The limits of normality
Disability has always been part of the human condition; inclusion and accessibility are not favours to extend, but measures that would benefit everybody. Europe’s regulations are quite good, but practice often lags behind. We discuss access, accommodation and attitudes on today’s episode of Standard Time, premiering at 7 PM CET.
Syn og Segn 4/2019
Czas Kultury 4/2019
Cultural representations of war disablement
Disabled people and COVID-19 policy failures
Though part of the human condition, self-determination continues to be unattainable for many disabled people. Eugenics as a movement liked to categorise people as either ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’ contributors to society. Essentially, it paved the way for deeming people as disposable, something which has been exploited time and time again to justify colonialism and systemic oppression.
During the Holocaust, an estimated 250,000 disabled people were murdered, and up until a few decades ago, institutionalisation and forced sterilisations were usual treatment across Europe.
The European Union today guarantees a whole set of rights for disabled people, and has set up initiatives such as the EU Disability Strategy. Awareness campaigns however do not guarantee the enforcement of those rights. Maria Dinold states that while regulations on inclusivity exist in theory, they are yet to be fully practised.
Disabled people face a higher risk of poverty or social exclusion. In Bulgaria 52.3% of people with disabilities remain in socially dysfunctional situations. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Croatia also record figures up to 40.4%.
Women with disabilities face additional challenges. Disabled Survivors Unite, a UK-based disability rights NGO, revealed that women with disabilities in the UK are more than twice as likely to experience violence and abuse than others. They have a harder time finding a job, and when they do, they tend to earn less, have fewer chances to study, and struggle more to get the healthcare they need.
Many live in households where work is scarce, especially in countries like Ireland and Belgium. And even those with jobs, like in Romania, still face a high risk of poverty compared to their peers without disabilities.
Medical needs are another pressing concern. About 7% of women and 6% of men with disabilities in the EU report unmet medical needs, with even higher levels in some countries. A mere 2.3% of senior official or managerial positions are held by women with disabilities.
Activists, self-advocates, NGOs and communities remain at the forefront of improving this situation, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Today’s guests lead the charge in this uphill battle, and they do not apologise for demanding fair treatment.
Bernadette Feuerstein is an Austrian disability rights activist and public official, known for her significant contributions to disability rights. She has been playing an important part in the Austrian disability movement, including her involvement in creating a barrier-free Austrian documentary on the topic.She is also the chairwoman of Selbstbestimmt Leben Österreich (Self-Determined Living Austria).
Walter Mathes is an actor, art therapist, and cartoonist. He is a community worker and theatre trainer and has worked with people with special needs, addictions, and in penitentiary facilities.
Maria Dinold works on the integration of people with and without disabilities into cultural life and to promote social inclusion through artistic activity. Is a deputy chairperson of the Ich Bin O.K. Association. She’s the President of both the Austrian branch and the European Federation of Adapted Physical Activity.
We meet with them at the Alte Schmiede Kunstverein, Vienna.
Réka Kinga Papp, editor-in-chief
Merve Akyel, art director
Szilvia Pintér, producer
Zsófia Gabriella Papp, executive producer
Margarita Lechner, writer-editor
Salma Shaka, writer-editor
Priyanka Hutschenreiter, project assistant
Hermann Riessner, managing director
Judit Csikós, project manager
Csilla Nagyné Kardos, office administration
Senad Hergić producer
Leah Hochedlinger video recording
Marlena Stolze video recording
Clemens Schmiedbauer video recording
Richard Brusek sound recording
Video Crew Budapest
Nóra Ruszkai, sound engineering
Gergely Áron Pápai, photography
László Halász, photography
Nóra Ruszkai, lead video editor
Kateryna Kuzmenko dialogue editor
Victor Maria Lima, animation
Cornelia Frischauf, theme music
Captions and subtitles
Julia Sobota closed captions, Polish and French subtitles; language versions management
Farah Ayyash Arabic subtitles
Mia Belén Soriano Spanish subtitles
Marta Ferdebar Croatian subtitles
Lídia Nádori German subtitles
Katalin Szlukovényi Hungarian subtitles
Daniela Univazo German subtitles
Olena Yermakova Ukrainian subtitles
Aida Yermekbayeva Russian subtitles
Mars Zaslavsky Italian subtitles
The Alte Schmiede Kunstverein, Vienna.
Types of disabilities, Aruma.
Visible vs. Invisible Disabilities: More Than Meets the Eye, 24 Hour Homecare.
Prehistoric child’s amputation is oldest surgery of its kind by McKenzie Prillaman, Nature.
People like us by Bryan Fanning, Eurozine.
Colonialism, eugenics and ‘race’ in Central and Eastern Europe by Marius Turda and Bolaji Balogun, Bristol University Press.
Infographic – Disability in the EU: facts and figures. European Council
Addressing the invisibility of women and girls with disabilities, Human Rights Comment, Council of Europe.
The situation of women with disabilities (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament) by Gunta Anca, European Economic and Social Committee.
This talk show is a Display Europe production: a ground-breaking media platform anchored in public values.
This programme is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the European Cultural Foundation.
Importantly, the views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and speakers only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the EACEA can be held responsible for them.
Published 8 February 2024
Original in English
In 2004, writer David Goodhart caused controversy in Britain with an essay warning that growing social diversity was putting strain on the social contract that underpins the welfare state. Christian Kjelstrup, editor of Eurozine partner journal Samtiden, speaks to Goodhart about how Brexit and the ongoing debate over immigration have reflected his arguments.
For free, open and diverse societies
In an article first published shortly after the 13 November Paris terrorist attacks, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed addresses the twisted logic of extremist ideologies; and how to break the continuum of violence that such ideologies seek to perpetuate.