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Journal Cover Canadian Journal of Disability Studies
  [17 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1929-9192
   Published by U of Waterloo Homepage  [1 journal]
  • The Accessibility for Manitobans Act: Ambitions and Achievements in
           Antidiscrimination and Citizen Participation

    • Authors: Laverne Jacobs, Britney De Costa, Victoria Cino
      Pages: 1 - 24
      Abstract: The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) was enacted in December, 2013. Manitoba is the second Canadian province to enact accessibility standards legislation. The first province was Ontario, which enacted the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2001, and, later, a more fortified and enforceable Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The AMA presents a strong set of philosophical and social goals. Its philosophical goals mark accessibility as a human right, and aim to improve the health, independence and well-being of persons with disabilities. The AMA’s social goals have the potential to make a positive impact on the development of equality law norms within the context of disability discrimination. Nevertheless, the AMA would be strengthened with a more robust and explicit appreciation of how disability discrimination issues are experienced. The Act should show a greater recognition of the relevance of embodied impairment to individuals with disabilities, and there should be more significant scope for the statute to address intersectionality within disability discrimination. These two challenges replicate the two principal critiques of the social model of disability –the model of disability on which the AMA is based. Finally, for the legislation to be successful, issues of compliance and enforcement that require positive uses of discretion on the part of the civil service should be addressed early on. The findings of this article may be useful for the implementation of the AMA and for the design of future accessibility legislation in Canada and elsewhere.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Disability Discourse in South Asia and Global Disability Governance

    • Authors: Hari KC
      Pages: 25 - 62
      Abstract: Disability studies, although an emerging discipline, has already advanced in the Global North compared to the Global South in that the discourse around disability has shifted its focus from mere survival debates of the persons with disabilities to subtler and more nuanced forms and manifestations of disability existence. Even at the policy level, the “medical model” of disability has been substituted by different versions of the “social model.” The main idea of the “social model” of disability is that human beings are extremely diverse in terms of mental and bodily faculties, functions and structures, and disability indeed results from the “disabling” infrastructures and environment that society has created without taking this human diversity into account. Some versions of the “social model” go so far as to glorify the bodily and mental disabilities, deeming them merely as manifestations of human variation or diversity that offers a unique experience to be valued and celebrated (Roush & Sharby, 2011). Disability in any form is merely a variation of humanity, but the disadvantages this diversity creates are the lived-realities that should not and cannot be left unattended. What I find even more problematic is the idea of glorifying and romanticizing disability. Such a glorified notion of disability, I argue, becomes yet another means to oppressing the persons with disabilities. The “medical model” that some disability studies scholars in the Global North have discarded can prove still relevant to the Global South, and particularly to South Asia. If disability activists and civil society organizations relish only in the rhetoric of disability as a “human rights” issue, and not pay ample attention to the physical and mental realities of the persons with disabilities, the “rights-based” discourse could ultimately be counterproductive. 
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • The Role of Disability Groups in the Development and Implementation of the
           UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    • Authors: Mario Levesque, Brynne Langford
      Pages: 63 - 102
      Abstract: The neoliberal agenda has seen increased engagement of governments and disability organizations in policy making and implementation processes. Yet governments have been slow to address needed changes in disability policy over the last three decades questioning the role of disability organizations who have increasingly turned to rights-based claims on states. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which reaffirms in article 29 the full political participation of persons with disabilities is one such example. Unclear, however, is the role of disability organizations in the UN Convention’s development, ratification and implementation. Were disability organizations active and central actors in this process?  This article investigates this question in relation to three case studies:  Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The story that emerges underscores the centrality of disability organizations in policy development during times of government disinterest or indifference. 
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • More than Sport: Representations of Ability and Gender by the Canadian
           Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) of the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games

    • Authors: Nancy Quinn, Karen Yoshida
      Pages: 103 - 129
      Abstract: Purpose: To examine the CBC’s television coverage of two highlighted Canadian Paralympic athletes who participated at the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games held in Athens, Greece. This analysis focuses on representations of ability and gender and to consider the repercussions of these representations for Paralympians, people living with physical difference, and spectators. Methods: Informed by disability studies theory and Garland-Thomson’s (2000) work, qualitative research methods were used to analyze segments of CBC’s television coverage of two Canadian Paralympians, one male and one female, for dominant and recurring themes. Results: Multiple positive representations of athletes were presented in the data. The dominant theme was the athletic.  Though a positive alternative to negative stereotypes of ability this representation is used solely for the female athlete in this case study. The analysis of the male athlete revealed a more nuanced, complex representation.  Within this analysis, the asexuality of female athletes with a physical difference is perpetuated and male hegemony within sport is reinforced.   Conclusions: Media has a powerful role in the construction of social perceptions of people with physical difference. Based on this analysis, the CBC coverage promoted a more fully human portrayal of the highlighted male Paralympian. However its representation of the female athlete continued to reinforce ableist assumptions regarding ability and the asexuality of women with a disability. Sport journalism is a powerful medium that constructs representations of people with physical difference, however critical analyses of these representations are necessary to reinforce those that are positive and realistic representations of people with physical difference.  
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Somewhere to Live, Something to Do, Someone to Love: Examining Levels and
           Sources of Social Capital Among People with Disabilities

    • Authors: Christina Dimakos, Stuart B. Kamenetsky, Al Condeluci, Jamie Curran, Patti Flaherty, Jeffrey Fromknecht, Marti Howard, Janet Williams
      Pages: 130 - 180
      Abstract: Social capital has emerged as an important ingredient in the maintenance of physical and mental wellbeing.  Although this construct has been studied within the disability community, a comparative analysis of social capital among individuals with disabilities and the general population is missing from the literature. Also sparse is an investigation into the sources from which people with disabilities draw their social capital. Building on the seminal work of political scientist Robert Putnam, a modified version of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey was administered to 218  adults with high support needs living with a broad range of disabilities and currently receiving support from one of six disability organizations across the United States and Canada. Chi-squared analyses were conducted to test for differences between observed frequencies and expected frequencies obtained from general population surveys on six key measures of social capital.  Results indicate that, in most areas, social capital levels among individuals with disabilities were lower when compared with those of general population respondents.  In cases where social capital levels were higher than or comparable to general population respondents, an incongruity between subjective evaluations and quantitative reports, and/or support received from non-normative sources such as parents and professionals are likely explanations. Our findings support continued efforts by rehabilitation professionals to facilitate community integration for people with disabilities through the promotion of friendships and other social relationships in a variety of contexts. 
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Understanding Community

    • Authors: Virginia Cobigo, Lynn Martin, Rawad Mcheimech
      Pages: 181 - 203
      Abstract: The term community is used extensively in the peer reviewed literature, though it is used differently by researchers across various disciplines. A better understanding of community, as an object of study, is needed to help guide policy, supports and services planning, and to build inclusive communities. This paper presents the results of a review of existing definitions published in peer-reviewed papers from various disciplines studying human behaviours and interactions. It also presents the results of focus groups with four persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and members of their communities exploring their own definitions of community. Definitions of community extracted from the peer-reviewed literature were compared to identify common themes. Qualitative analysis revealed 13 themes, some more common than others. Focus groups transcripts were also analyzed. Themes identified in the literature review were also found in the focus groups discussion. However, a novel concept related to the notion of community as being composed of people who are unpaid to be part of this network was identified. Based on these results, a definition of community is derived to help further not only academic research in the area, but also to inform policy and practice aiming to build inclusive communities.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Breaks and Ruptures: Cripping the Reading of Resistance

    • Authors: Maria Karmiris
      Pages: 204 - 222
      Abstract: With the support of the work of scholars in critical disability studies, crip theory, and poststructuralism, my intention in this paper is to explore some narrative fragments of my experiences teaching ‘Leonard’ and the ways we both accepted and resisted each other. Judith Butler’s question: “What does it mean to require what breaks you?”, will be central to investigating our mutual dependency on each other in ways that emphasize the tensions between my ‘authority’ as a teacher and his ‘resistance’ as a student. The first part of this paper will apply the work of critical disability studies scholars such as Erevelles (2011, 2013), Titchkosky (2008) and Gabel et al (2013), as a way to contextualize and orient my relation to Leonard within an educational landscape that reads Leonard as a problem that needed fixing (presumably by me as the teacher). The second part of this paper will seek to ‘crip’ the image of the teacher ‘fixing’ the ‘problem’ child and demonstrate the ways this story is perpetually, always and already disrupted and failing. In applying the work of McRuer (2006) among others, the intent in this section is to explore how resistance in both its passive and active forms is necessary in both the (re)forming and breaking of the distinct yet linked subject positions that Leonard and I inhabit. The final section of this paper will turn to the work of Mitchell et al (2014) and their conceptualization of cripistemologies as desiring failure as resistance to success, alongside a retelling of my persistence in the face of Leonard’s resistance. Ultimately the intention of this paper is to make a contribution to critical disability studies and crip theory by exploring both the limits and potential of the intertwining ‘matrix of relations’ Butler (2015) offers as hopeful possibility.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Review of Tremain, Foucault and the Government of Disability

    • Authors: Clint Jones
      Pages: 223 - 226
      Abstract: This reissue of Shelley Tremain’s vital collection of essays continues to focus on the importance of disability studies and while it has all the weight and significance of the original publication it also extends and builds upon those original essays. Tremain, rightly and accurately, characterizes the anniversary volume, like the original, as “a classic text in…critical disability theory and research”  (9). It is, quite simply, a must read.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Review of Firmston, Stupid

    • Authors: W. John Williamson
      Pages: 227 - 233
      Abstract: Kim Firmton’s (2014) Stupid is ostensibly a high interest low vocabulary (hi-low) novel marketed primarily to young adult readers, and particularly to young adults who experience reading more linguistically complex texts as difficult.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
  • Review of Bérubé, The Secret Life of Stories

    • Authors: Chelsea Jones
      Pages: 234 - 238
      Abstract: Unfolding through this book is a warning against reductive readings of (intellectual) disability alongside an argument for finding fictional modes of intellectual disability as one piece of the larger, urgent projects gripping disability studies that involve negotiating relationships between bodies and minds, and re/imagining humanness.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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