I managed to capture my lovely late great friend Barbara Stewart (1956-2016) saying ‘…so I do the hand thing…’ on an audio recording during an interview I carried out for my PhD research. There were several people present at this focus group type interview, including Barbara. The purpose of the research was to explore representation and identity issues about disability, from people with direct lived experience of it. An abridged version of my PhD was published as a chapter in an academic text in 2009, titled ‘Disabilities: Insights From Across Fields and Around the World’. The transcript of the extract read as follows; Continue reading “‘…so I do the hand thing…’”
‘Being disabled is fun’ explores language use and truth construction, and how disabled people are powerful actors in the reworking of everyday realities. Drawing on the words of Steven Cole (1963 – 2016), a learning disability day service survivor, this piece uses speech synthesis to present a series of alternative ‘world’ truths. Continue reading “‘Being Disabled is Fun’”
First published In June 2013, in the Write4Children journal, this paper considers e-book accessibility and literacy norms in relation to dyslexia. Beginning with a personal account of e-book accessibility, the technical and corporate challenges of accessible publishing are briefly reflected upon. The production of ‘dyslexia’ is then explored in terms of Craig Collinson’s (2012) ‘lexism’, which relocates the problem of dyslexia as not individually owned, but rather the consequence of expressing diverse reading, writing, speaking and hearing in relation to ‘literacy norms’. This considers how dyslexics defy language conventions and thus are able to facilitate alternative knowledge interpretations of the world. In this way it is suggested that while accessible e-books have the potential to liberate readers in progressive ways, this can only be achieved if every-day and institutional language producers resist the literacy norms through which we are socially ordered to perform speech acts in particular ways. Sally Gardner’s recent book, Maggot Moon, is then considered for the way in which it promotes a positive representation of dyslexia and the leadership the book shows by way of it’s multi format and accessible publishing style. Continue reading “Dyslexic Discourse; E-book accessibility and the resistance of literacy norms on Maggot Moon.”
This chapter published in 2012 considers the discourses of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs). Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu we explore the rise of the disabled people’s movement in recent history, the development of DPOs and their gradual colonisation, moving from a radical political and social movement to pseudo government agents. Using notions of power and resistance from Foucault, and capital, field and habitus from Bourdieu, opportunities and challenges for DPOs are explored. These are critically considered in terms of the implications for the project of impairment management, inclusion, and the preservation of the cultures of disabled bodies, minds and identities.
Full Reference Blackmore, T., & Hodgkins, S.L. Discourses of Disabled Peoples Organisations: Foucault, Bourdieu and Future Perspectives. In: ‘Disability and Social Theory: New developments and directions‘ Editors: Dan Goodley, Bill Hughes and Lennard Davis. Palgrave (London) – 2012. Click here for authors copy.