Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 1995 – 2000


‘Wine, Bed and Roses’ – by Phyllis Rappaport (1999)

This paper describes the authors experience of trying to acquire an electric double bed through a government funded scheme. “They could fund single or three-quarter size beds but not the double. The double size in such a bed was not considered to be basic equipment that would aid or enhance my mobility. Even though I am a married woman. I have been married for some thirty years.” The author examines this experience in relation to sexuality and people with disabilities. Copyright 1999.


‘Surviving the Change – Menopause and Women with Disabilities’- By Lynne Swanson (1998)

This paper by Lynne Swanson was originally published in Abilities Magazine, Spring Issue, 1998. The article focuses on effects of menopause were on women with multiple sclerosis (MS). Copyright 1998.


‘Burning Issues for People with Disabilities’- by Elizabeth Hastings (1998)

This is a transcript of a speech given by Elizabeth Hastings at the Annual General Meeting of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), in Melbourne, September 12 1998. Elizabeth Hastings was the former (and the first) Disability Discrimination Commissioner in Australia. Elizabeth Hastings passed away in late 1998. The paper examines a number of issues including: A Discrimination free world to live in; Conditions in Congregate Care; Abuse in Institutions; Care for the whole person; Sterilisation of minors; Genetic Manipulation; Spiritual life and development; The bottom line; Attrition of Human Rights protection; and, Assisted Communication. Copyright 1998.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Response to the Model Criminal Code Committee Discussion Paper ‘Sexual Offences Against the Person’ (1997)

In 1997, the Model Criminal Code Committee (Attorney General’s Department of the Commonwealth Government) released a Discussion Paper on ‘Sexual Offences Against the Person’. This is a copy of WWDA’s submission to the Model Criminal Code Committee in response to that Discussion Paper. The Submission addresses a range of issues, including: the very high levels of sexual offences committed against women with disabilities and relatively low conviction rate; and the prevalence of misinformation and myths which surround disability and sexuality. The submission raises concerns that these factors may create an environment in which ‘protection’ are given a high priority, and impinge upon the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities. Copyright 1997.


‘Disability, Feminism and Eugenics: Who has the right to decide who should or should not inhabit the world?’ – by Joan Hume (1997)

In this paper the author explores the implications of the resurgence of the “new eugenics” as a philosophy underpinning modern reproductive practices from the perspective of the abuse and denigration of the rights in people with disabilities in general and women with disabilities in particular. These practices also infringe women’s rights and should be a matter of grave concern for all feminists. The discussion is not about the rights and wrongs of the abortion debate but adopts a disability rights interpretation of new reproductive and genetic technologies. Copyright 1997.


‘Pre-Natal Testing and Selective Abortion: The Development of a Feminist Disability Rights Perspective’ – by Melissa Masden (1992)

Pre-natal testing is one aspect of the new reproductive technologies that has not received a great deal of attention, unlike in vitro fertilisation for example. The consideration of pre-natal testing that has occurred, has taken place within the wider context of abortion. A re-examination of pre-natal testing is desirable because of the way that it has furthered the medicalisation of pregnancy and childbirth, and because of its potential (already partly realised) to remove decision- making control from the hands of women. The disability rights movement has grave misgivings about the ideology of pre-natal testing and selective abortion. This has in part been translated into an anti-abortion stance. Given the history of reproductive abuse (forced sterilisation, coerced abortion etc) against people with a disability, this anti-reproductive autonomy position is short sighted. A feminist disability rights perspective examines the social attitudes that influence the decisions women make in pre-natal testing and while questioning these attitudes, maintaining women’s right to reproductive autonomy. Copyright 1992.


‘Sexuality Is Our Basic Human Right’ – By Katie F. Ball Taken from: Women and Disability – An Issue. A Collection of writings by women with disabilities

This is taken from a collection of writings by women with disabilities. The collection was written by the Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective with the help of other disabled women in Victoria and South Australia. It was produced by the Melbourne based Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective in the late 1980’s. The exact publishing date is unknown. Copyright.


‘Conversations’ – By Pamela Brent and Stephanie Davis with a little help from their friends Taken from: Women and Disability – An Issue. A Collection of writings by women with disabilities

This is taken from a collection of writings by women with disabilities. The collection was written by the Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective with the help of other disabled women in Victoria and South Australia. It was produced by the Melbourne based Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective in the late 1980’s. The exact publishing date is unknown. Copyright.


‘Sexual Abuse of a Disabled Woman’ – By Anonymous

A disabled woman’s personal account of sexual abuse perpetrated by her brother-in-law. This article was originally printed in Balance, September 1992. Copyright 1992.