work as both a ‘symptom’ of oppression, and a means of subversion?

To read psychiatrization as a colonial discourse opens up possibilities to explore how the secret arts, the hidden transcripts, of resistance of the colonised might be read in people’s resistance to psychiatry – from the slyness of mimicking normality, to the mockery of ‘spoof’ drug adverts. How the ‘disembodied eyes’ of the subaltern that see but are not seen, might disrupt and subvert both the presumed ‘I’ of the unitary ‘whole’ subject, and the surveillant, penetrative ‘eye’ of psychiatry.

How medication might work to make people visible is more troubling if we read invisibility as camouflage and potential subversion. It suggests that medication might make people more vulnerable in their submission to sociality, in their domestication. But with what conceptual tools can we establish whether being invisible is an act of resistance through camouflage, a strategy solely for survival, or a mark of adaptation and assimilation? Perhaps certain forms of psychiatric ‘looking’ allow us not to ‘see’; enable us to encounter difference and yet defer it, domesticate it– to recuperate the hegemonic, the status quo, in the final look.

In this paper I will explore how spoof adverts may mimic ‘real’ ads in a similar way to how some people mimic normality, slyly; a ‘resemblance and menace’ that mocks the power of the ‘real’ and the ‘sane’, their very power to be a model (Bhabha, 1994:86). Will you be able to tell the difference between the ‘real’ and the ‘fakes’?


China Mills is in the final stages of writing up her PhD thesis, which employs a colonial discourse analysis of Global mental Health’s ‘scale-up’ of psychiatry, and the psychiatrization of India. She is funded by the Education and Social Research Institute, at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. China has worked within, and been allied to, the UK and Indian psychiatric user/survivor movement for some years, and is a member of the editorial collective of Asylum magazine for democratic psychiatry (www.asylumonline.net).

For more information on the conference click here.

DRF News

Reminder of Next DRF Seminar: 18th April 2012 (1pm-3pm)

DRF Seminar Series: Seminar #6 

Date/Time: 18th April 2012 (Weds) 1pm-3pm

Venue: Room 10111 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.)

Slot 11: Will Southwell-Wright (Department of Archaeology, University of Durham): Past Perspectives: What can Archaeology offer to Disability Studies?

Over the past three decades criticisms of androcentricm and ethnocentrism have largely been resolved within archaeological thought and have given rise to a prolific literature that examines the archaeologies of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and a variety of other identities in a range of past contexts. Comparatively speaking however the archaeology of disability and disabled identities remains under-developed, and the pictures of the past that archaeologists reconstruct often remain able-bodied in character.  Given the range of archaeological evidence we have to begin reconstructing experiences of disability, including iconography, evidence for medical treatment and the skeletal remains of impaired people, this lack of dedicated study is increasingly amiss. This paper will demonstrate how the understandings of sociological and historical analyses offered by Disability Studies offer archaeologists the means to understand this evidence in a manner that avoids making reductive statements about past experiences. Crucially however, it will be demonstrated that Archaeology has much to offer Disability Studies as well, drawing on examples from Roman Britain it will be shown how archaeological evidence can open up insight into areas which historical sources remain silent on.  This paper then demonstrates how archaeological understandings which work in dialogue with Disability Studies have the potential to offer valuable insights into the past experience of impairment and disability, and argues for greater collaborative work in the future.

Slot 12: Tom Campbell (School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds): Bio-politics, resistance and the social model of disability

When bio-politics has been operationalized as a mode of analysis in disability studies (and aligned disciplines) it has concentrated on how bodies are subjectivated; how an identity is assigned to an individual, particularly through the mechanism of the norm that results in the constitution of particular impairment categories, work that I myself have begun to undertake and consider to have great value. However, despite Foucault’s warnings to refuse all attempts of understanding power negatively, work on bio-power and bio-politics throughout the social and human sciences typically carries a negative tone.  In this paper I wish to explore whether the disabled peoples movement’s positive re-articulation of difference and singularity on individuals own terms, re-imagining their own bodies and the bodies of others, contra to tactics of power that have hitherto been articulated onto them, should be considered as example of the invention of the ‘common’ as understood by Antonio Negri and Judith Revel. The paper will explore how the Disabled People’s Movement in the UK and the social model of disability has allowed for the re-invention of both individual and collective bodies and possibly begun the invention of the common, through the reframing of disability as a social process of discrimination linked to the material conditions of societal organization, rather then resulting from individual biological deficit. 

Next Seminar: 3rd May 2012 (Thurs) 2pm-4pm

Slot 13: Steven Graby (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds): Autism and/as “disabled” identity

Slot 14: Slot Available (if you’d like to present a paper please get in touch)

…and don’t forget the Call for Papers for the excellent Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 3rd International Conference is out now!

DRF News

Exhibition ‘Manpowered: A Men’s Group Challenging Disability’ (Manchester, UK: Now-Summer 2012)

‘Manpowered: A Men’s Group Challenging Disability’ is a community psychology project set up by men wanting to use visual and creative methods to improve their health and challenge the label of ‘learning disability’. At this exhibition, we want to showcase our skills and talents in the form of poetry, photography, film, sculpture, debate and art.

The Exhibition can is taking place at this address: Community Exhibition Gallery, StationBuilding, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), Liverpool Road,  Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP.

For more information on the venue visit the website: www.mosi.org.uk; email info@mosi.org.uk; or phone 0161 832 2244.

For more information on the exhibition visit: http://www.manchestermencap.cswebsites.org/

DRF News

Updates from our Canadian colleagues…

New Book The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning by Tanya Titchkosky is Out Now!

About the book: Values such as ‘access’ and ‘inclusion’ are unquestioned in the contemporary landscape. But many methods of addressing these issues – installing signs, ramps, and accessible washrooms – frame disability only as a problem to be ‘fixed.’ The Question of Access investigates the social meanings of access in contemporary university life from the perspective of Cultural Disability Studies. Through narratives of struggle and analyses of policy and everyday practices, Tanya Titchkosky shows how interpretations of access reproduce conceptions of who belongs, where and when. Titchkosky examines how the bureaucratization of access issues has affected understandings of our lives together in social space. Representing ‘access’ as a beginning point for how disability can be rethought, rather than as a mere synonym for justice, The Question of Access allows readers to critically question their own implicit conceptions of disability, non-disability and access. 

About the author: Tanya Titchkosky is an associate professor and an associate department chair at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.


New Book ‘Disability Politics and Theory’ by A.J. Withers is Out Now!

About the book: An accessible introduction to disability studies, disability politics and theory provides a concise survey of disability history, exploring the concept of disability as it has been conceived from the late 19th century to the present. Further, A.J. Withers examines when, how and why new categories of disability are created and describes how capitalism benefits from and enforces disabled people’s oppression.

Critiquing the model that currently dominates the discipline, the social model of disability, this book offers an alternative: the radical disability model. This model builds on the social model but draws from more recent schools of radical thought, particularly feminism and critical race theory, to emphasize the role of intersecting oppressions in the marginalization of disabled people and the importance of addressing disability both independently and in conjunction with other oppressions. Intertwining theoretical and historical analysis with personal experience this book is a poignant portrayal of disabled people in Canada and the U.S. – and a radical call for social and economic justice.

Contents: Building Models and Constructing Disability * Constructing Difference,
Controlling Deviance: The Eugenic Model * Diagnosing People as Problems: The Medical Model * For Us, Not With Us: The Charity Model * Revolutionizing the Way We See Ourselves: The Rights and Social Models * Looking Back But Moving Forward: The Radical Disability Model * References * Index

About the author: A.J. Withers has been involved in radical organizing, specifically within the radical disability, anti- globalization and anti-poverty movements for 15 years, and has been employed as an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).  


First Issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is Out Now!!!  Check it out here

This is a free, open-access journal devoted to cutting edge research in the field, from Canada and around the world. Please have a look at this outstanding collection of articles, consider contributing your work to the journal in the future, and spread the word!


  • A Brief Introduction to the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies – Michael Bergob
  • Canadian Disability Activism and Political Ideas: In and Between Neo-Liberalism and Social Liberalism – Michael J. Prince (1-34)
  • Disability History In Canada: Present Work In The Field And Future Prospects – Geoffrey Reaume (35-81)
  • Firing Up Disability Studies: A Report from the Edges of the Human Community – Tanya Titchkosky (82-108)
  • The Inaccessible Road Not Taken: The Trials, Tribulations And Successes Of Disability Inclusion Within Social Work Post-Secondary Education – Irene Carter, Roy Hanes, Judy E. MacDonald (109-142)
  • Profile: The Living Archives Project: Canadian Disability and Eugenics – Colette Leung (143-166)
  • Review: Titchkosky, Tanya. The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning – Allison Hitt (167-170)
  • Creative Work: Eulogizing Ebenezer Scrooge – Adam Pottle (171-174)


 ‘The “Becoming Crisis” of Critical Studies and Praxis’  SESE Graduate Student Conference, OISE, University of Toronto (Saturday April 21, 2012 )

In a post 9/11 world where dissent is actively and continuously shut down and the U.S. has declared war on embodied difference worldwide, what does critical engagement as scholars, activists, and artists mean? How and why does it matter in a world where death, injury, danger, poverty and destitution are still regularly enacted on bodies that are ‘different’? Academic scholarship, political engagement and provocative artistic endeavors must take seriously critiques emanating from the public about their relevance in such a world. As boundaries continue to be drawn between theory and practice, between the myriad academic disciplines concerned with equity, and between activist communities, how might the notion of a ‘becoming crisis’ be engaged by critical studies and praxis in order to refashion scholarship in ways that create more relevant understandings of what it means to be human alongside more viable life-practices.

This year’s SESE Conference theme focuses on the “Becoming Crisis” in critical work – the existential question of “Why are we here?” and perhaps more importantly, “To what end?”

Submissions in a variety of formats and a wide range of disciplines are encouraged. The theme is an invitation toward reflection and interrogation of critical practices in order to challenge the ongoing, global and globalizing war on embodied difference and the enduring privileging of the 1%.

Questions that animate the conference theme include, but are not limited to:

  • How does the work produced by the academy both foster and challenge current power relations; how do “we” reinforce present reality yet still push toward something different?
  • How is critical race studies and/or anti-racism raising the question of human in new ways? How can conceptions of the limits of viable life (i.e., disability, the subaltern) imposed through dominant political, social and knowledge practices be challenged?
  • How can the notion of a becoming crisis in critical work help think about our practices, alongside the animosities between approaches, disciplines and practices differently?
  • What are the dangers of the increasing institutionalization of radical social and political movements into the academy – anti-racist, post-colonialism, feminisms, Aboriginal, queer and disability studies, etc.?
  • What does it mean to be human?

 If you like to present I’m afriad that the deadline is very soon (but remember the possible time difference!)

Extended deadline: Monday, February 20th, 2012

Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Paper presentations: Individual paper presentations will be organized into a panel of three, related by topic area and assigned a moderator.
  • Panels: Panels may be pre-constituted and include 3-4 individuals including a moderator, plus a possible discussant.
  • Poster: Posters will display on-going research, service, advocacy, or activist projects. 
  • Workshop: A facilitated activity involving 3 or more presenters.
  • Facilitated Discussion: Discussion with a set topic and a moderator. 
  • Artistic work (in all senses of the arts): Critical artistic work that addresses the theme in a range of media is welcome. Keep in mind you will be working in a classroom space unless alternative space is pre-arranged with the organizers.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words to conferencesese@gmail.com by February 20, 2012. Panel proposals require an abstract describing both the panel and the individual papers. For discussions, describe how the time will be utilized and the topic facilitated. Workshop presenters should address methodology, pedagogy, and desired learning outcomes in their submission. Artists must connect their work to the conference theme and briefly describe the optimal setting for their work. Approximately fifteen minutes will be allotted for papers and presentations. Please note in your submission if more time is required.

Papers will be selected through anonymous peer review. Please observe the following procedures to enable the review process:

  1. Attach a short biographical note of 50 words on a separate page.
  2. Please include your name, institution, abstract, title of session, list of participants (if applicable), and e-mail with your submission.
  3. Please include a short statement of 50 words describing how access (see attached guidelines) will be addressed in your presentation.
  4. Do not include your name on the same page as the abstract.
  5. Type “abstract” in the subject line of your email.

 All welcome!

Information on accessibility and accommodation: patricia.douglas@utoronto.ca.

Papers may be given in English or French, with citations in any language.

All questions can be addressed to the conference co-chairs: Juliet Hess juliet.hess@utoronto.ca; Patty Douglas; Nikoletta Papadopoulos


DRF News

Event: The Toronto Launch of the 1st WHO/World Bank World Report on Disability

Date: Friday, January 27, 2012 (12-2pm)

Live webcast available at: http://hosting.epresence.tv/MUNK/1/live/200.aspx

Venue: University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto. Map available here.  

Limited space available – please register at: http://www.munk.utoronto.ca/EventDetails.aspx?eventid=11608

Description: The World Report on Disability is the first of its kind, providing guidance on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and giving an extensive global picture of the situation of people with disabilities, their unmet needs, and the barriers they face to participating fully in their societies. There are over one billion people with disabilities in the world and this report provides a welcome focus on this pressing global health and social justice issue. This panel will bring together the lead author of the report with key disability activists to discuss the report and its implications for Canada’s domestic and global responsibilities towards people with disabilities.  Report available here.

Keynote address: Dr. Tom Shakespeare is the editor of the World Report on Disability. He has published extensively in disability studies and bioethics, including The Sexual Politics of Disability (1996) and Disability Rights and Wrongs (2006). Disabled himself, Dr. Shakespeare has been active in the disability community for 20 years. Dr. Shakespeare joined the World Health Organization’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team in 2008.


  • Dr. Janice Stein, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs
  • David Lepofsky, CM, OOnt, Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
  • Dr. Stephanie Nixon, Academic Director, International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation

This session is free. This venue is accessible for people with mobility limitations.  ASL/English interpreters and CART services (captioning for hard of hearing) available.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of cbm (www.cbmcanada.org) and the Canadian Hearing Society (www.chs.ca).

DRF News

Details of Next DRF Seminar: 8th February 2012 (1pm-3pm)

DRF Seminar Series: Seminar #4

Date/Time: 8th February 2012 (Weds) 1pm-3pm

Venue: Room 10111 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.)

  • China Mills (Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University): Globalising Disorder; Crossing Borders through Disorders

Abstract: In an increasingly globalised psycho-pharmacological world, access to psychiatric medication, ‘scaling-up’ of psychiatric services, and closing the ‘treatment gap’ between low and high income countries, are equated with social justice and equality. In this space, mental illness is framed as akin to physical illness; and the argument is made that just as AIDS medications should be available to those in low-income countries, so should psychiatric medications. The incitement of mental health into a discourse of global emergency and crisis suggests an abnormal deviation from a normal order, yet mental illness may also be read as a ‘normal’ reaction to that (dis)order – as a ‘healthy’ response to the ‘unhealthy’ globalisation of Neoliberalism. Yet making the claim that mental health problems, such as Depression, are a ‘normal’ response to inequitable market relations in the global South, may also be normative, as it glosses over a simultaneous globalisation; that of bio-psychiatric explanations of distress. Just as psychiatric diagnostic systems, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) blur the borders of normality and abnormality, enabling increasing experiences to be conceptualised in psychiatric terms; they also enable psychiatric disorders to cross geographical borders, enabling the psychiatrisation of new populations, and new ‘emergent markets’ for the pharmaceutical industry. For example,in India, in response to a spate of farmer suicides that occurred due to neoliberal agricultural reforms, the Indian Government launched a study to find a genetic cause for suicide, and campaigners called for anti-depressants to be more widely available to farmers. But what does it mean to frame the distress caused by economic reforms as ‘mental illness’, and provide interventions that work at the level of individual brain chemistry and genes, and that are part of the same neoliberal rationale that led to distress in the first place? This paper will explore what the framing of mental illness as akin to physical illness and disability, makes possible within the field of Global Mental Health, with a specific focus on India. 

  • John Quinn (Department of Politics, University of Sheffield): New Labour and Disability Politics

Abstract: When the ‘New’ Labour government came into power in 1997, it was seen by many previously marginalised groups as an opportunity to have more say in the way the country was run. One of these was a ‘new social movement’ calling for disability rights – which arguably only came into existence in Britain during the mid-1970s and had continued developing during 18 years of Conservative rule. However there had been little unity between different strands of this movement, due not only to the wide range of disabilities represented, but also because of disputes over both ends and means. After a Labour government lasting 13 years this research aims to use a variety of methods to see whether it proved lucky or unlucky for disabled people in Britain, seeing to what extent lives have changed and how much of this is due to the way the government and social movement have impacted on and affected each other.

Next Seminar: 15th March 2012 (Thurs) 1.30pm-3.30pm

Slot 9: Sarah Thompson (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University): Title TBC

Slot 10: Tom Andrews (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University): Exploring the impact of sexuality on the lifeworld of adolescents with autism

DRF News

Another Call for Papers: Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity (26th-27th March 2012, Hawaii, USA)

Please note: This is the second CFPs that has been posted on the DRF blog and draws your attention to the Independent Living topic area, entitled, “The Global Independent Living Movement in the 21st Century.  The previous CFP, on ‘Intersectionality, Disability Culture, and Global Change’ topic area can be found here.

The Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity is being held 26th-27th March 2012 in Honolulu, HI (at the Hawai‘i Convention Center).

The Pacific Rim International Conference (Pac Rim) on Disability & Diversity has been widely recognized over the past 27 years as one of the most “diverse gatherings” in the world.  This year, the Independent Living topic area is entitled:

“The Global Independent Living Movement in the 21st century”

Living with a disability is a fact of life almost everyone in every society, culture and location will experience, either personally, or through family or friends. This year the Independent Living topic area will focus on diversity of ways Independent Living is implemented throughout the world. We encourage international submissions, including those from the Pacific Rim region. Questions and topics to be submitted for consideration as presentations, posters, or papers include:

– When and why did Independent Living start in your location
– How has the changing global economy affected Independent Living services and advocacy
– Share uses of technology in providing Independent Living services and advocacy
– Describe diverse populations being served with Independent Living services and advocacy, including positive outcomes and outstanding barriers
– How do families implement independent living in the 21st century
– Describe twenty-first century independent living for people with diverse disabilities, for example, cognitive disabilities or psychiatric disabilities
– Discuss how newly-acquired disabilities are currently addressed in Independent Living services and advocacy
– Has the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities changed how independent living is perceived and implemented
– How is Independent Living services and advocacy responding to aging populations
– How have changes in Assistive Technology affected implementing independent living
– Share the most important disability issues needing to be addressed in your area and possible solutions and resources needed

We encourage imaginative approaches to these and other issues you may want to suggest for this topic area. Proposals in any presentation format are welcomed. Please see presentation formats on the webpage at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions/presenters/formats/

Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions or send your proposals via email to prcall@hawaii.edu.  For more information about this topic area, contact the chairs: Steve Brown sebrown@hawaii.edu; Lillian Gonzales Brown eccentriclil@gmail.com; or Sheryl Nelson silchi@lava.net.

For general information on the conference please contact Charmaine Crockett ccrocke@hawaii.edu 

For information on registration please contact Michael Corlew prreg@hawaii.edu

DRF News

Event: Accessible Tourism for All (November 25th-28th 2011) at Sunway Pyramid, Malaysia

The Beautiful Gate Foundation For The Disabled in Malaysia has been organizing various awareness campaigns since 2000. Topics raised include employment, education, transportation  and built-environment. The objectives are to enable disabled people to live independently in the community and to advocate for the removal of architectural and transportation barriers that prevent them from being full participants in society.

This year, in conjunction with the International Day of Disabled Persons, together with DPI Asia Pacific, JICA Malaysia, MCR, MPDA, POCAM, MAB, MASIA, POCCM, MFD and other disability-related organisations, they are running an event to promote Accessible Tourism for All (November 25-28 at Sunway Pyramid, Malaysia).  Through promoting accessible tourism, they wish to change the public’s perception from thinking of the provision of disabled-friendly facilities as “extra cost” to “future investment”.

This international event will enable better understandings of the latest improvement and best practices and provide fresh insight into the future development of tourism systems. It is a first of its kind of event organized in Malaysia. They hope that it will achieve due recognition and also encourage policies and actions to promote Accessible Tourism for all.

The event has 4 main parts (more details here):

1. Conference: The main highlight here are a keynote and the three plenary sessions. Each session focuses on the importance of accessibility that would help promote national and regional economic development, besides drawing attention to the PWD challenges that the country is currently facing as well as suggesting the potential of the power of accessibility in promoting accessible tourism in our country.

2. Exhibition: During the course of the event, there will be an on-going exhibition featuring the disabled community in Malaysia, the activities held in conjunction with many other disability organizations in local places of interest, exhibition of arts and craft and various hand-made products created by the disabled and also other PWDs-related issues.

3. Convoy: A convoy around the city centre will create extensive awareness to the public. By moving around the city, with the aid of volunteers, they seek to explore places of interest, highlighting areas that could further improve to make the city a more disabled-friendly place for Accessible Tourism. The wish is to make Malaysia a disabled-friendly country. It is not only beneficial to local and foreign PWDs but will also provide easy accessibility for the elderly to travel around. This will further promote the country as a more favourable holiday destination.  

4. City Tour: Last but not least, an exciting City Tour will be exclusively organized for foreign delegates. Touring the city of Kuala Lumpur can be very exciting. The tour will take participants to explore the fascinating sights in and around the city. Enjoyable visits to cultural places and iconic structures will leave the participants enriched with an experience of Kuala Lumpur.

More information about the event (inc. registration fees) please visit the website at: www.beautifulgate.org.my/pro-icat


DRF News

Introducing the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) – A International Portal for Disability-Related Resources

[Thanks to Nancy Hansen for pointing out this useful portal.]

The Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) seeks to build a bridge between global information sources and millions of people with disabilities, advocates, and policymakers around the world by making it easier for them to access hundreds of thousands of educational and organizational resources on disability rights.

The GDRL team is proud to present these five new prototype portals:

1.     The Global Disability Rights Library

2.     Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) & Disability-Oriented Organizations

3.     Disability Related Blogs and Narratives

4.     General Human Rights Information

5.     Basic Disabilities Information

The layout takes a little getting used to but the multi-search functions (such as by category and by format) make this a potentially indispensible resource.  Have a play around…

(Please note: these are prototype portals so we are asked to explore and give feedback – if you wish to do so please contact the librarians by emailing librarian@gdrl.org)