Sneak Preview: Forum on Aging and Disability

Abstracts for Volume 12, Issues 2&3, August, 2016

Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

(Full articles will be available to subscribers only).

Securing Personal Input from Individuals Aging with Intellectual Disability: Do Differing Methodologies Produce Equivalent Information?

Stuart Wark, Ph.D. (1), Miranda Cannon-Vanry, M.A. (1), Marie Knox, Ph.D. (1, 2), Marie Parmenter (2), Rafat Hussain, Ph.D. (1, 4), Matthew Janicki, Ph.D. (1, 5), Chez Leggatt-Cook, Ph.D. (6), Meaghan Edwards, M.A. (2), Trevor Parmenter, Ph.D. (1, 2)

  1. School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Australia
  2. Centre for Disability Studies, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia
  3. Australian National University, Australia
  4. ANU Medical School & Research School of Population Health, Centre for Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University, Australia
  5. Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA
  6. Uniting Care Community, Australia

Abstract: Research is limited on whether differing methodologies for facilitating personal contributions from individuals aging with intellectual disability produce equivalent knowledge outcomes. Two matched purpose-developed tools examined five quality-of-life domains. Results showed substantial variance between qualitative interview responses and Likert-scale data, and indicate validity concerns for using either methodology in isolation.

Keywords: quality of life; methodology; developmental disability

To Include or Not to Include? Realities, Challenges and Resistances to the Participation of People with Disabilities in Seniors’ Organizations

Emilie Raymond, Ph.D. & Nadine Lacroix, M.A.

Université Laval, École de Service Social


Abstract: People with disabilities are often excluded from mainstream seniors’ organizations. A participatory action research project was undertaken in a seniors’ leisure association to better include members with disabilities. Results underline the importance of understanding the interaction of individual and environmental factors when looking to support the participation of seniors with disabilities.

Keywords: Social participation; Inclusion; Senior

Compulsory Youthfulness: Intersections of Ableism and Ageism in “Successful Aging” Discourses

Hailee M. Gibbons

University of Illinois at Chicago


Abstract: This article forwards the theory of compulsory youthfulness as a way to explore how ableism, ageism, and other systems of oppression intersect to produce the societal mandate that people must remain youthful and non-disabled throughout the life course, particularly in a cultural context that holds successful aging as an ideal.

Keywords: ageism, ableism, intersectionality

‘My Body Feels Old’: Seniors’ Discursive Constructions of Aging-as-Disabling

Yvonne R. Teems, Ph.D.

Hofstra University


Abstract: Social gerontology and disability studies have made similar but separate arguments for ways to study aging and disability, respectively. This article argues for the use of a disability studies perspective to examine seniors’ lived experiences. This study conducts interviews with twelve seniors ages 60 to 80 and analyzes the ways they talk about their bodies using grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The study finds that seniors characterize aging as disabling and position both identity constructions as negative.

Keywords: phenomenology, lived experience, discourse

Coverage of Aging Well of Individuals Aging with a Disability in Canadian Newspapers: A Content Analysis

Gregor Wolbring, Ph.D. & Bushra Abdullah

Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary


Abstract: Aging well is a significant issue for an increasing number of disabled people, yet there is limited attention to what it means to age well from the perspectives of disabled people.  This article shares the results from comparative analysis of representations of disability in 4899 Canadian newspaper articles and four policy reports on aging well, and discusses its implications for aging well for disabled people.

Keywords: ability studies, IAD, interpretive analysis

No Longer Disabled – Reflections on a Transitional Process Between Disability and Aging in Switzerland

Francesca Rickli, M.A.

University of Zurich


Abstract: Switzerland’s social security system categorizes seniors with disabilities according to the onset of the disability. The transitional point between disability insurance and old age insurance is retirement. The paper describes the underlying assumptions leading to this transition as well as the ways in which seniors with mobility disabilities deal with its effects.

Keywords: social security, Switzerland, successful aging

Aging and Disability: The Paradoxical Positions of the Chronological Life Course

Amanda Grenier, Ph.D., Meredith Griffin, Ph.D. & Colleen McGrath Ph.D.

Health, Aging and Society & Gilbrea Centre, McMaster University


Abstract: This paper explores aging and disability, problematizing the paradoxical tendency to separate and conflate these social locations in chronological understandings of the life course. Exploring how such thinking has shaped assumptions, responses, knowledge, policy and practice, we conclude with suggestions to reconsider disability across the life course and into late life.

Keywords: successful aging, structured dependency, legitimized identity

The Becoming Subject of Dementia

Katie Aubrecht, Ph.D. & Janice Keefe

Mount Saint Vincent University


Abstract: In this paper we analyse the becoming subject of dementia, as it is made to appear within the contexts of nation-building and everyday life. Insights yielded from this analysis suggest the importance of time to recognition of normalcy, and to the meaning of being a person.

Keywords: dementia; population aging; normalcy