I write regularly about disability and churches, and other disability issues. Here are some of my recent publications and events, linking to videos and writing where they are available. You can find more of my academic writing on my academia.edu page.
Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up: Ableism, Faith and Church. HeartEdge, May 2021
For a third series of Fiona MacMillan’s video series on disability and church, I spoke about ableism in churches and society, joining fellow guest speaker and neurodiversity inclusion campaigner Ann Memmott.
Autism Online Journal Club: A discussion on autistic people in churches, theology of autism and including autistic people in communities (written summary by Krysia Waldock), Tizard Centre/Participatory Autism Research Collective, April 2021At this session of the Autism Online Journal Club, Krysia Waldock presented her recent paper on attitudes towards autistic people in churches. I took part in a discussion following the paper presentation with Krysia and Damian Milton.
Telling Encounters: Disability Conference. Inclusive Church/HeartEdge, September 2020
I am a former member of the planning team for this annual conference on disability and church, which may be the first to centre disabled Christians’ own lived experience. Krysia Waldock has written about the 2020 conference for the Inclusive Church blog. This year I shared a storytelling performance and led a workshop on Telling Your Own Story, and contributed a poem to the collaborative performance A Path Through the Woods.
Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up: Disability, Church and Coronavirus. September 2020
In this groundbreaking video series, Fiona MacMillan brings together theologians, activists and researchers from the disabled Christian community, to speak on topics relevant to disabled Christians in a post-coronavirus church. I was a guest speaker for the first session, together with disability theologian and priest Rachel Noel.
Disabled People are Worthy of Love. Lacuna, June 2020.
Written in response to an advice columnist’s recommendation to someone in a new relationship with a person with a chronic illness, suggesting they needed to leave them. “Life is about risk, and this is one of the risks you take when you begin a relationship with any human being.”
Disabled People Say Welcome to Our World. Church Times, May 2020In response to coronavirus lockdowns, many churches began to live stream services and meet online. For some disabled people, this move online has opened up the virtual church doors, after years of exclusion. In this article in the Church Times, I write about what churches might learn about how to better include disabled people from their move online. I’ve also written a simple language version of this article.
A downloadable booklet sharing the findings of my research on disability, churches and Christianity, written in plain English. I’m grateful to Krysia Waldock for reviewing the booklet for the Inclusive Church blog.
My thesis, on disabled people’s experiences in churches, can be downloaded from the SOAS research website.
‘The Cult of Health and Wholeness: Normalcy and the Charismatic Christian Healing Movement.’ Book chapter in Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: Precarious Positions, University of Chester Press, 2016.
Reflections, Torch Trust, Premier Christian Radio, 10 June 2016
Interview about my research with Marilyn Baker, for Premier Christian Radio’s weekly show on disability and faith.
Questions of Faith: Faith and Disability, Share Radio, 26 June 2016
Interview with Mark Shoffman, together with Rev Bill Braviner and other disability theologians, on the barriers faced by many disabled people in faith communities.
Passing for Normal: The Austerity Politics of Visibility and Invisibility for Disabled People. Paper presented at the ‘Disrupting Visibility: The Politics of Passing’ conference, Goldsmiths, University of London, June 2015.
“Many disabled people desperately need the safety that is found in [the] invisibility that allows for passing.”
‘Imagine: Outside.’ The Still Point (1), 2015. Creative reflections on doing disability research as a disabled researcher. Performed at the Still Point journal launch. “I wonder if we have become too accustomed to waiting.”