2012 Program

Materiality & Independence:

Disability, Ability & the Built Environment


THURSDAY 3 MAY 2012

19:00 Opening Reception In Focus: Blind Photographers Challenge Visual Expectations Rutherford Library South


FRIDAY 4 MAY 2012

8:30 Registration Telus Atrium


9:15 Welcome Telus 150

Dr Deanna Williamson Department of Human Ecology Chair
Dr Megan Strickfaden MCI 2012 Symposium Chair


9:30 The Palmer Legʼs “Victorious March”: Reading Disability in Material Culture

Caroline Lieffers

Caroline Lieffers completed her MA in History at the University of Alberta in 2010. Her research interests include history of medicine and disability, science, and domestic life in nineteenth-century Britain and America. She has forthcoming publications in the Journal of Social History, Women's History Review, and Past Imperfect. Lieffers interned at the National Museum of American History in 2010, and for the past several years has been working as a research assistant on various historical projects.


10:20 Coffee Break Telus Atrium


10:45 Seeing Through Art: Blind Visitors & the Museum Experience Telus 150

Rebecca McGinnis

Rebecca McGinnis is a museums educator and access coordinator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Previously she worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and at the Royal National Institute for the Blind. McGinnis holds two Master's degrees, one in museum studies from Leicester University and the other in art history from New York University. Her current research interests are on issues around art, for and with people who are blind and partially sighted.


11:35 Moving Materiality: (Re)imagining Flesh-Wheelchair Subjectivity Telus 150

Danielle Peers & Lindsay Eales

Danielle Peers is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. She is a Trudeau scholar and a Vanier scholar. She studies the relationship between disability sport and social justice movements in Canada. Peers' academic pursuits overlap greatly with her activism, her filmmaking (G.I.M.P. Boot Camp; And the Rest is Drag), her past career as a Paralympic athlete, as well as her current role as a coach and organizer for both local and national wheelchair basketball programs.

Lindsay Eales is a graduate student in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. She studies, choreographs, and performs integrated dance with people of all abilities. As artistic director with iDANCE Edmonton Integrated Dance, she creates vibrant movement communities that appreciate diversity and re-imagine (dis)ability. Eales' artistic and research interest emerges from her lifelong passion for dance, her training as a certified occupational therapist, and her involvement in communities of activism and social justice.


12:00 Lunch catered by Elm Cafe Telus Atrium


13:40 Moving through Space On & Off the Ground: Technology, Affordance & Transnational Dynamics in the Materialization of Mobility in Central Africa

Patrick Devlieger

Patrick Devlieger is an associate professor in the Centre for Interculturalism, Migration and Minority Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium. He studied anthropology and disability studies at the University of Illinois where he focused on African people with disabilities for his Master's; and on people with mental impairments for his PhD. Devlieger's current research includes social and cultural aspects of disability in Africa, the United States, and Europe. He has published extensively on concepts around disability including people's experiences within their cultural contexts.


14:30 Panel Discussion Telus 150

Guest panelist Ron Wickman

Ron Wickman is the principle architect and owner of Ron Wickman Architecture. He received his architectural training at Dalhousie University where he pushed the status quo by exploring accessibility and universal design. Wickman teaches in the Residential Interiors program through the Faculty of Extension and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. He specializes in universal design, inclusive design, sustainability and accessibility. Wickman has designed many domestic and public buildings and is often called on as an expert witness advocating for the needs of people with disabilities.


15:30 Closing Telus 150


15:45 Exhibition Visit with Curators (Optional)

In Focus: Blind Photographers Challenge Visual Expectations