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VisAbility: Making disability visible through artistic discourses

Sarah Kanake, Anna Hickey-Moody, Bree Hadley, Clark Crystal, Tony McCaffrey, Donna McDonald, Katie Ellis, Michael Whelan, Dalilah A. Reuben-Shemia, Bridget Backhaus, Tim Prenzler, Ariella Van Luyn, Martin (Woody) Robinson, Claire Rosslyn Wilson, Omid, Roger Vickery, Ron Heard, Alys Jackson, Laura Kenny, Anne Collins, Pym Schaare, BN Oakman, PS Cottier.

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Discussions of intellectual disability are often found in medical journals, published biography/memoirs, and, of course, disability research, but outside the realm of medicine, personal reminiscence and disability theory, intellectual disability often struggles for social, historical and cultural representation. It struggles for visibility. In 1995 in her research paper 'Culture and Disability', historian Karen Hirsch writes: ‘Few historians have included disability issues as an integral part of their thinking and writing’ (1995: 27). In Enforcing Normalcy, also published in 1995, Lennard Davis writes: There is a strange and really unaccountable silence when the issue of disability is raised (or, more to the point, never raised). The concept of disability has been relegated to a sideshow, a freak show at that, far away from the academic midway of progressive ideas and concerns (1995: 4).


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