Showing posts from March, 2018

Emancipation and violence against people with disabilities in the past

By Paul van Trigt 1 In a recent tweet a psychologist was asking professionals and families to help clients with an intellectual disability to report to the committee of the Dutch government that investigates violence against youth in the postwar period. 2 The person that drew my attention to this tweet was critical: should the psychologist not ask the committee to communicate in a more effective and accessible way? And do people with intellectual disabilities really need help to report? This example shows in a nutshell the problematic position of persons with disabilities in the current investigation of violence against youth with a disability in the postwar Netherlands: the research seems – at least partly - to happen ‘about us, without us’. In this blog, I do not want to evaluate the still ongoing Dutch research, but to share some general considerations that transcend the Dutch case and that are hopefully relevant when it comes to dealing with the growing attention nowadays for vi

Music First or Disability First?

by Stefan Sunandan Honisch Figure 1 Standing in the second row, fourth from left, is Imre Ungar, second prize winner of the 1932 Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland. Source: Many years ago, I was invited to perform in a building which dates from the late nineteenth century. ¹ Since the building lacked an elevator to the recital hall, I was hoisted up the imposing staircase by several volunteers, an experience overly familiar to disabled musicians. I gave two performances that evening: as a disabled musician insisting on my right to participate in the concert, and as a musician with a disability performing for an able-bodied audience ( Sutherland, 2005 ). And yet. My presence in that performance venue was the claiming of a right to be acknowledged on my own terms as a disabled performer, and as more than just the grateful recipient of the kindness of others (being carried up the

Banners of the UK Disabled People’s Movement

By Gill Crawshaw In 2016 I organised a disability arts project in Leeds, UK called Shoddy . The project centred on an exhibition of textile-based work by disabled artists and was a showcase for some fantastic artwork. The exhibition had a few themes, including protesting the government’s “shoddy” treatment of disabled people, with huge cuts to welfare benefits and other public funding that are disproportionately affecting disabled people.  Shoddy is the name for new cloth created from woollen waste and recycled fabric. This original meaning is now largely unknown, and the word has come to mean of inferior quality, shabby, broken-down. Through this project, disabled artists challenged those assumptions that our work, and our-selves, are inferior, broken-down, second-rate or badly made. Recognising the origins of shoddy, the project considered a number of issues and events that linked disabled people to textiles and cloth. As a member of DAN – the disabled people’s direct action n