Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Two Reasons

Some of the best things happen just because they should. I have no idea how I came to know about the seminar 'Ableism and the Question of the Human' but when the flier fell into my hands, I immediately blocked off my calender. I was looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. 1) It looked awesome and 2) I seldom get to go to an event and NOT present. I wanted just to listen, to learn and to soak up the atmosphere.

When we got there I knew that I was in the right place. There were people with disabilities everywhere. EVERYWHERE. We all got in and got settled. I think way more people showed up than they expected because the room was packed. Jam packed full. That in and of itself is a wonderful thing. People came from across Ontario, from Ireland and even from Winnipeg.

I got to listen.

And think.

Listen some more.

Think some more.

It was incredible to listen to work from disability scholars who were producing works that were as insightful as they were radical. They took me to ideas that I had never thought before. They gave validation to some of my own thoughts. They held us all in rapt attention.

At break I ended up in conversation with a woman, new to the disability experience, and a woman born with a disability. We had a lively chat. Intimate without being intimate. We were able because we were disabled, to start in the middle of the sentence. Shared experiences will do that. It was freaking awesome.

I left feeling rejuvenated.

I left feeling less alone.

But more importantly, I left realizing that the fight, the daily fight, for inclusion and for access and for respect - is a good fight.

I always knew that.

But sometimes it takes a good reminding.


theknapper said...

What an incredible experience.....can you share names/books/articles with those of us who weren't there???
So glad you got inspired instead of inspiring!

CapriUni said...

Ooh. That sounds fabulous. I would have loved to attend, myself. Just from the title alone (i.e.: "Able-isn and the question of the Human"), it looks like it would have been right up my alley.

I hope you'll share some of the things you heard there in this space.

Princeton Posse said...

"People from across Ontario, from Ireland and even from Winnipeg" OK Dave, that made me laugh. I am glad you had the opportunity to be in the audience rather than on stage.

Psychojenic said...

Would have loved to have been there as well.

Also interested in any materials...

Dave Hingsburger said...

Here are some of the speakers, they didn't have many handouts ... Drs. Dan Goodley from Sheffield University, UK; James Overboe, Waterloo University; Anne McGuire, New College, University Toronto along with Rinaldo Walcott and Tanya Titchkosky from OISE with Lead Discussant Dr Kirsty Liddiard, Post-Doc fellow from Ryerson University.

Anonymous said...

You may all enjoy this short video on a fellow that fills Ableism to the "T".

theknapper said...

I am surprised that there havent been more reactions to this post ie this is fantastic/are they planning on a follow up/ can I be put on on a mailing list etc

Sarah said...

thI wish I had of known about this event as well!

As a past student of Dr. Overboe, I can say that his teachings helped to open myself up to thinking about disability in a different way. He encouraged me to write about my own experiences, my disability and my life.. which has certainly impacted me today. I would have loved to attend this event, but am glad to hear that it had such a positive response.

I would highly recommend this article, if anyone is interested in reading more: