Vision, Passion, Action

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There is much more content to come, as our website is expanded and refined in the weeks ahead.  Be sure to return again...

Want the Poster?

You can download a PDF copy of the School's poster by clicking here.

About this Site

This website is a perpetual work-in-progress that brings together the vision, passions and active contribution of faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters of the School of Disability Studies.

We extend our appreciation to the activists, artists and scholars in Canada and worldwide whose work is reflected in the content of this website, and whose energetic contributions have enriched not only our curricula, but more broadly, the dynamic and multidisciplinary field of Disability Studies.

We are indebted as well to the RBC Foundation, for all of the ambitious and unfettered creativity that its generous start-up funding activated, and to the many donors and funders who have for more than a decade supported our pedagogy, our award programs and our research.

Finally, for their skilled contributions in website design and architecture, we offer particular thanks to Tara Cleveland, Matt Justice, John Hajdu, Leif Parker and Ryerson University's Digital Media Projects office.

About Our Banner Graphic

The call for disability equality represents a complex tangle of culture, philosophy, ideology and practices. In our quest for a suitable image to identify our school in a poster and other promotional materials, we sought a visual language that would capture the energy, the allegiances and the ethos of our approach to Disability Studies. We wanted a symbol that provoked critical thought and an alternative vision. We wanted an alternative to those charity posters that have traditionally broadcasted an image of “tragic but brave” victims of disability.

Rebecca Beayni provided that image. Beayni has been painting for several years, working with a highly personal conductor-style technique that sends her colours dancing across the canvas. She created her painting “Passion” using poster paint on brown wrapping paper. It was hanging in a juried competition called Connections, an international competition by artists with disabilities mounted by the Abilities Arts Festival in the fall of 2003. This was her first show. She opted not to sell the piece, but she did grant us the right to use the image. Joss MacLennan (who designed the famous December 6 memorial poster, red roses on white lace to commemorate the 14 engineering students murdered at L’Ecole Polytechnique) conceived a poster design from Beayni's painting, noting that “the best posters are the ones you can’t quite get to the bottom of”.

Part of the fascinating and strange allure of a poster is the way it can say so much by using so little. Here was an image that could reshape the disability narrative and build a social identity grounded in pride.

Our banner graphic reproduces Beayni's image, and affirms what our poster declares:

Vision. Passion. Action.