Engaging Disability 2007, which ran from March 2007 until December 2007, was a disability institute that gathered community members, community organizations, government employees, students and university faculty to think about, discuss, learn and re-vision the meaning of disability.
Engaging Disability 2007 brought together individuals active in political, cultural, social, scholarly and artistic realms of disability to share their thoughts on issues of disability policy, the social construction of disability, contested illness, in/visibility of disability, unapparent disabilities, chronic disabling conditions, disease-based impairment, gendered aspects of disability, participatory methods in disability research, discourse and policy analysis.
International, national and provincial initiatives highlight the current political presence of disability. The August 2006 UN treaty on the rights of individuals with disabilities, the major review of mental health policy, Out of the Shadows at Last: Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada, by a Senate Committee chaired by Michael Kirby published in May 2006, and the current BC government’s formulation of a 10-year strategy on disability, are all examples of how disability is a contemporary issue in the public arena. Engaging Disability 2007 was a forum for exploring, broadening and re-conceptualizing dominant understandings of disability by providing opportunities for participants to engage with political, cultural, social, scholarly and artistic interpretations of disability.
After Engaging Disability 2007's opening panel session on March 12th, 2007, events included a seven-week lecture series, a two-week Summer Institute, a film/performance encounters series, a community book club, an art encounters series, and a series of Fall disability workshops.
This website will be available as a resource for the duration of 2008. Please feel free to explore it.