DRF News

Job Opportunites at OISE, Univ of Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE) is advertising a number of tenure stream jobs we thought you might be interested in.  Of particular interest might be:

Click on the links to find out more.

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

CFP: 8th Annual CDSSA ‘Graduate Student Conference’ (April 2012, Canada)

Call for Papers and Registration Information

York University’s Critical Disability Studies Student Association (CDSSA) will be holding its 8th annual graduate student conference in April 2012 (precise date to be confirmed) at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The conference aims to showcase graduate students across North America and their work relating to themes and issues within the scope of Critical Disability Studies.

The event is interdisciplinary, and so possible topics can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Disability advocacy
  • Critical theory and disability: feminism, post-modernism, Marxism, etc.
  • History of disability: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Victorian Age, Industrial Age, etc.
  • Law and public policy, and disability
  • Qualitative and quantitative research pertaining to disability
  • Education and disability
  • Culture: disability-related literature and film analysis
  • Employment, market, workforce, and income security in relation to disability
  • Disability-related topics in social sciences: psychology, sociology, geography, political science
  • Assessment of accessibility accommodations
  • Technology and disability

Paper presentations must be no longer than 20 minutes, which equates to approximately 10-15 pages, with 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, and 1 inch margins.  The CDSSA adjudication committee will review abstracts that are 150-200 words in length.  Authors might be asked to present their work as posters instead of as paper presentations.  Abstracts must be anonymous.  The text of the email must include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information, the title of the work, and preferred presentation format (paper or poster). 

Applicants must send their abstracts as attachments in Microsoft Word format to the following email address: cds_grad@yorku.ca

Submission deadline is 15th January 2012.

Presenters must register for the event.  Registration deadline is 1st April 2012 and is free. 

For those requiring accommodations registration deadline is 1st March 2012. 

In order to register, please send an email to cds_grad@yorku.ca with the following information:

  • Name and number of guests
  • Contact information
  • Dietary restrictions (if applicable)
  • Accessibility accommodations (if applicable)

Please note that accommodations will be provided only upon request by the registration deadline.

For more information and updates, please click here.

DRF News

Journal of Developmental Disability: Call for Media Review Submissions

In 2008, the Journal of Developmental Disability (JODD) dedicated a media column to critically examine representations of developmental disability.  The column includes reviews of both ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, encompassing submissions addressing Internet, online websites, virtual forums, computer applications,  computer games and gaming sites, Youtube sites,  independent and popular film and television programs, and print media. Through this column, we seek to redress the absence of analyses attending to people labeled with developmental disabilities and to interrogate current and emerging representations.

We welcome submissions that take up media and developmental disability in three distinct ways: 

1. Specific work review: We accept reviews of specific media portrayals of developmental disability, including books, artwork, television programs, films, games, websites, Youtube videos and other specific examples of media content.

2. Media trends: We are interested in identifying and documenting emerging discourses in developmental disability in the media. This may include a sharp rise in public discussions of developmental disability as evidenced, for example, through a spate of films, news reports, books, promotional campaigns and so forth addressing either a general or specific issue pertaining to developmental disabilities or people who are so labeled.  Contributors are invited to trace and comment upon these trends and the significance they may have both for people labeled with developmental disabilities and the way developmental disability, normalcy, reason and personhood are conceptualized.

3. Emergence of new media forms: Media has dramatically shifted its form and reach with successive technological advances. The emergence of new media technologies has broadened the opportunities for knowledge production, reproduction, dissemination and consumption. Contributors are invited to consider the symbolic and material implications of these innovations for people with developmental disabilities.

Contributors are encouraged to address the following questions in their submissions:

  • How does the reviewed subject create new framings and understandings of developmental disability?
  • How does the reviewed subject include or influence the voices of people with developmental disability?
  • How does the reviewed subject create opportunities for addressing the intersections of disability with race, class, age, gender and sexual orientation?

Who may submit a review?

We welcome contributions from those whose lives and work intersect with developmental disabilities in diverse ways. We encourage contributions not only from academics at any stage, but also from people labeled as having developmental disabilities, their family members, friends and practitioners. Collaborative reviews between academic and community partners, family members, community groups, self advocates and other forms of team contributions are very welcome.

Submissions should be between 2000 to 3000 words, word-processed, double-spaced, using APA citation format. Please see www.oadd.org (follow the links to JODD) for more details about the formatting requirements. 

For more information please contact Esther Ignagni at eignagni@ryerson.ca or Ann Fudge Schormans at fschorm@mcmaster.ca

DRF News, Publications

Call for Contributions: International Histories of Disabilities

[from DRF member Roy Hanes]

My name is Roy Hanes and I am a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I have been working and teaching in the field of disability for the past 30 years and one of my primary areas of interest is disability history. In fact, my PhD examined the rise of the crippled child saving movement in Canada.

I am in the process of developing an international histories of disabilities book and so far I have contributors from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Nepal, France, Belgium, Germany, England and Scotland.

Topics vary according to the interest of the contributors, listed below are a few examples:

  • Histories of the Deaf
  • Disability in Ancient Greece
  • Histories of Blind Persons
  • Histories of Disabled veterans
  • Histories of idiocy
  • Histories of cripples
  • Histories of special education

I am looking for more contributions and I would like to extend an invitation to you as well as academics, activists and researchers who you might know who are interested in histories of disabilities to contribute to this book. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2012. For submissions/queries please email: roy_hanes@carleton.ca

Sincerely Yours, Roy Hanes, PhD.

DRF News

CFCP – Working Bodies: Chronic Illness in the Canadian Workplace

This is a Call for Chapter Proposals that will examine and/or problematize lived experiences of negotiating Canadian work environments while simultaneously negotiating the consequences of living with chronic illness. This edited collection will focus on highlighting commonalities and differences across diverse experiences; issues/questions that could potentially be addressed include:

  • What role is played by the social, physical, and/or bureaucratic environments both inside and outside the workplace for chronically ill workers?
  • Accommodations – how available are they; how useful are they; what local attitudes shape the experience of getting needs accommodated?
  • Disclosure – how and when are decisions made to disclose chronic illness? How does symptom fluctuation affect disclosure?
  • (In)visibility – how does the visibility or lack of visibility of chronic illness affect the workplace experience? What about fluctuating symptoms?
  • Working bodies – to what extent is the chronically ill body understood as productive/able to contribute towards the well-being of the workplace environment? How is this understanding mediated by fluctuating symptoms or visibility?
  • Intersections – how does chronic illness intersect with other axes of difference (e.g., gender, culture, employment background, etc.) to shape the workplace experience?
  • The changing nature of the workplace/workspace for chronically ill workers – what happens when people work at home?
  • Work-life balance – how does chronic illness affect this relationship?
  • Leaving work because of chronic illness – how or why is the decision made to leave paid work?
  • Experiences during training – as people with chronic illness go through the educational system or are retrained after onset, did perceptions about the meaning of chronic illness influence the extent to which others were willing to make options available?
  • Maintaining presence – what role does chronic illness play when it comes to worker recruitment and/or retention?

The book collection will be edited by Sharon-Dale Stone (Sociology, Lakehead University), Valorie Crooks (Geography, Simon Fraser University) and Michelle Owen (Sociology and Disability Studies, University of Winnipeg). Canadian University Press is the anticipated publisher.

Abstracts of 250 words, along with a 50 word biographical statement for each author and full contact details for the submitting author, are due Friday, October 14, 2011 and we anticipate that completed papers will be due in June 2012.

Please email queries and abstracts to: Sharon-Dale Stone (Department of Sociology, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1); Email: sdstone@lakeheadu.ca; Tel: 807-343-8530.

DRF News, Publications

Recommended Reads: New Publications to Pre-Order this Summer…

The Question of Access by Tanya Titchkosky (Associate Professor and an Associate Department Chair at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada)

Description: Values such as ‘access’ and ‘inclusion’ are unquestioned in the contemporary educational 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.

Disability and Difference in Global Contexts: Enabling a Transformative Body Politic by Nirmala Erevelles (Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Education at the University of Alabama, USA.)

Description: This book explores the possibilities and limitations re-theorizing disability using historical materialism in the interdisciplinary contexts of social theory, cultural studies, social and education policy, feminist ethics, and theories of citizenship.

DRF News, Events and Conferences

Disability Studies: (Re)Imagining Disability

Every Spring and Summer the University of Winnipeg‘s  Global College offers intensive 3 credit hour courses on a range of special topics with visiting scholars from around the world. These Institutes generally run for a two week period with daily lectures offered in class or online. Students are invited to take advantage of the unique opportunity to learn from global experts and this year we are being invited to (re)imagine disability!

Disability Studies: (Re)Imagining Disability will be taught by Professors: Michelle Owen (Disability Studies, University of Winnipeg, Canada) and Nancy Hansen (Disability Studies, University of Manitoba, Canada)

The course is designed to provide students with grounding in disability studies and promote exploration of current topics in the field.  The shift from the bio-medical model of disability to the social model opened the way for disability activism and critical disability studies. Primary importance will be placed on the development of analytical skills and critical thinking.

For more information click here.

DRF News

Details of a Two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship (Canada)

The School of Disability Studies at Toronto’s Ryerson University (Canada) is pleased to announce a two-year post doctoral fellowship to support the scholarly contributions of a disabled woman. The Ethel Louise Armstrong Post-Doctoral Fellowship seeks to bring to Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies a disabled woman who has graduated in the past five (5) years from any discipline that will advance the interdisciplinary scholarship related to Disability Studies.

The incumbent will be based in the School of Disability Studies and will be expected to:

  • enhance and expand the interdisciplinary nature of the School; 
  • seek opportunities for collaborative research and publication, and
  • deliver an annual public lecture on her research.

The fellowship awards a starting salary of $45,000 plus benefits. Starting date: October 1, 2011 though some flexibility may be negotiated.

To apply for this fellowship, you are asked to send (by May 1, 2011)

  1. A letter of application identifying yourself as a disabled woman;
  2. A program of study demonstrating how your research could advance interdisciplinary scholarship related to Disability Studies;
  3. A statement indicating opportunities for collaborative research and publication within your own discipline as well as more broadly within the academic community of Ryerson University;
  4. A writing sample

For further information on Ryerson University, please visit http://www.ryerson.ca/.

For further information on the School of Disability Studies, please visit http://www.ryerson.ca/ds/

For further information on the Fellowship (and to apply), please contact Dr Melanie Panitch (Director School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University): mpanitch@ryerson.ca