DAWN Ontario: DisAbled Women's Network Ontario

  Bibliography on Women with DisAbilities

 

 

Anyone looking for materials about the lives and experiences of women with disabilities a few years back would have found little to read. Today there is a growing body of literature addressing different aspects of the lives of women and girls with disabilities. At the same time, only a small proportion of this is inclusive of women with developmental disabilities.

These writings do not fall into one field of study; instead, they come from a wide range of disciplines and are often interdisciplinary in nature. As a result these materials are scattered across many fields of study which makes it hard to gain an overview of what already exists and even harder to know where to look for materials.

Because of how hard it is to find writings about women with disabilities one frequently hears statements like, "There is nothing written about women with disabilities." Although much remains to be learned about women and girls with disabilities, this selected bibliography shows that there already exists a substantial body of literature on the topic.

This section is not a comprehensive listing of the literature on women with disabilities. Instead we have selected writings that reflect the diversity found within this literature. We hope this section will serve as a useful starting point for people who are looking for materials on women with disabilities.



TITLE: The new our bodies, ourselves: A book by and for women

AUTHOR: The Boston's Women's Health Book Collective

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1984

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster Building
Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
When Our bodies, ourselves was first published in 1969 there was practically no information easily available about women's health issues. The first publication of this book encouraged many women to explore the health issues most important to them. This new edition of Our bodies, ourselves has been considerably expanded from previous editions of the book. One of the additions is the inclusion of women who have disabilities and a disability perspective is presented in most chapters. Our bodies, ourselves has finally become a book on women's health issues for all women. Hopefully this book will serve as a model as to how other generic books on women's health, education, sexual abuse, and so on, can include disability issues as an integral part of the topic. Although the authors should be praised for including women with disabilities it should also be mentioned that some issues of importance to women with disabilities get much less attention than needed. Examples of this are the problems some disabilities can cause during pregnancy and childbirth.


TITLE: With the power of each breath: A disabled women's anthology

AUTHORS: Browne, S. E., Connors, D., & Stern, N. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1985

Cleis Press, A Women's Publishing Company
P.O. Box 8933
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

The quality of writing of this collection of essays, poetry, interviews, and first-person account is uneven and the editors' articulate and informative introductions sometimes outshine the collected pieces. All the women who contributed to the book have a disability. Most of the book consists of first person accounts of being a female and having a disability, but a few conceptual pieces are also included. The stated purpose of the book is to "bridge the gap that separates women with disabilities from one another and from the non-disabled world" (p. 10) and the book reflects these women's resistance against the silencing of women with disabilities.

The editors set out with a strong political commitment to produce an anthology representative of all women with disabilities. Although that proved to be impossible, the book addresses a broad spectrum of disability issues and the contributors cross the lines of race, age, class, sexual orientation, geographical location and type of disabilities. The book also includes interviews with women who are labeled mentally retarded, a group which often has been excluded in the literature on women with disabilities. This book is born out of a group of women with disabilities who also are feminists and reflects their experiences of discrimination because of their disabilities in addition to the traditional sexism. The majority of the pieces in this book are angry and speak out with bitterness regarding the isolation, despair and powerlessness women with disabilities face in their lives. Some of the pieces are both inspiring and very moving.


TITLE: Women and disability: The double handicap

AUTHORS: Deegan, M. J., & Brooks, N. A. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1985

Transaction Books
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
This book is the first major collection of scholarly writing about women who have disabilities and contains 11 chapters dealing with various aspects of the lives of women with disabilities. The major factors that unify this collection are a central focus on the double minority status of women with disabilities, the lack of information available about their lives and experiences, and the need to change the conditions that perpetuate the structural inequality women with disabilities experience.

Two of the chapters, Chapter 2, by Fine and Asch, "Disabled Women: Sexism without the Pedestal," and Chapter 4, by Deegan, "Multiple Minority Groups: A Case Study of Physically Disabled Women," provide a conceptualization of women with disabilities that has had a significant impact on other people's thinking and writing about women with disabilities. In her chapter, Deegan points out the multiple discrimination against women with disabilities; as a woman and as a person with a disability. Deegan's discussion of the effects of the multiple minority status of women with disabilities is useful in examining structural discrimination in employment, education and other areas. Fine and Asch's conceptualization of disabled women as "roleless" has already gained much note in subsequent literature. The remaining sections focus on specific types of disabilities and their consequences for women or specific problem areas, such as mothering and self-help. Other issues covered are the economic effects of a multiple minority status and the negative consequences of present policies on the lives of women with disabilities. The book is a beginning step in unraveling the interaction between more than one minority status being held concomitantly by an individual and a group. While the quality of the articles is not uniform, they all provide insights into the problems and experiences of these women and add immeasurably to the conceptual and theoretical understanding of the lives of women with physical disabilities. One shortcoming of the book is that it only deals with women who have physical disabilities. Another is that rather than examining class and race issues, it is dominated by white middle class views and values.



TITLE: Ourselves growing older

AUTHORS: Doress, P. B., & Siegal, D. L.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1987

(In conjunction with the Midlife and Older Women's Book Project and The Boston's Women's Health Book Collective.)

Simon and Schuster
Simon & Schuster Building
Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Like its predecessor, Our bodies, ourselves, this book builds upon the tradition of self-help and focuses on prevention and changes to create healthier life-styles. It is aimed at promoting self-acceptance of older and middle aged women by themselves and stresses the empowerment of midlife and older women in confronting the challenges of growing older. This is an informative book which covers a wide range of topics, including a variety of physical and mental ailments common to middle age and older women. Included throughout the text are practical tips for dealing with specific physical and mental problems. A resource guide in the back of the book lists articles of interest, a guide to community services and support groups. A good resource book.


TITLE: Across borders: Women with disabilities working together

AUTHORS: Driedger, D., Feika, I., & Batres, E. G. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1996

Gynergy Books
P.O. Box 2023
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N7
CANADA
This edited book with an international perspective highlights the experiences of women with disabilities working together. Each chapter is written by disabled women leaders. The chapters explore how women with primarily physical disabilities join together to demand participation in society and document their experiences of working together and of forming disabled women's self help groups. Across borders begins with a description of the growth of the disability movement worldwide and discusses the issues facing women with disabilities in the areas of employment, education, attitudes, and violence. The essays are grouped by region, and also include poetry and photographs.



TITLE: Imprinting our image: An international anthology by women with disabilities

AUTHORS: Driedger, D., & Gary, S. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1992

Gynergy Books
P.O. Box 2023
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N7
CANADA
The editors compiled articles by women with disabilities from 17 countries. They stress the importance of understanding disability not as an inherent tragedy but as a social problem created by a lack or sensitivity and awareness to the experiences of women with disabilities and to the physical, social, and psychological barriers that occur as a result of this insensitivity. The book is organized around its central principle that women with disabilities are citizens with the means to contribute to their societies. It is divided into five sections. They include: Our Image in the Family, Our Image in the Community, Imprinting Our Image on the World, In Spite of the World, and Dealing with the World.



TITLE: Women with disabilities: Essays in psychology, culture and politics

AUTHORS: Fine, M., & Asch, A. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1988

Temple University Press
Philadelphia, PA 19122
This is the a comprehensive edited collection of scholarly writing about women with disabilities. Fine and Asch, the editors of this volume, have, for a number of years, been involved in examining what it means to be a woman with a disability in today's society. Their early conceptualization of the problems facing women with disabilities has influenced and informed other people's thinking. Now these two women have collected the work of 22 writers and thinkers to explore the psychological, cultural and political dilemmas currently faced by approximately 18 or 19 million women with disabilities in America. The volume covers a wide range of issues, reviews the most recent thinking on this subject and raises provocative new areas for future exploration.

The 13 essays in the volume are loosely organized in three categories; "Bodies and Images," "Disabled Women in Relationships," and "Policy and Politics." In addition there is a lengthy introduction by Asch and Fine where they review past work (and neglect) on this subject and point toward future exploration. The editors also close the book with an "Epilogue: Research and Politics to Come." Like all collections of essays, the quality is uneven. At the same time this is an important document about the lives of girls and women with disabilities in American society today. It is also notable that the editors have made attempts to cover broader issues than previous collections on women with disabilities. First, this volume covers a broader range of disabilities than many previous writings. An example of this the inclusion of women with developmental disabilities, a group that has traditionally been neglected in volumes on women with disabilities. Second, the volume deals with issues that often have been neglected such as disability and ethnicity; the moral dilemma between reproductive rights and disability rights; and an analysis of the exclusion of women with disabilities from the women's movement. The volume also includes a discussion about girls with disabilities. This is a book that everyone interested in the lives and experiences of women with disabilities should read.



TITLE: Feminism and disability

AUTHOR: Hillyer, B.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1993

University of Oklahoma Press
1005 Asp Avenue
Norman, OK 73019-0445
Written out of a need in the feminist movement to include women with disabilities and a need in the disability rights movement to address the unique experiences of women, Feminism and disability combines the personal, political, and intellectual aspects of feminist theory and disability theory. Hillyer discusses such issues as body awareness, community, nature and technology, and the ways in which cultural standards of language, independence, and even mother-blaming are constructed. She also challenges political movements which stress productivity and normalization in order to include more types of people and more aspects of the human condition.



TITLE: Feminist perspectives of family care: Policies for gender justice

AUTHORS: Hooyman, N. R., & Gonyea, J.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1995

Sage Publications
P.O. Box 5084
Newbury Park, CA 91359

Hooyman and Gonyea critically examine the act of caregiving through a feminist perspective. Given that over 75% of care provided to family members is provided by women, the authors analyze the impact of this caring on women's economical, social, and personal experiences. Furthermore, they examine how changing economic structures, changing families, and the changing workforce have affected the lives of women who provide care. The authors argue for structural changes in the economy, social institutions, and attitudes in order to improve the lives of women. Hooyman and Gonyea also explore the implications for social policy if caregiving is defined as a women's role and how current social policies are oppressive to women. Their recommendations for change include workplace supports, health care and long term care policies, and economic and social supports for caregivers.



TITLE: Women and disability

AUTHOR: Lonsdale, S.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1990

St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Lonsdale explores how women with physical disabilities experience the double discrimination of being both a woman and a disabled person in society. Placing physical disability in a social and political context rather than an individual one, she uncovers how women with disabilities have been rendered invisible, how they see their self image and body image, how physical disability often leads to dependence, and how women experience a loss of civil liberties and how they face discrimination. Lonsdale also considers the ways in which these situations can change for women, specifically, how policy practices can change so that women can achieve greater independence. Chapters include subjects such as the social context of disability, invisible women, self image and sexuality, employment, financial consequences of disability, discrimination, and independence.



TITLE: Voices from the shadow: Women with disabilities speak out

AUTHOR: Matthews, G. F.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1983

The Women's Educational Press
16 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON
CANADA
This book explores the lives of women with disabilities in Canada and is based on interviews with 45 women with disabilities. The author herself has a physical disability and the book is a mixture of her own autobiography and the interviews. The result is a very readable and interesting account of the lives of women with disabilities, some of whom live in institutions and others who live in the community.

The book is candid in its critique of the medical and rehabilitation professionals, institutions and the attitudinal and physical barriers in society. It explores the feelings of women with disabilities about themselves and their relationships with others. It points out that many doctors and social workers as well as society in general think that women with disabilities are asexual and therefore not in need of information on birth control or what is possible in the way of having children or a sex life. Other issues addressed are employment, education, housing, parenting, accessibility and social and governmental assistance. The introduction to the book is written by Pat Israel and Cathy McPherson, "two feminists with disabilities" (as they call themselves). They discuss, among other things, the relations between the disability rights movement and the women's movement and criticize how un-accessible the women's movement has been for women with disabilities.

 

TITLE: Feminist research and "community care"

AUTHOR: Morris, J.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1991

In J. Morris, Pride against prejudice: Transforming attitudes to disability (pp. 146-168). Pittsburgh: New Society Publishers.

New Society Publishers
4527 Springfield Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19143

In this chapter, Morris argues that while feminists have paid much attention to "community care" policies, they have virtually ignored the experiences of disabled women. She asserts that feminist concerns about women's roles as caregivers must be re-examined from a disability perspective. Traditionally, feminists have rejected community care policies which depend on women's unpaid labor in the home, thereby excluding women from the labor market and reinforcing their economic dependence on men. While these feminists would call for community care in residential settings, Morris argues that disabled people want services within the community, and therefore reject the traditional feminist view of community care.

The author claims that the differences between these two views is because the feminists who are writing and researching in the area of women and care do not actually need physical care themselves. In ignoring the experiences of those women who need care, they silence disabled women and force them into the role of the other. These feminists only see women as carers, not as those being cared for, thereby legitimizing one side and marginalizing the other.

In response to these feminists, Morris offers a critique from a disabled feminist perspective. She argues that research needs to examine the meaning of "caring for" and "caring about" and especially the meaning of home (separated from the political feminist critique of the family). She asserts the feminist scholarship needs to understand this issue from a disability perspective and to see as the goal disabled women living in the community and receiving supports from caregivers whose work is valued, appreciated, and adequately compensated.


 

TITLE: Independent lives: Community care and disabled people

AUTHOR: Morris, J.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1993

Macmillan Press
Hound Mills
Basingstoke
Hampshire RG21 2XS
ENGLAND

This book is a qualitative study which explores the experiences of disabled people who receive help with daily living activities. Based on in-depth interviews with 50 people and using a feminist perspective and a disability rights perspective, Morris challenges the discourse around community care policies. She illustrates how residential care is often replaced by institutionalization in community settings, and further challenges policy makers and those who provide care to recognize the basic civil rights of people with disabilities, and that part of their civil rights is to receive physical help.


TITLE: Pride against prejudice: Transforming attitudes to disability

AUTHOR: Morris, J.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1991

New Society Publishers
4527 Springfield Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Morris, a disabled feminist and activist, provides a feminist analysis to the study of the experiences of women with disabilities. Basing her arguments on the feminist principle that the personal is political, Morris eloquently challenges such issues as prejudice, abortion, and the notion that people with disabilities lead lives that are not worth living. She further discusses the history of people with disabilities in institutions and under the Nazi regime. Morris also examines the meaning of disability in Western culture and the meanings of a history of segregation, dependence, and an emerging independence of people with disabilities. Pride against prejudice is a commentary on political activism and rights, and stresses the need to fight back against the prejudice, stereotypes, and oppression of an ableist culture.



TITLE: The politics of caregiving

AUTHOR: Munford, R.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1994

In M. H. Rioux & M. Back (Eds.), Disability is not measles: New research paradigms in disability (pp. 265-284). North York, ON: The G. Allan Roeher Institute.

The G. Allan Roeher Institute
Kinsmen Building, York University
4700 Keele Street
North York, Ontario M3J 1P3
CANADA

This chapter explores the meaning of care to those who give and receive it in order to challenge the current way it is organized. It examines the ways in which the caregiving relationship can be changed and how alliances with people with intellectual disabilities can be formed. The author bases her argument on the premise that non-disabled researchers and writers need to situate themselves in the research project and in the particular situation they are writing about.

Munford's chapter is divided into three sections. The first section provides a context by discussing important influences on the researcher and writing process. She argues that researchers must understand how their research can reinforce the powerlessness of those they are researching. She feels that researchers need to form equitable relationships with the people with disabilities whom they are researching. The second section focuses on important concepts which are necessary to understand what happens in a caregiving relationship. The third section explores the role of social policy in constructing the lives of people with disabilities. The author argues for the importance of examining social policy in terms of disability of a social and political category. Hopefully then social policies will have possibilities for choice and empowerment for people with disabilities.

 


TITLE: Bridging the gap: A national directory of services for women and girls with disabilities

AUTHOR: National Clearinghouse on Women and Girls with Disabilities

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1990

Educational Equity Concepts
114 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016

The National Clearinghouse on Women and Girls with Disabilities has compiled a national directory of services and support groups for women and girls with disabilities. This document contains more than three hundred listings of organizations that provide services to meet the needs of women and/or girls with disabilities. Each entry includes organization name, address, telephone number, contact person, region served, date established, whether they respond to inquiries by phone or by mail, if they have a newsletter, and a brief description of their programs and services. The services included in this directory cover a wide range of areas of importance for women with disabilities such as educational services and offices of disability services at universities; support groups and other self-help groups for women with disabilities; government and non-government organizations focusing on or including women with disabilities; generic services which also provide services for women with disabilities such as rape crises and planned parenthood; and more. This is a unique directory that will be of extreme importance for women with disabilities in terms of breaking the isolation they so often experience and helping them find appropriate services and supports. As the first national directory of services and support groups for women with disabilities, it will undoubtedly serve to help women with disabilities find each other and build connections.


TITLE: The tentative pregnancy: Prenatal diagnoses and the future of motherhood

AUTHOR: Rothman, B. K.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1986

Viking Penguin
40 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
The technology that makes prenatal screening and diagnosis possible is usually celebrated by the medical establishment as a triumph for modern medicine as a means to prevent disability. This technology is also seen as a way to improve the lives of families and societies. This book deals with this new technology but goes beyond the technology itself and looks at how it affects the lives of women who use it. This is a study of 120 women who have used amniocentesis, the most used form of prenatal testing. All the women in this study who received "bad diagnoses" (that is the fetus was diagnosed as having some form of a disability) made the decision to have an abortion. Rothman describes with great sympathy the pressure on women to use the technology and to undergo abortion if the fetus is "defective." Rothman sees these women as victims of technology, sacrificing themselves to spare their children from suffering.

The subject of this book is at the center of one of the dilemmas faced by feminists with disabilities, that is, feminists with disabilities who have participated in the fight for women's rights to control their own bodies, who are now faced with the fact that this right is used to selectively abort "defective" fetuses.



TITLE: Women with disabilities: A survey of health-related experiences

AUTHORS: Savage, A., & Georgeson, S.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1989

The Disabled Persons Assembly (NZ), Inc.
P.O. Box 143, 629 Main Street
Palmerston North, NEW ZEALAND
This book from New Zealand documents health experiences of women with disabilities. It is based on interviews with 60 women from three disability categories: 34 of the women had physical disabilities, 12 had intellectual disabilities, and 12 had psychiatric disabilities. The authors conclude by summarizing some of the findings of the study, and state that the experiences of these women show some fundamental issues about health and the health services they receive. Among the things they list are (1) lack of information regarding women with disabilities about the nature of their disability, as well as the implications of these disabilities; (3) the unequal relationships between health professionals and women with disabilities; (4) women with disabilities are not listened to and are excluded from decision making about their own health; (5) lack of information about side effects of medications; (6) disability is negatively viewed by health professionals and the general public alike; (7) women with disabilities fear being integrated into a community that does not have the resources to support them; and (8) women with disabilities view the availability of both personal and community support as vital.

The last section of the book provides recommendations for change based on the findings of the study.



TITLE: Disabled, female and proud! Ten stories of women with disabilities

AUTHOR: Rousso, H. (Ed.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1988

Exceptional Parent Press
605 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
This book is edited by Harilyn Rousso, a woman with a disability, with photographs by Flo Fox, a visually-impaired photographer, and written by ten contemporary women with disabilities. These ten women offer their experiences and ideas about work, relationships, pregnancy, motherhood, life-styles, and how they got to where they are now. Each woman discusses the prejudice, barriers and difficulties she faced and offers advice to the reader about how to overcome these. The jobs these women hold span a variety of fields: some of them work in the creative arts; others in mathematics and science; some work in business; and others in human services. The ten women have various disabilities, and are of diverse age, race, class and language backgrounds.

The book grew out of the work of Harilyn Rousso, a social worker and therapist, who created a big-sister project for women and girls with disabilities in New York City to address the lack of role models in the media and the community for young women with disabilities. The book is intended to serve as a much needed resource to counteract the isolation so many women with disabilities experience in their struggles with work and life. It is also intended to provide positive role models for women and girls with disabilities.

 


TITLE: With wings: An anthology of literature by and about women with disabilities

AUTHORS: Saxton, M., & Howe, F. (Eds.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1987

The Feminist Press
City University of New York
311 East 94th Street
New York, NY 10128

This is a collection of literary writings by and about women with disabilities. This anthology of essays, stories, and poetry conveys the experiences and feelings of women with disabilities. Among the 30 contributors to this book are such well-known names as Alice Walker, Adrienne Rich, Muriel Rukeyser, Vassar Miller, Nancy Mairs, Laurel Lee and Mary Wilkins Freeman. A powerful and moving book about the strengths, the struggle, the dignity, the intelligence, the humanity, and the courage of women with disabilities.


TITLE: A mother's work is never done: Constructing a "normal" family life

AUTHOR: Traustadottir, R.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1995

In S. J. Taylor, R., Bogdan, & Z. M. Lutfiyya (Eds.), The variety of community experience (pp. 47-65). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
The author examines the everyday lives of families of children with disabilities. She explores the ways in which the family attempts to construct an "ordinary" or "normal" family life. Traustadottir analyzes the gendered organization involved in constructing and maintaining a normal family life. Through qualitative research based on interviews and participant observation, Traustadottir found that families of children with disabilities devote much time trying to lead a "normal" family life. For the most part this meant following the traditional family pattern of full time wife and mother and working father. She suggests that presence of disability in the family causes parents to compensate by conforming as closely as possible to traditional gender roles. The author also discusses implications for professionals, stating that they need to be aware of individual perspectives of families. She also addresses how broader socio-cultural issues such as class, race, ethnicity, and gender influence the lives of families of children with disabilities.


TITLE: Disability reform and the role of women: Community inclusion and caring work

AUTHOR: Traustadottir, R.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1992

Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244
This dissertation is a feminist qualitative study of the role of women in the community inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. The author demonstrates that despite the fact that women constitute the vast majority of those who do the day-to-day work of inclusion, their contributions go unnoticed and are invisible. Through in-depth interviews and participant observation, the author examines women's caregiving and relationship building in the areas of family as mothers of children with disabilities, in the human service system as paid workers, and in the context of friendships. Crucial to this study is the idea that caring is not a personality trait inherent in being a woman, rather it is created through social interactions. Women are recruited for caregiving through powerful social arrangements and this social construction of women as caregivers continues throughout their lives.

The analysis outlines the multiple ways women's work is made invisible, and that the field of disability studies does nothing to make this work visible. In fact, it often exploits women by not recognizing and understanding the work that they do. The author concludes by articulating areas for change in the fields of feminist scholarship and disability policy.

 

TITLE: The meaning of care in the lives of mothers of children with disabilities

AUTHOR: Traustadottir, R.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1991

In S. J. Taylor, R. Bogdan, & J. A. Racino (Eds.), Life in the community: Case studies of organizations supporting people with disabilities (pp. 185-194). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
In this qualitative chapter, Traustadottir explores the gender difference in caring for a child with a disability within the family. She discovered that the responsibility for caring is based on gender. The study revealed the term "caring" as a complex phenomenon that has at least three meanings. Caring for, the work, means acquiring specialized knowledge and techniques which are associated with professional work (not traditional mother work). The second definition is caring about, the love. This refers to relationships and emotions. The third definition is the extended caring role. The meaning of care extends from a woman's own child to broader community or societal concerns surrounding people with disabilities and the way they are treated in society.

The author also discusses gender roles and the responsibility of caring. The woman is usually responsible. This begins when she decides to keep her child at home rather than a residential setting. This is almost always the mother's decision because it is understood that she will be the primary caregiver. In addition to this work, she is responsible for the housework and other family work. Furthermore, the baby is not seen as a restriction on family life if only the mother is restricted. However, if the family feels restricted then the situation is considered problematic. Some women see the job of caring as their "natural" responsibility, while others resist this traditional gender role.


The author concludes by stating that disability studies needs to look at gender as a critical issue and needs to take notice and look critically at issues of gender and the roles of mothers and fathers in families.

 


TITLE: Women with disabilities: Issues, resources, connections, revised

AUTHOR: Traustadottir, R. (updated by Harris, P. J.)

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1997

Syracuse, NY: Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University.

The materials that have been compiled into this information package on women with disabilities are intended to serve as an introduction for those who are interested in learning about the lives of women and girls with disabilities and the specific issues they face in today's society. In addition to introducing the lives and experiences of women with disabilities, the primary purpose of this package is to provide an overview of the existing materials in an attempt to make them more accessible to those who are interested in this topic.

The package is divided into five parts. Part I contains an article which provides an overview of the literature and some of the major issues facing women with disabilities in today's society. Part II is an annotated listing of resources written by and/or about women and girls with disabilities. Part III contains information about teaching materials about women and girls with disabilities. This part also lists other practical materials, such as a manual for accessibility. Part IV provides information about where to find services and support groups for women and girls with disabilities and how to start networking projects. This part also contains information about women's periodicals and organizations which include women with disabilities. Finally, Part V lists World Wide Web sites about and by women with disabilities.

 

TITLE: Research by/for/with women with disabilities
AUTHOR: Wight-Felske, A.
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1990

The G. Allan Roeher Institute
Kinsmen Building
York University
North York, ON M3J 1P3
CANADA

The Roeher Institute is a Canadian-based information and advocacy organization for people with cognitive disabilities. They address a wide range of issues, including community living, jobs, and support, and provide information about issues concerning disability rights. This specific publication has been written to raise the awareness of researchers to the issue of disability and to give a voice to women with disabilities. Specifically, it outlines the ways in which women with disabilities have been excluded from research, provides a framework for research for and with women with disabilities, presents a guideline for non-stereotyping language, and also address the ways in which people can be informed about women and disabilities.

 

TITLE: Building community: A manual exploring issues of women and disability
AUTHOR: Women and Disability Awareness Project
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: 1989

Educational Equity Concepts
114 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016

This manual examines the connection between discrimination based on gender and discrimination based on disability, and addresses disability as a political issue; civil rights issue; as a human relations issue; and as a personal experience. It is intended to build community between diverse groups. The authors point out that the lack of opportunities within schools and organizations to learn about what it means to be a person with a disability results in widespread ignorance about people with disabilities. The authors intend the manual partly for use in schools as a general introduction to the topic, for teachers as well as students, and partly to be used within women's organizations to raise general awareness about issues faced by women with disabilities and strategies to meet the needs of women with disabilities within the organizations. In disability rights organizations the manual could serve to raise awareness about the particular needs of women with disabilities and how their lives and experiences differ from those of men with disabilities. In both women's and disability organizations the manual can be used to train staff as well as to inform the general membership about the connection between discrimination based on gender and disability.

The manual contains background information on disability rights issues and about women and girls with disabilities, an annotated bibliography and selected readings about women with disabilities. Lastly, the manual contains very practical guidelines and materials to conduct workshops on women with disabilities, including workshop formats that will allow activists, educators, and other trainers to explore disability issues in a wide variety of settings. This is a very practical and informing manual for anyone interested in the connection between gender and disability.

This manual was first published in 1984. The 1989 edition has been expanded to include the specific needs of young women with disabilities.


Source: Syracuse University School of Education

 



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