How is health research, theory and scholarship transformed by an engagement with critical disability studies?

An image of the spines of a number of critical disability studies texts
An image of the spines of a number of critical disability studies texts

To set our intellectual architecture we will hold two-day annual Online Symposia over the six years of the programme- organised into themes ‘Theory’, ‘Priority’, ‘Method’, ‘Practice’, ‘Representation’ and ‘Culture’ - inviting an international mix of disability activists, established and emerging health and disability scholars from a host disciplines. Presenters will share 1500 word papers (recorded as Open Access).

Online Conversations from presenters (blogs, provocations, short written papers, films and interviews) will follow up/supplement symposia (housed on our website) joined by additional crowd-sourced researchers’ contributions (with an emphasis on Global Southern voices).

Two three-day International Conferences (online/face-face-face hybrid) will be hosted in Year 3 (Singapore, ‘Disability matters in health research’) and Year 6 (Sheffield, ‘Disability futures in health research’) with an emphasis on the participation of early career researchers. A minimum of four journal articles will be written capturing intellectual themes of symposia, conversations and conferences to engage an interdisciplinary audience (in medicine, social sciences, healthcare research). A Special Issue has been provisionally agreed with a Journal (more to follow)

February 2024: Fourth Online Symposium, from Delhi India


Disability Matters is a major six year pan-national programme of disability, health and science research, funded by a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award; commencing September 2023.

A key ambition of Disability Matters is to make disability the driving subject of research. One element of our programme relates to promoting scholarship that demonstrates the contribution of disability studies to a host of fields and disciplines including medicine, medical humanities, medical sociology, science and technology studies, health sciences, population health as well as other key areas including education, law, business, legal studies, health psychology, social work, etc.  

We ask the question:

How is health research, theory and scholarship transformed by an engagement with critical disability studies?

On the 7th February 2024 we will be holding two events

11.30 am – 1 pm, Delhi time (6.00 – 7.30 am, GMT)
Online Disability Matters Symposium

We will be joined by three disabled scholars, Aparna Sachdev (she/her), Saksham Trust, a DPO, and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. She holds a Masters in English Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Her research interests include inclusive education, disabled children’s childhood studies, and disability and technology; Abhishek Anicca (he/him), writer, poet, scholar and arts practitioner. Abhishek completed his MPhil in Women's and Gender Studies from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi and Sandeep R. Singh (he/him), Assistant Professor at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University. He is a co-applicant on the Disability Matters Project funded by Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom. His research interests lie in the areas of Critical Disability Studies, Life-writing, and Narrative Discourse.

The event will stream live and is being held in the hybrid mode from the Karampura Campus, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi. 

Link:Google meet:

The format of the hybrid symposium will be:

  • Introduction by chair (5 minutes) 
  • Session with three panellists (10 minutes x 3)
  • Comfort break (5 minutes)
  • Q&A, Open plenary and discussion (up to 40 minutes)

2.30 - 4pm, Delhi time (9.00 – 10.30 am, GMT)
The 2024 iHuman Annual Critical Disability Studies Lecture

This lecture will be delivered by Professor Anita Ghai who will address the question: ‘How and why disability matters in India’: will stream live and is being held in the hybrid mode from the Karampura Campus, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi. 

Link: Google meet:

No registration required:
Please ensure you check out the online / joining details that will be released by 9am IST on the 7th February on this site:

(We are releasing these details only on this day to prevent malicious content and participants). 

Access support
We will be using live text captioning.
We will also be providing Plain English text support in the chatbox.
And all the papers that the speakers draw on in the symposium will be made available here:

October 2023: First Online Symposia events announced

Our first event is now live! Join us in December 2023 for a series of Online Symposia. We'll be welcoming 12 different disability studies presenters from around the world to explore how their work has been transformed by engaging with critical disability studies.

Book your free ticket now at:

All papers available here

Overview of speakers

Mon 4 Dec 2023 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM GMT, Online, Zoom

Barbara Gibson

Barbara Gibson BMR(PT), MSc, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research and scholarship examine the intersections of social, cultural, and institutional practices in producing health, inclusion/exclusion, and identity with disabled young people.

Janice McLaughlin

Professor Janice McLaughlin works to explore how childhood disability or illness is framed from within the worlds of medicine, community and family. Her work has developed through partnership with disabled children and their families, organisations that advocate with them and other researchers. She examines the intersections of inequality, citizenship, identity, embodiment and care.

Sarah Glerup

Sarah Glerup is a Danish activist, speaker and writer with a particular interest in human rights and social development, particularly minority issues and inclusion. She offers regular media contributions around numerous issues including accessibility (such as wheelchair access etc.).

Tue 5 Dec 2023 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM GMT, Online, Zoom

Shaun Grech

Shaun Grech is a Senior Academic Consultant in Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction with CBM, director of The Critical Institute (Malta) and editor in chief of the international journal, Disability and the Global South. His critical interdisciplinary work looks at disability in contexts of rural poverty, disasters and humanitarian settings.

Jan Grue

Jan Grue is a professor of Sociology at the University of Oslo. He is currently PI of the research project “The Politics of Disability Identity”, which investigates the contemporary social and cultural preconditions of disability inclusion. His memoir “I Live a Life Like Yours” (2021) is published by Pushkin Press in the UK.

Gareth Thomas

Gareth M. Thomas is a Reader in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, UK. He is a sociologist interested in disability, health/illness, medicine and reproduction.

Mon 11 Dec 2023 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM GMT, Online, Zoom

Christina Lee

Christina Lee (she/her) recently completed her PhD in English and Medical Humanities at King’s College London. Her thesis was titled ‘The Care of the Dis-ease Self: A Foucauldian Reading of Buddhist Meditation Memoirs as Narratives of Healing’. Her research looks at experiences of illness and disability, embodiment, and intersectionality.

Stuart Murray

Stuart Murray is Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film in the School of English at the University of Leeds. He has worked in Critical Disability Studies for over 20 years, written/edited multiple books and articles on disability representation, and was among the very first University academics to teach courses on disability, literature, film and cultural theory.

Sana Rizvi 

Dr Sana Rizvi is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool John Moores University. She is passionate about teaching on the subjects of racial inequalities in education, critical perspectives on disability studies and inclusive education, and on qualitative methodologies. She has presented her research at several international and national conferences, and has also published research in the field of research methods, racial inequality and disability studies.

Tue 12 Dec 2023 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM GMT, Online, Zoom

Hannah Morgan

Hannah is Associate Professor in the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds, whose research and scholarship is located at the intersection of Social Policy and Disability Studies and is particularly concerned with the experiences of disabled people who use health and social care services and with professional practice(s) in this sphere.

Kate Sang

Professor Kate Sang of the Heriot-Watt University Business School leads the multidisciplinary EDI Caucus team which is, in part, promoting disability inclusion across the higher education institution sector.

Geert Van Hove

Geert Van Hove is an Emeritus Professor at Ghent University (Disability Studies). For the last 25 years, he has been closely involved with families involving their child with disabilities into mainstream schools and with the Flemish Self-advocacy movement. He is a basketball-lover, a jazz cat and a passionate cyclist. 


Robot reading books

Our work

How we understand being ‘human’ differs between disciplines and has changed radically over time. We are living in an age marked by rapid growth in knowledge about the human body and brain, and new technologies with the potential to change them.

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.