Call for applications: Editor-in-chief position for the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research

The Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research (SJDR) is an Open Access, peer-reviewed journal published by Stockholm University Press. The journal is financially supported by the joint committee for Nordic research councils in the humanities and social sciences (NOS-HS) and The Nordic Network of Disability Research (NNDR).

SJDR welcomes applications for the position of Editor-in-Chief (EiC) to succeed the current EIC in the spring of 2022. Previous experience with Disability Studies / Disability Research as an author and a peer reviewer is required, and previous editorial responsibility is preferred. The position is contracted for a term of 3 years with a 2-year renewal option. The position is not supported financially, however, travel and other necessary expenses linked to the carrying out of the EiC’s responsibilities are available.

Deadline to apply is March 31st 2022

For further information, please contact Patrick Kermit, President of NNDR ( or Inger Marie Lid, current Editor-in-Chief (

Continue reading

Joint statement by the organizing committees of the Lancaster and NNDR Disability Conferences

Joint statement by the organizing committees of the Lancaster and NNDR Disability Conferences

Dear Colleagues and Friends

The on-going Covid-19 pandemic has meant we have had to revisit our plans for the next Lancaster and NNDR Conferences. It is no longer feasible to plan for in-person events in 2021 therefore we are postponing both conferences for a further 12 months to enable them to remain in alternate years and to enable as many of you as possible to attend both. The next Lancaster conference is now scheduled for 13-15th September 2022 and the next NNDR Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland in May 2023.

While we are deeply disappointed meeting in person will not be possible for another year we want to meet in a way that is accessible, inclusive and safe which is unlikely to be possible for some time. We continue to work together to explore ways we can provide digital spaces to meet, collaborate and support each other.

The first initiative we are taking is hosted by the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research in March. We hope many of you will join us at Disability Research: Doing Research and Publishing Papers in Pandemic Times in March.  There are further details on the SJDR website.

Hannah Morgan, Lancaster Conference
Stefan Celine Hardonk, NNDR Reykjavik organizing committee
Patrick Kermit, President NNDR

Joint statement by the organizing committees of the Lancaster and NNDR Disability Conferences

Photo by Ludovic Charlet on UnsplashDue to the Covid-19 pandemic the Lancaster CeDR 2020 and NNDR Reykjavik 2021 conferences are postponed for 12 months.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Disability Studies communities in the UK and the Nordic Countries have been closely connected for many years through social and personal contacts and collaboration in research and publishing. One manifest of these good relations is the way we synchronise our biennial conference to enable as many people as possible to participate and benefit from both.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made it untenable to plan or hold our conferences in the coming months as well as raising new challenges in how we arrange large scale academic events in the future. We are therefore working together and coordinating our efforts to

a) make practical arrangements and contingency plans for our conferences a) support the Disability Studies community and, not least,
b) to draw attention to the ways in which the measures taken to deal with Covid-19 impact the lives of disabled people.

The result of our cooperation is – thus far – as follows:

1) We have decided to postpone both our conferences a full year. The next Lancaster conference is re-scheduled to take place in September 2021, the next NNDR Conference in May 2022, in Reykjavik. We are considering ways to support as many participants as possible to attend both events.
2) We are exploring ways in which we – together – can provide digital spaces to meet, collaborate and support each other while the current situation lasts and would be keen to hear from colleagues who would like to be involved.

There might, of course, be need for further changes but we remain committed to working collaboratively and in solidarity with all our Disability Studies colleagues. For updates, please visit the Lancaster and NNDR Reykjavik webpages

Best regards

Greetings from NNDR to Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research on its transition to an Open Access publication

Patrick Kermit, president of the NNDR

The Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research is now completing its transition to an open access journal published by Stockholm University Press, thus transferring the cost of publishing from the reader to the author (or the author’s institution). On behalf of the Nordic Network of Disability Research I congratulate the journal, its editors, the publisher, and last but not least, its readers, on this occasion. I also want to express our gratitude to Taylor & Francis Ltd, who have hosted the journal in years past, both for their good work and the commitment they have shown. We are also very happy that all previously published articles in the back catalogue will be available as open access papers with this transition.

This address is mainly focused on the significance of becoming an open access journal. Disability research and disability studies are interdisciplinary fields, and in every respect academic disciplines as scientific as anyone else. The foundation for our work consists in seeking and expanding knowledge in our field, applying methods which observe common standards meant to secure norms like reliability and the possibility of verification. At the same time, one cannot fully appreciate the significance of disability research and disability studies without recognizing that other normative questions concerning social justice, equal rights, access and accessibility permeates studies in this field. This is why our decision to move to open access publishing is significant. Continue reading

The New NNDR Board meets

Photo: Hisayo Katsui

Once a year the Board meets for a physical meeting. Last week the meeting took place in Copenhagen, where the new board meet for the first time. Many exciting plans are ahead of NNDR. In addition to the meeting, members of the board visited the venue for the 15th NNDR Conference at Campus Carlsberg in Copenhagen. See the “about page” to fine out who is volunteering as NNDR board members.

Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research Goes Open Access!

Simo Vehmas, President of NNDR,

Fom the beginning of 2018, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research (SJDR) will be published with an Open access license by Stockholm University Press. This means that all the material in the journal can be downloaded for free and shared with colleagues without restrictions. The whole previous archive of SJDR with its 18 volumes will be made available free of charge as well. The entire journal content will thus become available to anyone with an access to internet. As the NNDR board and the Editors are already working hard with the transition to a new publisher, we’d like to announce the change now to open up for comments.

The journal will be a truly open publication because we have chosen the strategy to not charge the authors of publishing their material in SJDR. All the costs will be covered by NNDR. And now you’re thinking: there’s a catch, isn’t there? Yes, there is. It’s called Nordic social democracy. Continue reading

“I’m proud to be intellectually disabled, but I’d still like to learn how to read”

Professori Simo Vehmas 1.8.2013Simo Vehmas, Professor of Disability Studies, University of Helsinki, President of NNDR,,

I read recently a fascinating paper about the self-advocacy of young people with intellectual disability in Sweden by Magnus Tideman and Ove Svensson (Tideman & Svensson 2015). The findings of their study touch upon various contentious issues in disability studies such as the meaning of autonomy and independence, identity politics, and whether justice for disabled people is mainly a matter of distribution of goods or recognition of their equal worth.

Respect for self-determination and social justice seem to go hand in hand despite the fact that some impairments do pose a challenge for reconciling these two. What Tideman’s and Svensson’s paper highlights so well is the difficulty of “finding the right balance between giving an individual responsibility and independence and at the same time providing him or her with an adequate amount of help and support” (Tideman & Svensson 2015, 6). Providing disabled people with equal opportunities for autonomy and independence has always been important to disability movement despite the contested and ambiguous nature of the concept “autonomy”. The importance of disability identity is also contentious: some think that identification on the basis of impairment and discrimination to a disabled collective results in labeling and further discrimination rather than to empowerment and justice (e.g. Shakespeare 2006, ch. 5). Continue reading

Making Space: Exploring Intimate Citizenship in the lives of people labeled with learning disabilities

Jodie Bradley*, Vicky Farnsworth*, Annie Ferguson*, Hayley Wilcock*, Dan Goodley**, Kirsty Liddiard** and Katherine Runswick-Cole***

* Speak Up Self-Advocacy
** The University of Sheffield
*** Manchester Metropolitan University

In September 2015, we travelled to Toronto, Canada to take part in a workshop exploring intimate citizenship in the lives of people labeled with learning disabilities. Continue reading

Ad hominem is a fallacy, but not in disability studies?

simo-vehmas_mediumSimo Vehmas, Professor of Disability Studies, University of Helsinki, President of NNDR,,

I have been often asked why as a nondisabled person I’m interested in disability. Some ask the question because they assume that interest in disability requires a personal experience of impairment, and some because they doubt the credibility of an academic who lacks the personal experience of disablement. Whatever the reasons are, my answer lately to the question has been: “What makes you think that I’m not disabled?”

Obviously, it is because I’m socially privileged, but it is also because I don’t have a visible impairment. I do, however, have tinnitus, sleeping apnea and an unspecified arthritis of some sort. They’re all impairments, aren’t they? You may, however, think that these conditions are so minor that they’re not proper impairments and, as a result, my disability credibility is null. You might not say this to me in public because it would be politically incorrect, but, in my experience, most people (irrespective of their disability identity) do think along these lines. Continue reading

Thinking about the human; thinking about disability


Katherine Runswick-Cole (Manchester Metropolitan University) & Dan Goodley (University of Sheffield) (,

In this post, we think about what it means to be human.   We do so as part of a wider on-going research project Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and Civil Society (Economic and Social Research Council (ES/K004883/1)[1]).  The project (June, 2013 –June, 2015) asks how are disabled people with learning disabilities[2] faring in contemporary society in England?

It might seem that there is a bit of a leap from a project on ‘Big Society’ to thinking about what it means to be human, but we think that understanding what it means to be human matters if we want to understand what is happening in the lives of disabled people with learning disabilities in Big Society. Sometimes, we’ve been criticized by those who think that asking things like “what does it means to be human?” is a waste of time, that we are simply doing theory for theory’s sake.  Of course, we don’t agree with this view, indeed we would argue that our interest in thinking about the human is political; it is based on our personal commitment to a politics of disability and because of our own positions as family, friends and allies to people with the label of learning disability. Continue reading