Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference

Funding Agencies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice
Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference workshop facilitators and participants

Women living with disabilities and physical differences are often represented negatively in our society and encounter a number of stereotypes about their abilities, needs, and interests. There is evidence that negative stereotypes inform the experiences that over two million Canadian women with disabilities and physical differences have with their health care providers and constitute a significant barrier to these women receiving satisfactory access to preventive and primary healthcare services in Canada. Existing studies indicate that encountering such barriers to health care resources is linked with an increased risk of mental health problems and chronic disease for women with disabilities and physical differences compared to disabled men and to their non-disabled female counterparts. In this qualitative, participatory arts-informed research project we analyzed and evaluated the effectiveness of two arts-based approaches to alter and transform pervasive stereotypes, including negative cultural and medical views of body differences held by health care professionals, that contribute to health inequities experienced by women living with disabilities and physical differences. The arts-based methods we used were: i) Digital stories or autobiographical videos made by health practitioners and women with disabilities and differences; and ii) Research-based drama with health providers in community and institutional settings. These methods were evaluated as successful in transforming patient-clinician interactions and enhancing clinical competences thereby improving access to and quality of health care for women living with disabilities and physical differences. 


Some papers make references to password-protected videos, which can be accessed via the ARTICLE VIDEOS buttons. The passwords can be found in the corresponding articles.

Douglas, P., Rice, C., & Siddiqui, A. (under review). Living dis/artfully with and in illness. Medical Humanities.

Montgomery, P., McCauley, K., Rice, C., Chandler, E., Changfoot, N., Underhill, A. & Mossey, S. (under review). Health care providers' as creators of digital stories about disability and difference: "Now what?" Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.

Rice, C., & Changfoot, N. (Forthcoming). Aging with and into disability: Futurities of new materialisms. In K. Aubrecht, C. Kelly, & C. Rice (Eds.), The aging/disability nexus. British Columbia, BC: UBC Press.

Chandler, E., Changfoot, N., Rice, C., LaMarre, A., & Mykitiuk, R. (2018). Cultivating disability arts in Ontario. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 40(3), 249-264.

Mitchell, G., Rice, C., and Pileggi, V. (2018). Co-Emergence: An art-full dance of inquiry into artists’ experiences of making art. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 23(4), 563-581.

Rice, C., Chandler, E., Liddiard, K., Rinaldi, J., & Harrison, E. (2018). Pedagogical possibilities for unruly bodies. Gender & Education, 30(5), 663-682.

Rice, C., LaMarre, A, & Mykitiuk, R. (2018). Cripping the ethics of disability arts research. In C. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka, & G. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research (pp. 257-272). London, UK: Palgrave.

Viscardis, K., Rice, C., Pileggi, V., Underhill, A., Changfoot, N., & Chandler, E. (2018). Difference within and without: Health care providers’ engagement with disability arts. Qualitative Health Research.

Rice, C. (with the support of Underhill, A. (2017). Final Report on the Mobilizing New Meanings of Difference and Disability. Submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ottawa: Government of Canada.

Rice, C., Chandler, E., Rinaldi, J., Changfoot, N., Liddiard, K., Mykitiuk, R. & Mündel, I. (2017). Imagining disability futurities. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 32(2), 213-229.

Rice, C., Chandler, E., & Changfoot, N. (2016). Imagining otherwise: The ephemeral spaces of envisioning new meanings. In C. Kelly, & M. Orsini (Eds.), Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, culture and disability activism in Canada (pp. 54-75). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Chaplick, A., Mykitiuk. R., & Rice, C. (2015). Beyond normative ethics: Ethics of arts-based disability research. Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health, 1(3), 373-382.

Rice, C., Chandler, E., Harrison, E., Ferrari, M., & Liddiard, K. (2015). Project Re•Vision: Disability at the edges of representation. Disability & Society, 30(4), 513-527.