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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

UK Workshop on Disability and Austerity THIS FRIDAY

Dear all,

There are still some places available at the following workshop at the University of Birmingham, UK, and some funding available to support travel expenses. To register for the workshop, or for further information, please contact Dr Qulsom Fazil:

University of Birmingham, UK
9.30-4pm, Friday 21 September 2012

The impact of the economic downturn and subsequent government policies related to these austere times have been felt by the whole of the UK, but particularly by disabled people. It is well documented that the extra costs of disability are substantial and that disability increases the risk of poverty, while poverty creates the conditions for increased risk of disability. In the UK, the Disability Living Allowance has been cut; statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations are forced to tighten their belts; the NHS and public sector more generally are facing radical transformation; and reforms to Welfare and Higher Education will also affect disabled people disproportionately. Meanwhile, the media's reporting of disability issues has become increasingly hostile, more regularly conflating disabled people with 'benefit cheats' and 'scroungers'.

This workshop will bring together academics, disability activists, arts practitioners and representatives of public and voluntary sector organisations to discuss the urgent, multiple and complex effects of austerity, with a view to establishing connections and networks and determining fruitful directions for further academic research into disability and the austerity regime. Participants are invited, if they wish, to give a short talk (10 minute max) outlining their concerns, ideas, and/or research about any aspect of disability and austerity, and much of the day will be given to following up these ideas in open discussion.

Topics for discussion may include: disabled people's health and wellbeing; challenges to voluntary sector organizations; disability discourse, rhetoric, and representation; disability in Higher Education; the changing nature of discrimination in the 21st century; and the relationship between disability research and activism.

Organisers: Dr Qulsom Fazil ( and Dr Clare Barker (

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