accomodations. The ‘last civil rights movement’ of disability rights has led to anti-discrimination and human rights legislation that specifically include disability. For example, disability has been included as one of the four protected Charter groups in Canada. Yet, partly because rights’-based talk and discourses depend on materializing visible subjects, women and persons with physical disabilities or impairments have been privileged in the realm of epistemic rights-based claims-making over those with invisible impairments. Thus, women with invisible impairments--whether mental, emotional, developmental, chronic, etc.) often find themselves to occupy the ambiguous netherlands, stigmatized subaltern and border-land spaces that do not result in the discourses to make rights-based claims for sexual rights, waged workplace or unpaid work and home healthcare accomodations. Drawing on a textual analysis of photographs and images used in campaigns to fight for women and persons with disabilities internationally and nationally in Canada in the last thirty years, the paper will show such images have figured disability and impairment primarily as physical. It will also show how the all too rare address of invisible impairments has been nearly equated or reduced to stigmatizing images of particular mental health campaigns, thus neglecting many other forms of invisible impairment or disability. Drawing on Rod Michalcho’s (2007) notions of “semiotic excess” and “insufficiency” women with invisible impairments remain in an ambiguous netherland and yet stigmatized subaltern border-land, neither persons nor visible subjects. This paper will argue that the campaigns nationally, as well as internationally to enfranchise women with disabilities have often reproduced a subaltern space or borderland for women with invisible disabilities, who find themselves/ourselves left out of the considerations and discourses that that construct rights’-based struggles and the subjects of human rights campaigns. Probing how this last ghetto of social justice works through a particular semiotics of the visible subject, even the discourse of ‘passing’ becomes problematic. By way of an alternative, the paper asks: how might feminist disability campaigns creatively work for strategic ‘structural registers of voice’ (Roman, 2003) and disruptions of the visible iconography to be epistemically heard and enfranchised. The paper explores what challenges remain for women with invisible disabilities to be included in rights’-based efforts for equality, voice, recognition and accomodations. This paper will draw autobiographically on the feminist disability literature to substantiate the border-land and last frontier argument and offer some political strategies for engaging a politics of what I call ‘structural registers of voice’ in epistemic and rights-based claims-making to overcome the particular challenges to the meaning of sexual rights, waged and unwaged workplace rights and accomodations.
Katherine Teghtsoonian. Studies in Policy and Practice, University of Victoria
Responding to Depression in the Workplace and Beyond: A Feminist Analysis of Discourse and Policy
During the past decade in Canada employers, researchers, and non-governmental organizations have expressed a keen interest in developing strategies for responding to the growing number of employees with depression and the significant economic costs to employers associated with this trend. In this paper I draw on feminist analyses