We are a small collective of PhD researchers interested in creating a safe space for sharing emerging ideas and understandings in critical disability studies. We are studying PhD’s at the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield; both home to exciting and innovative research at the forefront of disability studies.

Leah Burch
I am a PhD student at the University of Leeds. In my project, I am working with disabled people to explore their meanings and experiences of hate crime. I am particularly interested in experiences of ‘everyday hate’ and hope to raise awareness of the mundane acts of hate that disabled people negotiate on a daily basis. I am also interested in exploring the concept of intersectionality as a means of thinking more critically about hate crime. Finally, my project draws attention to the everyday acts of resistance that many disabled people employ on a regular basis as a means of managing and challenging their experiences.

To read more about my PhD project, follow this link to a blog that I wrote for the Centre for Disability Studies, based at the University of Leeds.

Josephine Sirotkin

I am a PhD student at the University of Leeds in my second year. My research examines the mistreatment of disabled adults in residential ‘care’ in the hope of developing new avenues for prevention. It aims to do this by looking at the ways particular care practices are constructed as acceptable or unacceptable, and how this can change between contexts. I am especially interested in the potential impact of dis/ableism in care, and the rationales underpinning care practices.

To read more about me and my project, see: 

Martina Smith

I am an EdD student at the University of Sheffield in my fourth year. I am also a parent to two young children, the eldest of whom has been identified as having complex special educational needs and disability.

My research explores the educational, political and societal logics that contextualise experiences of parenting a young child identified as having special educational needs and disability in the United Kingdom. I draw upon and intertwine Haraway’s posthuman and Goodley and Runswick-Cole’s dis/human theorising to challenge narrow developmental trajectories and the ensuing expectations of ‘normal’ childhood development. The lifelong consequences of being ‘othered’ from a psy-created ‘norm’ in early life are explored. These consequences drive the search and creative momentum in my research for new logics surrounding disability, childhood and parenting