Inaccessible Access: confronting barriers to epistemic inclusion for people with disabilities in the academy and beyond

Kelly Fagan Robinson (UCL)
Theresia Hofer (University of Bristol)
Mark Carew
Start time:
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel addresses social, material, spatial, communicative & epistemological barriers for people with disabilities in & out of academia. It focuses on: critiques of existing barriers; heterogeneity of disabled life-ways; & highlights the value of disability-centric modes of knowledge production.

Long abstract:

This panel will address the social, material, spatial, communicative, and epistemological barriers that people with disabilities still frequently confront, both inside and outside of the academy. Given the current international focus on global sustainable development, including via the Global Challenges research funding schemes, we seek to foreground the work that has yet to be done on non-normative ways of being in and knowing the 'world', particularly if/when disabled-centred epistemologies are side-lined within equality and alterity discourses. Conceptual understanding is often dictated by pre-existing communication norms and standardised processes of knowledge-making, both reliant on and bound within institutional and procedural precedents. We seek to raise productive lines of flight through critiques that will lead to greater innovation and transformation of inclusive social and knowledge-making practices. We welcome ethnographic and/or theoretical papers on enacted inclusion; epistemic injustice; language regimes and translation, broadly conceived; practical/logistical/financial access (to interpreters, note-takers, technology, inclusive architecture or environments); grassroots movements; or any other proposal focused on the broad diversity of the lived experiences of people with disabilities and the value of heterogeneous disability-centric knowledge production. We particularly encourage paper submissions relating to the Global South and by researchers with disabilities.