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Finding (the Right) Space in Disability Studies
Laura Hershey, "From Poster Child to Protester"
It is an uncomfortable truth, in social work, in government activity, and in charitable endeavors, that actions which are intended to help a certain group of people may actually harm them.
Jillian Weise, "The Dawn of the Tryborg"
The strategic move where one group says, “I shall speak for them because they do not exist / do not live here / do not have thoughts” is common of the tryborg. When they are not speaking for us, they may take a detour into animal studies, a field where they can rest assured that their subjects remain silent.
If our protest did nothing else, it allowed some of us the opportunity to say, “No, this is not our reality. If you want to know what our lives are like, listen to us. If you want to know what we need, ask us. If you truly want to help us, let us tell you how."
Denise M. Nepveux, “Activism,” Keywords for Disability Studies
But although some scholars and activists include advocacy by parents and other nondisabled allies under the category of disability activism, leadership by disabled people in activism is crucial to collective autonomy.
Julie Avril Minich, "Enabling Whom? Critical Disability Studies Now"
Where do we want the field to go? How might we foment ethical relationship between disability scholarship, disability activism, and communities of disabled people? In other words, what do we want our work to do?
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