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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Disabled always isolated (Letter to the National Post newspaper)

Re: Pandemic benefits and support

I am a Lyme disease patient who's been disabled due to the damage from this illness, especially because it took two years to be diagnosed.

My monthly gross earnings from CPP [Canada Pension Plan] is barely over $1,000, which is essentially half of the emergency response benefit. So many Canadians on disability struggle to make ends meet on such a limited income, and we also have to deal with chronic health issues, which often come with increased medical expenses. For the sake of space I won't touch on the mental-health aspects of living with chronic illness, which makes all of this harder.

Canadians living at home with disabilities are also isolated on a regular basis. When life gets back to normal for most people, we will be forgotten. We will still be at home, where we have always been.

Prior to the pandemic I reached out to my MP and MPP [Legislative Assembly of Ontario] about chronic illness and Lyme disease in our area and neither of them have even bothered to respond. I can't begin to describe how disheartening this is.

Aside from the further fear for our health and well-being that the coronavirus has inflicted among everyone, many people living with chronic illness have a higher risk of susceptibility to the virus.

It makes me incredibly sad to speak/write out loud that our disabled lives probably won't change. Things will go back to normal for everyone else and we will still be struggling: physically, emotionally, mentally and financially.

It is so upsetting to watch our prime minister come on TV every day and say "we hear you, we know you're scared. We are here for you and we're going to help you" and feel like he is talking to every Canadian except those of us at home, on disability, unable to work.

Having the government offer twice as much money—in the form of the emergency response benefit—to other Canadians, essentially makes me feel unimportant, undignified, unworthy and even more isolated.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Eavan Boland on Faith

“I remember driving down the Dublin roads, where the laburnum and lilac filled the verges with yellow and violet, and listening to my car radio. Something seemed to have happened that was not faith, and could not be called religion; that was short of hysteria and yet by no means rational,” wrote Eavan Boland in her January 12th, 1995 essay When the Sprit Moves. 

Boland described the summer of 1985, when a statue of the Virgin Mary appeared to move, and how an outpouring of belief challenged her preconceived notions of intellect. 
Eavan Boland died this week at age 75, a great loss to the world of poetry and letters. We’ll be sharing her essay throughout the month of May and we hope you will too.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies:

Volume 14, Issue 1

Special Issue: Disability and the Emotions

JLCDS is available from Liverpool University Press, online and in print, to institutional and individual subscribers; it is also part of the Project MUSE collection to which the links below point. 


Introduction: Disability and the Emotions
David Bolt

Chronic Pain as Emotion
Emma Sheppard

Reconsidering the Role of Pity in Oscar Wilde's "The Star-Child"
Chris Foss

Embracing Disorientation in the Disability Studies Classroom
Ryan C. Parrey

Reflections on the Boom of Graphic Pathography: The Effects and Affects of Narrating Disability and Illness in Comics
Gesine Wegner

Crip Feelings/Feeling Crip
Brady James Forrest

Demanding Money with Menaces: Fear and Loathing in the Archipelago of Confinement
Owen Barden

Comment from the Field

Disability and the Emotions, Seminar Series, Phase One, Centre for Culture and Disability Studies
Holly Lightburn

Disability and the Emotions, Seminar Series, Phase Two, Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University
Amy Redhead

Book Reviews

Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe by Julia Miele Rodas (review)
Rachael Nebraska Lynch

Cultural Disability Studies in Education: Interdisciplinary Navigations of the Normative Divide by David Bolt (review)
Lauren Beard

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The role of risk in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability

Ms Sharon Smith, University of Birmingham

Date: 5 February 2020
Time: 2.00–3.30pm
Place: EDEN Arbour room, Liverpool Hope University, UK

Since the 1990s, there has been an increased focus within education on keeping pupils safe, and anticipating risks of problems, such as negative outcomes or future underachievement, resulting in the ‘at risk’ label being applied to some students, who then require greater observation and protection. Students with disabilities are often seen as more vulnerable than the general school population, subject to even greater monitoring and risk management than their peers. This seminar argues that the move within education towards risk management is problematic as students’ futures are calculated and managed and they are exposed to disciplinary power over their future outcomes. Yet the future of the other is not something that should be comprehended in the present, nor should there be any attempt to contain it. The future of others is not ours to control and should remain a mystery. This therefore requires the welcoming, rather than management, of risk in education.

Sharon Smith is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, where she is researching the subjectivity of parents of children labelled with Special Educational Needs/Disability (SEND) and the impact of this subjectivity on inclusion.

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the CCDS in collaboration with Carleton University’s Disability Research Group, Canada:
•       27.02.19 Reading Down syndrome: past, present, future?, Helen Davies, Hope.
•       27.03.19 Art Education and Disability Futurity: Subjects on the Edge, Claire Penketh, Hope.
•       05.06.19 Disabled people and subjugated knowledges: new understandings and strategies developed by people living with chronic conditions, Ana BĂȘ, Hope.
•       20.11.19 Living as if we already know what ‘human’ will be: exploring the anticipated futures of visual/deaf humanity and how they shape the present, Mike Gulliver, Hope.
•       22.01.20 Representations of Disability Experience in Live Theatre, seeley quest, Carleton.
•       05.02.20 The role of risk in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability, Sharon Smith, Hope.
•       18.03.20 Exploring Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Time: Life, death, and futurity in rehabilitation, Thomas Abrams, Carleton.
•       08.04.20 Spectral Risk and the Future of Disability, Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire, Carleton.
•       22.06.20 Disability Histories and Futures of the Nation, Gildas Bregain, Beth Robertson, and Paul van Trigt, Carleton.