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Keynote Speakers

Susie Balderston

Title: Are disabled people human?

Susie works to prevent and tackle disablist hate rape and institutional sexual abuse.  She is currently reviewing anti-trafficking policy and interventions, in the UNESCO Gender Research Group at Lancaster University, and lecturing in social policy, disability and human rights, with a focus on addressing intersectional inequalities, improving safeguarding, equality and justice.

As Policy and Training Director of Vision Sense (a user-led organisation of disabled people) for 13 years, Susie designs, mentors and evaluates user-led pilot projects in social care, health and criminal justice in England.  She was has served as advisor to the EHRC ‘Statutory Inquiry into Disability Harassment’ and ‘Access to Specialised Victim Support Service for Women with Disabilities who have Experienced Violence’ project (funded by the DAPHNE programme of the European Commission).  Susie particularly loves dogs because they do not perpetrate disablist hate crime, criminalization of disabled people or preventable deaths in institutions, as far as she has noticed. Susie is proud to be a disabled woman in work; in her lifetime, she would love to be employed in disability studies and see an end to rape. 

Lucy Costa

Title: Madness and the Politics of Violence [Mad Studies Stream]

Lucy Costa works as a systemic advocate in Toronto with the Empowerment Council promoting the rights of mental health clients as well as encouraging critical analysis about service user inclusion in the broad mental health sector. She sits on a number of advisories and has been involved in disability politics for over fifteen years. As a member of the Psychiatric Disabilities against Violence Coalition (PDAC) she has helped produce a report on the violent victimisation of people with mental health issues, entitled Clearing a Path: A Psychiatric Survivor Anti-Violence Framework. She is a blog commentator for Mad in America and is co-editor of the anthology tentatively titled, Madness, Violence and Power due out Autumn 2016.

Don Kulick

Title: Fucked: sex, disability and ethics of engagement

Don Kulick is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden. His books include Travesti: sex, gender and culture among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (1998), Fat: the anthropology of an obsession (2005, edited with Anne Meneley), Language and Sexuality (2003, with Deborah Cameron) and most recently Loneliness and its Opposite: sex, disability and the ethics of engagement (2015, with Jens Rydström). 

[photo: Orlando Boström]

Sara Ryan

Title: What the fuckwhatery? Disability studies, activism and the continuing denial of the human

Sara Ryan is the Research Director in the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford. A sociologist, her work focuses on autism, learning disability and difference. More recently she has been involved in the #JusticeforLB campaign.

Jijian Voronka

Title : Mapping Mad Studies in movements, knowledge, and praxis [Mad Studies Stream]

Jijian Voronka received her PhD in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto (2015). Her research explores the possibilities, limits, and self/management of service user participation in mental health and homeless research and service systems. She is currently working on her book Troubling Inclusion: The politics of participation in neoliberal biopolitical interventions. She holds a SSHRC post-doctoral research fellowship at Rutgers University’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and teaches at Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies.

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