Living with Disability Research Centre Online Seminar

Event status:

Event page for LiDs Online Seminar on September 13, 2023.

Wednesday 13 September 2023 03:00 pm until Wednesday 13 September 2023 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
James Pilbrow
Presented by:
Living with Disability Research Centre
Type of Event:
Public Lecture; Seminar/Workshop/Training

Two presentations about supporting participation of people with intellectual disabilities in community and their own lives

Our September online seminar features two social scientists whose  research focuses on participation of people with intellectual disabilities.

Urban geographer Associate Professor Ilan Wiesel from the University of Melbourne will present on the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities in community libraries.

LiDs doctoral candidate Charity Sims-Jenkins will present on her PhD research, on the influence of client stories on the way disability staff support choice and control for people with intellectual disabilities.

Libraries as places of belonging and exclusion for people with intellectual disabilities
Associate Professor Ilan Wiesel, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, at the University of Melbourne

Libraries are often imagined as places in which to borrow books or study quietly, and where strict behaviour norms are closely policed. However, in recent years, Australian public libraries have transformed into unique places, that some have described as inclusive ‘community living rooms’.

This talk will explore whether and how libraries serve as spaces of belonging for people with intellectual disabilities. Drawing on critical geographical scholarship on 'place', and presenting new empirical data from a recently completed ARC Discover project on disability inclusive cities, the presenter will explore how different elements of the public library as a place – its materialities, norms, atmospheres, attachments, institutions and encounters – can reproduce societal structures of ableism and exclusion, but also make space for momentary or lasting belonging and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

The influence of stories on disability staff’s support for choice and control
Charity Sims-Jenkins, doctoral candidate with the Living with Disability Research Centre

Adults with intellectual disabilities want to have choice and control over their lives, but they report not always being supported with this in the way they want. Disability support staff report wanting to support choice in a neutral and unbiased way amid competing constraints.

This PhD study asks: What changes for disability support staff who listen to stories, told by adults with intellectual disabilities, about how it feels to be unsupported with choice and control?

The study adopts a novel way of looking at the role of staff’s perceptions in how they prioritise and intend to support choice and control for adults with intellectual disabilities. Drawing from the stereotype content model, staff’s warm and positive perceptions are proposed as both a partial cause of failures to support choice (benevolent discrimination), and also part of a possible solution. If staff hear about the harmful effects of poorer support, would their positive perceptions direct them via empathy and perspective-taking into understanding better support?

This presentation will share the outline and samples from a workshop based on stories from adults with intellectual disabilities feeling unsupported with choice and control, and the results from interviews with disability support staff (and students) before and after attending it.

Contact to register.



5 Oct 2023 4:09 am

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