series event

​​Disability history and policy​

​​Join us to mark Disability History Month. This seminar will invite us to think about two different aspects of the history of disability: global disability policy since the 1970s, and how to provide redress for past injustices experienced by people with disabilities.

UK Disability History Month

​​Paul van Trigt will discuss the role of the ‘family’ or ‘community’ in global disability policies since the 1970s, in relation to shifting ideas of who is responsible for disabled persons’ health. The (supposed) dependence of disabled persons on others, be it family members or state professionals, offers a useful lens to reveal the contradictory and changing moral values that underlie global health policies. Van Trigt argues that ‘community health’ became in the 1990s a neoliberal tool to move the responsibility of states for the health of their citizens to families.

​Linda Steele will examine the potential of sites of conscience practices in redressing injustices associated with the institutionalisation of disabled people. Many disabled people who were institutionalised have been unable to obtain public recognition and justice through conventional legal remedies: sites of conscience practices with former disability institutions may offer one alternative route towards redress. How might sites of conscience practices with former disability institutions be part of how we collectively recognise and ‘set right’ the harms and injustices of health policy?​ 


​​Linda Steele, Associate Professor of law, University of Technology Sydney

​Paul van Trigt, Lecturer in Social History, Leiden University

Event notices

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Free and open to all. No registration required.


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