Ableism and disability

Exhausted? Slow Down and Listen (to Disabled Wisdom)

Guest blog by Erika Katzman, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.), and Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King’s University College at Western University.

When I met Gini* five years ago, I was surprised to learn that she doesn’t get any extra break time at work. The context of our meeting was that she hired me to give her a hand with everyday physical tasks: things like dressing, using the toilet, and getting in and out of bed. At home, Gini’s personal support needs are met by a publicly funded attendant care service. When Gini travels, however, she pays out of pocket for supports that can travel with her.

Because I help Gini with toileting, I know that it takes her at least 15 minutes to execute a simple pee break. When I am at work, my relatively able body can...

Read more »

Accessibility on the Fringes in a Time of Crisis

Guest blog by James Deaville, professor and musicologist at Carleton University.

Post-secondary institutions have responded with alacrity to the needs of undergraduate students, whose lives and studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students whose research relies upon lab work, ethnography or archival study have found themselves more severely disadvantaged by the novel coronavirus’ impacts on access to these vital resources (Zahneis 2020). Faculty and staff have experienced significant disruptions of their own, as entry to campus offices is prohibited and the distinction between home and work further erodes. Some of us have the extra charge of home-schooling children while teaching, administering and—as time and energy permit—engaging in research activities. Add to that the veritable...

Read more »

The value of connection: work-from-home reflections on World Telecommunication and Internet Society day

Guest blog by Fenwick McKelvey, Associate Professor in Information and Communication Technology Policy in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University.

Here in Montreal, the pandemic coincided with an unusually cold spring, so my family has been spending our days indoors, connected to the outside world through the Internet. As someone who studies how we measure the Internet, I have been thinking about the value of my connection. On World Telecommunications Day, I would like to share my reflections on the relationship between how we measure the Internet and how we judge its effectiveness during a pandemic.

Like the weather, there are lots of ways to describe Internet. It. Instead of temperature, UV index or that...

Read more »

In the Middle. . . Somewhat Dislocated

Guest Blog by Dr. Henry Daniel, Professor of Dance, Performance Studies and New Media Technologies, School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

This blog draws on my performance "In the Middle...Somewhat Dislocated" from the recent BCSA Conference (Black Canadian Studies Association) at Congress 2019 at The University of British Columbia. It also touches on some of the ideas presented in my keynote paper “Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance” given at the...

Read more »

SSH News: Congress 2014 blog series, 2015 Federal budget, Consultations on open access and the ASPP

The Federation’s June Communiqué was released yesterday. The following are some of the highlights from this month and last.

This year, we hired a fantastic group of writers to contribute to our 2014 Congress blog series. They attended association meetings, community programs, and special events, and provided us with some engaging and insightful chronicles of Congress. With a range of personal interests, the team managed to highlight research from across disciplines. The bloggers shared their experiences attending events like Tim Cook's Big Thinking lecture on the culture of death among Canadian soldiers in WWI, film night...

Read more »

Disability in the Canadian Academy

James Deaville, Carleton University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

According to the revised version of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2005 (originally drafted in 2001),

“disability” means,

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,


Read more »

News from the social sciences and humanities: Student debt, MOOCs and the Paralympics

Milena Stanoeva Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Rob Carrick wrote an op-ed for the Globe and Mail this week arguing that rising student debt needs to be better addressed by parents, the government and the education system. In it, he argues that students should be encouraged to pursue trades and college degrees. Today, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada responded through a letter-to-the-editor, pointing out that one in four students graduate debt-free and that university graduates still out-earn...

Read more »

Differently Abled: The Brave New World of Techno/Cyborg Sports and Culture

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In my opinion, what makes disability studies such a unique discipline is its emphasis on storytelling and the experience of disability. As one of the few academic disciplines which values the intimate personal stories of individuals and the collective (much like Women’s Studies and History to name a few), disability studies can inform academic work in an enriched way that theory alone cannot.

This unique aspect of disability studies was beautifully illustrated by Roxanne Mykitiuk and Eliza Chandler in their digital storytelling project, which they presented during the first of two panels on equity and disability that took place at Congress 2012. Accompanied by presentations from Jennifer Rowsell and...

Read more »

Rethinking Creativity and Innovation from a Disability Studies Perspective

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Disability is often seen as a condition that requires a solution. Growing up with a sibling living with a physical disability, I can clearly recall the long rides to numerous doctors’ appointments. For years, I watched my younger sister get prodded, poked, examined, photographed, and scanned by various medical professionals.

In the second of two equity panels on disability and culture, Tanya Titchkosky, Michael J. Prince, and Rod Michalko explored how disability studies challenges the common conception of what it means to be human. Collectively, the three presentations deconstructed ableism as a cultural concept, and challenged the audience to re-vision their understanding of ability.


Read more »

The Note-taker: Innovative assistive technology enables blind scholars to take notes

Michael J. Astrauskas, Arizona State University
Guest contributor

This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on diversity, creativity and innovation / diversité, innovation et créativité

To see a whiteboard at the front of the class, students with severe visual impairment typically use a monocular for far-sight viewing. This provides a greatly magnified but a very narrow field of view of the board. In addition to the monocular, they might need to use their glasses for note-taking (i.e. near-sight viewing). As these students take notes in class, they must repeatedly switch back and forth between the whiteboard and their notes,...

Read more »