Conference Papers, Other Articles & Reports 2001 – 2005


‘A feminist/gendered critique of the intersections of race and disability: the Australian experience’ – by Associate Professor Helen Meekosha (2005)  [PDF]  [Word]

Colonial settler societies, such as Australia and Canada, are characterised by tensions between settler and indigenous communities, and among the ethnic hierarchies inside the settler blocs, to which states respond with a variety of strategies. An examination of the intersection of ethnicity, race, gender and disability points to a significant challenge for all colonial settler societies. In a society that espouses egalitarian social philosophies, how are these multiple dimensions of difference together contained by the state, and how is such containment negotiated and resisted by those individuals and communities thus constrained? This is an ambitious question and dangers of reductionism exist, yet as this paper will attempt to demonstrate intercategorical analysis is an necessary prerequisite for a more holistic project of social justice and social change. Copyright 2005.


‘Women With Disabilities: Still ‘At A Loss’ – By Sue Salthouse (November 2005)

Paper written and presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of WWDA at the ‘What Women Want’ Workshop – A Workshop to Examine the Legislation to Enact the Federal Government’s Proposal for Reform of Industrial Relations and its Welfare-to-Work Strategy; Friday 11 November 2005; Pilgrim House Conference Centre, 69 Northbourne Ave, Canberra. Copyright 2005.


‘Perfect in My Imperfection’ – By Lina Pane (November 2005)

Paper written by Lina Pane. Lina has expertise in the disability field as a leader, community development worker, social worker, researcher and published disabled feminist writer and speaker. Lina is actively involved with Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) as a member of the management committee. Copyright 2005.


‘The Puppetry of Poverty’ – By Sue Salthouse (November 2005)

A Paper written and presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) at the ‘Fair Go Going Gone? Public Policy and the Re-framing of Values’ Conference; QV Women’s Centre, 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne; 4-5 November 2005. Copyright 2005.


‘Jumping through Hoops’ – Welfare and Industrial Relations Reform implications for women with disabilities – By Sue Salthouse (July 2005)

A Paper written and presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) at the ‘What Women Want’ Workshop – A Workshop on the Effect of the Federal Government’s Recent Policy Changes on Women of Working Age. 12 July 2005, Pilgrim House Conference Centre, Canberra. Copyright 2005.


‘The Sick State of Health for Women with Disabilities’ – By Sue Salthouse (April 2005)

A Paper presented on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) 5th Australian Women’s Health Conference, 20 – 22 April, 2005, Carlton Crest Hotel, Melbourne. Copyright WWDA 2005.


‘The Reproductive Rights of Women with Disabilities’ – By Natalie Tomas (2004)

This paper outlines the legislative framework in Victoria and the role of the Office of the Public Advocate within that framework with regard to the reproductive rights of women with disabilities. It is particularly concerned with the non-therapeutic sterilisation of young women with intellectual disabilities. Copyright 2004.


‘Double the Odds’ – Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities’ – By Sue Salthouse and Carolyn Frohmader (September 2004)

A paper presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the national ‘Home Truths’ Conference, Sheraton Towers, Southgate, Melbourne 15 -17 September 2004. Copyright WWDA 2004.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Gender and Disability’ – by Helen Meekosha (2004) [PDF]

Why do we need to understand about gender in disability studies? What is the relationship between gender and disability? How are men’s and women’s experience of disability similar or different? Indeed are gender and disability such different concepts given that women have been seen as deformed men and disability is often associated with femininity? In order to understand these relationships we must examine the meaning of gender. Copyright 2004.


‘Waiting to be Included – Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening, Where are the Women with Disabilities?’ – By Jenny Bridge-Wright (July 2004)

A paper presented by Jenny Bridge-Wright on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the Inaugural Conference on Social Aspects of Disease, Disability and Disablement, Melbourne 1 July 2004. Copyright WWDA 2004.


‘Unjustified Hardship – homelessness and women with disabilities’ – By WWDA (2004)

Housing situations are precarious for many women with disabilities. A decline in the supply of low cost housing, an increase in unemployment and the level of poverty, and changes in the service delivery policies of specialist services, have increased the risk of homelessness for many Australians. The impact of these changes is even greater on the more vulnerable among the homeless, most notably, women with disabilities. There are a range of factors which make women with disabilities the most vulnerable group to homelessness or risk of homelessness in our society. Copyright WWDA 2004.


‘Moving Forward or Losing Ground? The Sterilisation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Australia’ – By Leanne Dowse (September 2004)

A paper presented by Leanne Dowse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) World Summit, Winnipeg, September 8-10, 2004. Copyright WWDA 2004.


“Lack of Data Means Lack of Action” – A clinical examination of access to health services for women with disabilities – By Keran Howe and Sue Salthouse (May 2004)

A paper presented by Keran Howe and Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) National Summit: ‘Access to Health Services for People with Disabilities’. Sydney, 28 May 2004. Copyright WWDA 2004.


‘Drifting down the Gulf Stream: navigating the cultures of disability studies’ – By Helen Meekosha (September 2003)

A Paper presented to ‘Disability at the Cutting Edge: A Disability Studies Research Institute (DSaRI) colloquium to examine the impact on theory, research and professional practice. September 12, 2003, University of Technology, Sydney. Copyright 2003.


“Walk In Our Shoes” – Four Corners (ABC TV) explores the issue of sterilisation of people with disabilities (June 2003)

On Monday 16 June, 2003 Four Corners (ABC TV) broadcast a program entitled “Walk in Our Shoes”. The Program explored the issue of whether, and in what circumstances, disabled women (and men) should be sterilised. The transcript of the Program, along with transcripts of interviews conducted for the program have been reproduced here, with permission of Four Corners (ABC TV). Copyright ABC 2003.


‘Silent Voices: Women With Disabilities and Family and Domestic Violence’ – By Judith Cockram, PhD (2003)

This research project arose as a result of the widespread experience of women with disabilities, disability and community agencies and the paucity of relevant literature in family and domestic violence. Accordingly, this project was developed in response to the many calls for research into the issue of violence against women with disabilities. The objectives for the research were to: a) Document the nature and extent of family and domestic violence against women with disabilities who have accessed services in Western Australia, and b) Identify whether the needs of women with disabilities are being adequately addressed by relevant services. The research was a collaborative undertaking by People With Disabilities (WA) Inc., The Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre Inc. (EDAC), and the Edith Cowan University Centre for Social Research. The report contains background information, research methodology, literature review. The research findings provide detailed information from the perspective of both service providers and women with disabilities. Personal stories from women with disabilities are also included. The Report details implications arising from the research. The Report also includes guidelines for referral and support for interviewing women with disabilities; annotated bibliography and information on resources, including services. Copyright 2003.


‘Toward the Adoption of a UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Australia’ – By Helen Meekosha (October 2002)

A Paper presented by Helen Meekosha for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the International Forum on Disabilities, Osaka, Japan, October 2002. Despite Australia’s early strong support for and activism in the United Nations, over recent years a conservative national government has drawn back from proactive engagement with new international covenants. In addition the Australian government’s scepticism about earlier agreements has been demonstrated in areas such as refugees and women. In recent months the Australian government has further distanced itself by demonstrating a reluctance to support UN initiatives on rights of persons with disabilities. This does not mean that the population more widely shares the same views, as legislation by progressive governments over the past twenty years has promoted rights for persons with disabilities. This paper argues that the very reluctance of the national government foregrounds the critical role that international conventions can play for the well being of disabled citizens. Copyright 2002.


‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ – A Resource Manual of Initiatives Enabling People in Disadvantaged Groups to Gain Access to the Internet – Edited by Sue Salthouse (September 2002)

Women with disabilities are over-represented in low socio-economic groups compared to men with disabilities and women in general. This affects their ability to access Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that further disadvantages them in a range of activities that are now conducted over the Internet. Many E-commerce activities – for example bill paying and banking – offer discounts for business conducted over the Internet. Thus lack of Internet access further penalises people who are already under financial strain. Moreover, the lack of access to the Internet deprives women with disabilities the social interaction afforded by email contact with family, friends, disability support groups and other special interest groups. There are many initiatives underway both internationally and Australia-wide which seek to bridge the Digital Divide. This Resource Manual details many of these initiatives. Copyright WWDA 2002.


Women With Disabilities Australia: WWDA Acceptance Speech to the National Human Rights Award (2001)

On December 10, 2001, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) was awarded the prestigious National Human Rights Award (Community Category) by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Helen Meekosha, WWDA President, accepted the Award at a function in Sydney. This is a transcript of WWDA’s acceptance speech. Copyright WWDA 2001.


‘The Sterilisation of Girls and Young Women in Australia: Issues and Progress’ – By Susan Brady, John Briton, and Sonia Grover for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (April 2001)

A Report commissioned jointly by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner and the Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Copyright 2001.


‘In/Different Health: Rethinking Gender, Disability and Health’- By Helen Meekosha (2001)

A Keynote Address presented by Helen Meekosha for Women With Disabilities Australia to the 4th Australian Women’s Health Conference, held in Adelaide, February 2001. The paper examines, amongst other things, what is disability?; the position of women with disabilities in Australian society; prenatal testing and selective abortion; voluntary euthanasia; health policy models, and more. The paper also looks at what disability can teach the women’s health movement. Copyright 2001.


‘Going Inclusive: Access to Health Care for Women with Disabilities’- By Keran Howe and Carolyn Frohmader (2001)

A paper presented by Keran Howe for Women With Disabilities Australia to the 4th Australian Women’s Health Conference, held in Adelaide, February 2001. The paper examines the status of women with disabilities in Australia, and looks at a number of solutions to address the myriad of issues women with disabilities face. Copyright 2001.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Telecommunications Use by Women with Disabilities in remote, rural and regional Australia’ (2001) [PDF]  [Word]

This study was initiated because of a high level of dissatisfaction with telecommunications services registered to the executive of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) by its remote, rural and regionally located members. In addition, in the past several years there has been much public discussion about the inequities of delivery of telecommunications services to remote and rural areas throughout Australia. Although government initiatives were (and are) being put in place to address the inequities of telecommunications services delivery, WWDA felt that it was important to try to ‘tease out’ the additional difficulties and expenses which its remote, rural, and regionally located members encounter specifically because of their disability. Copyright WWDA 2001.