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Curtin Critical Disability Studies Network

The objectives of the Network are to:

  • Develop relationships between researchers interested in critical disability studies
  • Incubate new ideas and research
  • Facilitate successful research collaborations and grant applications
  • Raise awareness about critical disability studies within Curtin University
  • Provide a space for interdisciplinary and cross Faculty conversations and advocacy
  • Host events, seminars and regular meetings
  • Provide support for existing and potential HDRs and ECRs working in related fields.

Convenor: Katie Ellis


Past events

Conference: Disability, Media, and Human Rights: Policy, Practice, Performance

19th 20th April 2018

Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities affirms that the global disability community’s access to the media is a human right, as well as the way public attitudes towards people with disability are shaped. However, for people with disability, access to the media can be fraught with  technological road-blocks, is punctuated by a lack of functional and reflexive representations, and perpetuates clichés about the creativity and consciousness of people with disability.

This conference is an investigation of three nodes of intersection between disability and the media. We seek submissions for 20-minute individual papers, 45-minute panel presentations, creative artefacts, sonic sessions, interactive Q&A, workshops, seminars, or short screenings with discussion that can be situated thematically within these three nodes:

  • Policy: Human rights, advocacy and access regarding media.
  • Practice: Making media as a person with a disability. Making media for people with disabilities.
  • Performance: Representations of disability in the media.

We want to explore how government, policy makers and advocacy groups can ensure equitable and just access for people with disabilities to the media landscape in all its avenues. We want to discuss this access as a human right. We want you to share your experiences as a media maker who may have a disability or who may make media with a disability consciousness. We want you to discuss the protocols and processes of how you create your art, the difficulties and triumphs of your experiences and how you think media can be a site for engagement with disability issues (or not). We want considered explorations of representations of people with disability in the media that critique the tragic/inspirational figure binary. Most of all, we are open to radical, disobedient, transgressive, and critical ways of exploring disability, the media and human rights.

Keynote speakers:

Beth Haller – Author, Representing Disability in an Ableist World

Katie Ellis – Curtin University, Author, Disability Media Work: Opportunities and Obstacles

Robyn Lambert – YouTube Celebrity

Angel Dixon – Actor

Shawn Burns – University of Wollongong

This conference was sponsored by Curtin University, the Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment, and the Curtin Centre for Human Rights Education.

Curtin Critical Disability Studies Research Network launch, 29 February 2016

The Curtin Critical Disability Studies Research Network (CCDSN) was officially launched on 29 February 2016 with a keynote presentation on Re-imagining Australia by Graeme Innes AM, LLB, FAICD, Chair of the Attitude Foundation and former Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner. Graeme gave an inspiring talk about the changes in the lives of people with disabilities over the past ten years and his vision for the future.

Read the full news about this event here.