Follow Me On Twitter

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Multidisciplinary Perspectives Available on line

  United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Multidisciplinary Perspectives
       Jukka Kumpuvuori and Martin Scheinin (eds.)
Download VIKE Publication (pdf)
Download VIKE Publication (word)
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Multidisciplinary Perspectives' traces the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The book offers a number of fresh approaches to disability studies and disability rights by exploring the lives of persons with disabilities from multiple perspectives. It provides the reader with an insightful reading experience on the contemporary topics of disability studies and disability rights.
The book can be utilized as introductory material for anyone who wants to get familiar with disability rights. The book can well serve as material for disability rights teaching and autonomous individual studies.

       The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (VIKE) is a joint project of the Finnish Association of People with Mobility Disabilities, the Threshold Association and the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University. VIKE promotes the human rights of persons with disabilities through advocacy, lobbying, awareness-raising and research. Please visit the web site of VIKE at



       Chapter 1: The Special Reaching for the Universal: Why a Special Convention for Persons with Disabilities?
       Jarna Petman

       Chapter 2: UN CRPD and the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities
       Pentti Arajärvi


       Chapter 3: Treating the Different Ones Differently - a Vehicle for Equality for Persons with Disabilities? Implications of Article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
       Jukka Kumpuvuori and Martin Scheinin

       Chapter 4: The Changing Relationship between Disability and Education
       Joel Kivirauma and Matti Laitinen

       Chapter 5: Teachers' and Students' Awareness of and Attitudes towards the Concept of Inclusion Exemplified in Article 24 of the UN CRPD
       Jeyaprathaban Sujathamalini

       Chapter 6: The Right to "Decent Work" of Persons with Disabilities: Article 27 of the Convention and the Case of Uganda
       Edson Ngirabakunzi and Hisayo Katsui


       Chapter 7: Towards Participation of Persons with Disabilities from the South: Implications of Article 32 of the Convention
       Hisayo Katsui

       Chapter 8: Barriers to the Inclusion of Disabled People in Disability Policy-Making in Seven African Countries
       Raymond Lang and Ambrose Murangira


       Chapter 9: Realizing the Right to Adequate Food for People with Disabilities in Uganda
       Emmanuel K. Kanyemibwa

       Chapter 10: Achieving Human Security through Political Advocacy: Linking Ugandan and Finnish DPO Advocacy Work to Article 14 of the UN CRPD
       Jukka Kumpuvuori and Hisayo Katsui

       Chapter 11: Participatory Justice, the UN Disability Human Rights Convention, and the Right to Participate in Sport, Recreation, and Play
       Janet E. Lord and Michael Ashley Stein

       Chapter 12: Mental Health Law and Human Rights: Evolution, Challenges and the Promise of the New Convention
       Michael Perlin and Éva Szeli
       Chapter 13: Persons with Deafblindness in Light of International Agreements
       Riku Virtanen

       Chapter 14: From Devil's Seed to Disabled God - Disability and the Human Rights Approach on the Bible Studies and Practices of Christian Communities
       Amu Urhonen

       Chapter 15: Restrictions of Sexual and Reproductive Rights - The Case of Uzbeki Women with Disabilities
       Feruza Zagirtdinova

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dissertation: The Image of ldiocy in Nineteenth-Century England: A History of Cultural Representations of Intellectual Disability

I've just downloaded this dissertation from the National Library of Canada:

The Image of ldiocy in Nineteenth-Century England: A History of Cultural Representations of Intellectual Disability.  By Patrick McDonagh


Patrick McDonagh
Concordia University, 1998
Over the nineteenth century, the popular and the scientific understanding of
idiocy changed in conjunction with shifts in social concerns and the emergence
of new discourses. An examination of representations of idiocy over the century
foregrounds the manner in which the condition was given shape and meaning.
The dissertation traces the history of the idea of intellectual disability in England
from the start of the nineteenth century up to the initial articulation of eugenics,
and argues that the idea of intellectual disability acquired new significance in
the Victorian era, eventually stabilizing somewhat with the notion of the idiot as
degenerate. Political, gender, economic, religious, literary and scientific
discourses interact to weave a notion of what intellectual disability means and
how it should be interpreted. This dissertation examines the ways that idiocy is
constructed by these discourses, and to what ideological purpose, by reading
critically texts involved in the construction of the notion. These texts include
Wordsworth's The Idiot Boy," Dickens' Barnaby Rudge, Scott's Waverlev, and
Gaskell's "Half a Life-time Ago," among other literary works, as well as medical,
scientific and sociological writings. The dissertation is organized thematically
and, for the most part, chronologically to sketch out a cultural history of the idea
of idiocy, with an emphasis on delineating the factors that shaped perceptions
(the idiot as holy fool, as innocent, or as degenerate), as well as on the
ideological significance of the notion of idiocy. Throughout the dissertation,
special emphasis is placed on the relation of intellectual disability to gender
notions, and the varying interpretations of the significance of intellectual
disability when associated with men or women.

(This dissertation is 267 pages and 17MB, and it downloaded extremely slowly)

Download link (National Library of Canada):

As per the attached screenshot, select "electronic theses",  perform an ISBN search for 0612396282 and  then press "submit."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Singer Prince and Epilepsy

Singer Prince & Epilepsy:

From Prince's song "The Sacrifice of Victor":

I was born on a bloodstained table
Cord wrapped around my neck
Epileptic 'til the age of 7
I was sure heaven marked the deck.

Just posted This on the DS-HUM Listserv

I am posting this in regard to the recent discussion on writers, poets, and playwrights with cerebral palsy, and its representation.

Russia, freaks and foreigners: three performance texts

 By James MacDonald

Russia, Freaks & Foreigners
is a collection of three thematically linked plays set against the backdrop of a fractured, post-Soviet Russian society. Written by acclaimed playwright James MacDonald, who is cerebral palsied, these performance texts critique accepted notions of normality within authority, offering various models of difference – physical, cultural and moral – and their stories of dislocation. Their themes, contextualized here by companion essays, expand the boundaries of British drama and connect to the comic grotesque tradition by giving the 'abnormal' a broad appeal. To date, MacDonald is one of the few severely disabled playwrights to have their work staged and he deals with issues rarely covered in drama. Consequently, Russia, Freaks & Foreigners is a daring portrayal of disability from the inside.

Google Books preview:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Op-Ed Piece, National Post (Toronto), November 4, 2009

Here's an op-ed piece that I wrote for the National Post (Toronto) at the height of the H1N1 pandemic in 2009:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is Disability Studies Marxist?

I created My Disability Studies Blackboard because it was difficult to properly discuss Disability Studies in posts limited to 140 characters on Twitter.  I'll still be posting on Twitter, but lengthier posts or "discussions" will be linked to this blog. (You can follow me on Twitter at:!/Hephaestus7)

I once asked Professor Lennard Davis, a leading authority, whether Disability Studies was Marxist.  He replied: "I think it would be a too blanket a statement to say that Disability Studies was marxist or neo-marxist. The UK version of DS is definitely marxist in nature: their idea of the social model is marxist.  See Len Barton, Mike Oliver, Colin Barnes for work that indicates this. In the US the marxist thread isn't there.  DS in the US is a liberal kind of study mostly taking its cue from the civil rights movement and cultural studies."  

I think it's important to be mindful of his reply when reading the articles below:

All the best,


P.S. I considered naming this blog "Big Tweets" but I didn't want to ruffle Twitter's feathers.