Some members of the disability studies community were likely puzzled when the call for submissions to this special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly began to circulate on various list-servs, facebook, and other social media last year. For although the tone of the call for papers seemed to indicate that the theme of the issue—Improving Feminist Philosophy and Theory by Taking Account of Disability—was somehow pathbreaking, risk-taking, contentious, and transgressive, the integration of disability within feminist theory and practice has been discussed and written about quite a bit since at least 1988, the year in which Michelle Fine and Adrienne Asch published their landmark edited collection Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics. In fact, Adrienne Asch, Anita Ghai, Alison Kafer, Helen Meekosha, Jenny Morris, Harilyn Russo, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and I are only some of the many disabled feminists who have written about the relationship between feminism and disabled women; how feminist theory must expand in order to incorporate the claims of disability theory; the potential that feminist disability studies has to transform feminism, and so on. Thus, some (or, perhaps many) members of the disability studies community may well have doubted that a forthcoming publication about feminism/feminist theory and disability would be theoretically innovative (not to mention, inspiring and subversive) at all. I want to point out, therefore, that this feminist issue of DSQ is unique, ground-breaking, and can be distinguished from other edited collections and special journal issues devoted to feminist disability studies and theory insofar as it focuses primarily on disability and feminist philosophy, inaugurating the emergence of feminist philosophy of disability, which is the term that I have coined to refer to the field of inquiry that simultaneously contributes to and widens the scope of feminist philosophy, philosophy of disability (as I have called it), and feminist disability studies, with all three of which feminist philosophy of disability shares many theoretical assumptions, social values, and political aims, but from all three of which it is distinct.
The sub-discipline of feminist philosophy has expanded enormously over the past two decades, now covering the full range of specializations (ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, etc.) that are approached through all of the various philosophical traditions and schools (analytic, Continental, Indian, Jewish, African, Aristotelian, and so on). Feminists located within philosophy departments also draw upon and influence the work of feminist theorists located in other academic disciplines (as well as work of feminists who write from outside of academia) in order to articulate how gendered power relations are constituted and sustained; how the production of these power relations on the micro-level of the subject contributes to and conditions the production of more systemic gendered relations of power; and how these gendered power relations—on both the micro- and macro-levels—are interwoven with and reinforce (for instance) racism, classism, colonialism, imperialism, and heterosexism. Indeed, many feminist philosophers believe that they share more intellectual and theoretical assumptions and values with feminist theorists located in other disciplines (and outside of academia) than they do with non-feminist philosophers in their own discipline and, perhaps especially, more than they do with non-feminist philosophers who write in the same areas of specialization as them.
Notwithstanding the porous borders of feminist philosophy, distinctions between feminist philosophy and feminist theory (as fluid and contestable as they may be) can, nevertheless, be drawn. The term feminist philosopher is generally used in the discourses of the discipline and other academic discourses to refer only to a feminist author with certain institutionally-conferred credentials and training, who can thereby be distinguished from (say) a feminist sociologist, historian, or biologist. The contributions to this special issue of DSQ on feminist philosophy of disability follow that convention, that is, throughout the issue the term feminist philosopher is reserved to refer to a feminist author located within a philosophy department or a feminist author not located in a philosophy department who, nevertheless, has a terminal degree in philosophy. The term feminist philosophy is used throughout the issue to refer to a particular sub-discipline of philosophy and the body of work (including arguments, claims, theories, and so on) that its practitioners—namely, feminist philosophers—have produced, oftentimes, though not exclusively, work that engages with arguments, claims, and theories that other feminist and non-feminist philosophers have articulated. Throughout the issue, furthermore, the terms feminist theorist and feminist theory are used more generally to refer to (respectively) feminist authors and theoretical texts, claims, etc. that fall outside of these more exclusive categories. A parallel distinction is made between "feminist philosophy of disability" and "feminist disability theory/disability studies" throughout the issue. To be sure, not all of the contributors to this issue are feminist philosophers; rather, some of the authors included in the issue are feminist scholars who write from within other disciplines and situate their work in the inter- and trans-disciplinary field of disability studies. Nevertheless, the contributions of these feminist authors too have enabled the emergence of feminist philosophy of disability insofar as they engage in some way with philosophy, that is, with an area of the discipline of philosophy itself, with claims that non-feminist philosophers have made or have failed to make, with claims that feminist philosophers themselves have advanced, or with what feminist philosophers have left out of their analyses.
One aim of this special issue is, thus, to carve out a space for feminist philosophy of disability, identifying the distinctness of this new area of inquiry, in addition to its connections to other fields of inquiry. For I maintain that we should strongly resist the efforts of some feminist and non-feminist bioethicists and philosophers to (re)define and categorize any and all (feminist and other) critical research and writing on disability as "disability bioethics," "feminist bioethics," or simply "bioethics" (Tremain 2010). When feminist and non-feminist bioethicists and philosophers make the reductive assumption and assertion that any and all work that pertains to disability is in some sense biomedical or bioethical in nature—even when this work primarily addresses evidently metaphysical and epistemological concerns and questions—they variously sequester (feminist and non-feminist) philosophy of disability in the realm of "applied ethics," depoliticize and re-medicalize disability in ways that facilitate its continued omission from complex, intersectional feminist philosophical analyses and, furthermore, collaborate with the institutionalized, discursive, and structural ableism of the discipline and profession of philosophy according to which philosophical analyses of disability are "not really" (i.e., not "hard," not "core," not "rigorous") philosophy. In another context, Tommie Shelby has likewise pointed out that African American philosophy is diminished and delegitimized in a related way within the discipline of philosophy. In We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity, Shelby (2005) writes: "Within the broader discipline of philosophy as practised in the United States, African American philosophy is still largely marginalized. Many philosophers regard it as not real philosophy at all. And when it is considered philosophical, it is given the label applied philosophy, a term often used derisively to denote work that is considered 'soft' or only marginally philosophical" (13; emphasis in Shelby). Indeed, reductionism and derision are strategies that dominant strains within the discipline and profession of philosophy deploy in order contain ("quarantine," to use Foucault's terminology) the influence and impact on the tradition of Western philosophy and status quo of the profession of a variety of philosophical counter-discourses.
To date, no journal issue or edited collection has concentrated on feminist philosophy of disability. Yet, a growing number of feminist philosophers write about disability from within a critical, non-traditional, non-conventional approach that challenges the ways that certain forms of human existence have been either vilified within the history of the Western philosophical tradition or exiled from it. This critical philosophical approach also resists and runs counter to the dominant conceptualization of disability persistently elaborated within contemporary bioethics, cognitive science, and mainstream political philosophy and ethics especially, according to which disability is variously naturalized as an organic abnormality, a deficit, personal misfortune, or pathology that inevitably leads to the social and economic disadvantages that disabled subjects confront. In other words, feminist philosophers of disability take a critical stance toward the history of philosophy and the contemporary practice of mainstream philosophy in order to elaborate new ways in which to think about disability and the current social, political, cultural, and economic position of disabled subjects. In order to do so, furthermore, they employ the very methods, concepts, analytical rigor, and argumentative tools of the Western philosophical tradition and the discipline of philosophy in which they have been trained, in addition to critically evaluating these practices and tools through the concepts, political commitments, critical insights, and personal investments that shape feminist, anti-ableist, anti-racist, anti-classist, and anti-heterosexist theory and practice.
The inter- and trans-disciplinary field of disability studies has provided feminist philosophers of disability with a variety of opportunities to present and publish their work; however, as I explain in more detail below, few such opportunities have been available to feminist philosophers of disability within the discipline of philosophy and the sub-discipline of feminist philosophy themselves. For feminist philosophers of disability and disabled philosophers, the opportunities for employment and advancement within professional philosophy are also few. To be sure, the disparity between the labor-participation rates of disabled and nondisabled people across all sectors of society is abysmal: 21% for disabled people compared to 69% for nondisabled people. 1 Across academia, however, the discipline of philosophy stands out as especially discriminatory and exclusive, with indicators suggesting that disabled philosophers constitute less than 5% of fulltime philosophy professors. Indeed, as the call for papers to this special issue noted, and as I discuss below, job postings for positions in philosophy departments do not identify philosophy of disability (or disability studies) as a legitimate area of specialization within the discipline, even if and when departments purportedly seek to hire philosophers whose work concentrates on intersectional feminist philosophy, power and oppression, and cultural differences and diversity, and even though the job postings of most universities and colleges include boiler-plate pronouncements according to which these institutions are "equal opportunity" employers and "affirmative action" employers.
Lennard Davis (2011), among others, has drawn attention to ways that disability—as an analytic category—is routinely omitted from the understandings of "diversity" that circulate within the institutional and theoretical discourses produced throughout the humanities and social sciences. Such omissions contribute to the reproduction of individualized and medicalized conceptions of disability and the subordinated social status of disabled people; actively shape the composition of the university community; limit the impact that these discourses on diversity have beyond academia; and undermine their subversive or radical potential (see also Connor 2012). The series "Diversity in Academe" that runs in The Chronicle of Higher Education provides a stark example of these institutional, structural, and discursive omissions. Of the 16 most recent articles in the series, none has focussed on disability, with disability mentioned only once in 1 article of the series. Ironically, this sole mention of disability came in an article entitled "In the Ivies, It's Still White at the Top" when Kevin Cook, its author, reported that a white lesbian administrator at Princeton, who had participated in the survey for the article, pointed out that the addition of "the categories of disability, sexuality, and religion" would provide The Chronicle with a fuller conception of "diversity" than its current attention to gender, race, and ethnicity alone offers (Cook 2013). 2
Nowhere in the humanities and social sciences is this intolerable state of affairs graver than in the discipline and profession of philosophy. Although critical inquiry into disability has made remarkable inroads throughout the academy, it remains suppressed within and indeed virtually excluded from philosophy, a predicament that should be attributed to a complex and complicated set of interrelated factors, including the historical composition and demographics of professional philosophy itself, the narrow concentration of the prevailing subject-matter and techniques of philosophy, the increasingly close association between philosophy and the sciences, the limited theoretical, discursive, and political focus of most feminist philosophy, and the implicitly ableist self-conceptions of mainstream philosophy and feminist philosophy (and their practitioners). I shall now explicate some of these factors in order to provide a context within which readers not familiar with the unbearable state of affairs in the discipline and profession of philosophy can position the contributions to this issue of DSQ and also so that motivation for the issue itself can be fully appreciated. I begin with an overview of the monotonous sameness of professional philosophy; then, I zero in on some of the institutionalized disciplinary and discursive sources of the marginalization of philosophy of disability and feminist philosophy of disability. My discussion of the marginalization of philosophy of disability within feminist philosophical contexts reintroduces the notion of "diversity" to this introduction. I end my introduction to this special issue of DSQ with an outline of the contributions to it.
Among the humanities and social sciences, philosophy is the most conservative and homogeneous—nondisabled, white, male, heterosexual—discipline demographically, rivalling only the STEM fields (sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in this regard across academia. 3 In the U.S., women comprise only 21% of philosophy faculty, though apparently less than 17% of full-time tenured and tenure-track philosophy faculty (for instance, see Shen 2013; Norlock 2009, 2011). A report released by the British Philosophical Association in 2011 indicated that only 24% of permanent lecturer positions in philosophy departments in the U.K. are held by women (Jump 2013). In 2007, the Australasian Association of Philosophy commissioned a report entitled "Improving the Participation of Women in the Philosophy Profession" that found that women held only 23% of all full-time and fractional full-time work contracts in Australasian philosophy departments (Australian Association of Philosophy, 2007). Anecdotal observations indicate that, in Canada, the figure is somewhat higher with respect to full-time tenure-track and tenured positions held by women—approximately 30-35%—though, of course, even this percentage does not amount to gender equity. Kathryn T. Gines (2011) reports that fewer than 125 of the more than 11,000 members of the American Philosophical Association (APA) are black or African American; of these, fewer than 30 are black or African American women. Although the APA has collected data about the percentages of some of the minority social groups that are underrepresented in philosophy departments in the U.S. (American Philosophical Association 2013c), a concerted and systematic effort to collect such data about disabled philosophers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender philosophers employed in full-time tenured or tenure-track positions has thus far not been undertaken by any organization of professional philosophers—anywhere. Nevertheless, there are some indicators available.
With an international membership of more than 11,000 people, each of whom is affiliated with one of the associations three regional—Eastern, Central, or Pacific—divisions, the APA is the largest professional association worldwide to promote the profession of philosophy and the interests of its practitioners, namely, professional philosophers. Within the APA, there is a national office and a national governing executive body (the Board of Officers), although the association's three regional divisions are relatively autonomous: each of the divisions has its own governing body (some members of each of which comprise the greatest portion of the national Board of Officers), each division has its own by-laws, elects its own divisional executive committee, manages its own finances, and each division organizes an annual conference held within its designated region of the U.S. These divisional meetings, co-ordinated in part with staff of the national office, are the most widely attended and, arguably, the most prestigious conferences on the philosophy calendar of any given year, and each of them is comprised of a few hundred sessions that take place over the course of several days. Furthermore, during one of the meetings—the Eastern Division meeting—a large job fair is held at which preliminary interviews for many of the jobs in the field take place. Staff members at the national office also operate a website that, among other things, provides information about important developments in the profession and the association itself, co-hosts a job board, operates home pages for each of the three divisions, and distributes the newsletters of various committees within the association. 4
In 2013, the Pacific Division of the APA (American Philosophical Association Pacific Division 2013a, 2013b) conducted an anonymous survey of all of the participants in its annual meeting, as it had done in previous years (see American Philosophical Association Pacific Division 2012a, 2012b) in order to determine the extent to which the Division's efforts to increase the diversity of its program have been successful, as well as to provide data that would serve as benchmarks to assess improvements with respect to the diversity of future programs. The questions on the survey asked the conference participants to identify the role that they served on the program (e.g., chair, speaker, commentator, author, or critic), their area of specialization (e.g., philosophy of science, ancient philosophy, biomedical ethics, or feminist philosophy), their institutional rank or status (postdoctoral fellow, student, associate professor, etc.), their age and gender, whether they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, how they identify with respect to race and ethnicity, and which of them identifies as "a person with a disability."
Some of the findings of the surveys mirrored the dismal employment figures for women philosophers and black philosophers (some of whom are, of course, women) cited above, while some of the other survey results reinforced anecdotal information and observations about the bleak situations vis-à -vis professional philosophy for other groups of racialized philosophers, for LGBT philosophers, and for disabled philosophers (all of which groups are by no means mutually exclusive). In 2012, 66% of the conference program participants had indicated that they were male compared to 34% who had indicated that they were female. In 2013, 69% of the conference program participants indicated that they were male, compared to 30% who indicated that they were female, and 1% who indicated that they identified as neither male nor female. In 2012, 1% of the conference participants indicated that they were black or African American; and, in 2013, 2% of the conference participants indicated that they were black or African American. In 2012, 4% of the survey respondents had indicated that they were Spanish/Hispanic/Latino men and 7% of the respondents had indicated that they were Spanish/Hispanic/Latina women. In 2013, only 2% of the survey respondents indicated that they were Spanish/Hispanic/Latino men or Spanish/Hispanic/Latina women. In 2012, 4% of the respondents had indicated that they were East or Southeast Asian men and 2% had indicated that they were East or Southeast Asian women. In 2013, 4% of the respondents indicated that they were East or Southeast Asian. In 2012, 1% and 2% of the respondents indicated that they were South Asian men and women, respectively. In 2013, 2% of the respondents indicated that they were South Asian. No respondent, that is, no conference participant, identified as Native American or Indigenous on either the 2012 survey or the 2013 survey. Nor did any conference participant in these years identify as a Pacific Islander. In both years, 2% of the survey respondents, that is, 2% of the conference participants identified as multi-racial. Of the respondents to the 2012 survey, 90% indicated that they were white, that is, 92% of the men on the 2012 program indicated that they were white and 88% of the women on the 2012 program indicated that they were white. Of the respondents to the 2013 survey, 89% identified as white. In 2012, 10% of the program participants had indicated that they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. In 2013, 9% of the program participants identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. In both years, approximately 4% of the conference participants responded that they identify as "a person with a disability." In other words, 96% of the conference participants on the 2012 and 2013 conference programs identified as nondisabled.
The woeful findings of these anonymous conference surveys do not constitute comprehensive and systematic statistical analyses of the demographical composition of professional philosophy; nevertheless, there is no good reason to suppose that they do not, for the most part, closely resemble the miserable current state of affairs with respect to employment in the field. To be sure, the gender imbalance at the conferences was considerably narrower than the figures generally cited with respect to gender disparities in the profession (see above); however, that the Pacific Divisions efforts to improve the diversity of its programs have until now concentrated largely on improving gender equity (construed as equity between men and women)—in terms of who has assembled meeting programs, who has participated on them, in what capacity they have participated, and what the contents of the programs were—provides a good explanation for the discrepancy between the two sources of data. That the percentage of participants who identified themselves as disabled (4%) was so low, that is, did not closely resemble the percentage of disabled people in the population at large (an estimated 20-25%) is almost certainly due to the exclusion of disabled people from academia altogether, but should also be attributed to the marginalization of disabled philosophers in the discipline and the contents and composition of APA conference programs themselves, that is, which papers are accepted for the programs, whose papers are accepted, from whom papers are invited, who is believed to have expertise in a given area and thus invited to chair or comment in a session, and how program committees themselves are comprised. 5
Indeed, as the call for submissions to this special issue noted, in 2011-2012, none of the annual meetings of the three APA divisions—that is, neither the Pacific Division meeting, nor the Eastern Division meeting, nor the Central Division meeting—included an invited symposium, a refereed session, or even a single invited or refereed paper on disability. One early outcome of this special issue project has been that various networks of power within the national APA establishment and two of the divisions themselves attempted to rectify this ableist state of affairs once the call for submissions to the issue of DSQ explicitly drew it to the attention of the international philosophical community: two sessions on disability appeared on the 2013 program of the Central Division (American Philosophical Association 2013a) and several sessions on disability appeared on the 2013 program of the Pacific Division (American Philosophical Association 2013b).
Notwithstanding the appearance of these sessions on recent divisional programs, the APA does a poor job of representing disabled philosophers and advocating for their concerns and interests. Attention to the accessibility of the association, generally, and to its divisional meetings, in particular—in the form of real-time captioning (CART), American Sign Language (ASL), large-print and Braille registration and other materials, directional signage for wayfinding at meetings, attendant services, and so on—is not considered part and parcel of the usual organizational practices of the national APA; that is, the assumptions of Universal Design (UD) have not entered the conceptual or linguistic repertoire of the APA (or indeed of philosophers in general). Instead, the association remains wedded to an individualized and privatized conception of disability, wherein accessibility is conceived as an end state, rather than as a practice,6 and whereby the requirements of a certain range of people are taken for granted and naturalized as "normal," regular, and typical, the preferential allocation of appropriate resources for which is rendered invisible precisely insofar as these requirements are considered "standard" and basic, while the requirements of certain other people (namely, disabled people) are perceived as "special needs," idiosyncratic, and extra-ordinary, the allocation of resources to which is regarded as supererogatory, discretionary, and supplementary, construed as "accommodation," and taken into account only if and when individual disabled people make "special," "confidential" requests for the provisions and services that they require. Nevertheless, no specific information about how to make these accessibility requests or any other general information about disability (let alone an established comprehensive accessibility policy) is publicized on the newly-furbished website of the APA, which offers no more than links (under a tab entitled "Resources on Diversity and Inclusiveness") to a blog-post elsewhere on the web that gives rudimentary instructions about organizing an accessible conference, to a blog-post elsewhere that provides information about a largely inactive listserv, and to a couple of blogs also elsewhere on the web, one of which is pretty much defunct. 7 In short, the national APA provides no useful information to its membership about (for instance): what chairs and others participants of divisional meetings should do in order to increase the accessibility of sessions at the meetings (e.g., use microphones, repeat questions from audience members, provide oral description of Powerpoint slides, and make hard copies of presentations available); what provisions and services will "upon request" be made available at a given divisional meeting (e.g., CART, large-print registration materials, attendant services, and so on); whom to approach within the association in order to make these latter arrangements; what measures hiring committees should implement in order to ensure that they do not import biases and prejudices into their assessments of disabled candidates; and how departments can improve the (hostile) climate that disabled faculty confront in the discipline and profession.
The failure on the part of the national APA to provide information on its website about accessibility to the divisional meetings (not to mention, its implementation of an "accommodationist" approach to accessibility) entails that disabled philosophers who require these (and other) provisions and services must track down the information themselves through the various channels of the national and divisional offices of the association; as experience has shown, however, the information on the matter that disabled philosophers receive from one source within the association may conflict with the information that they receive from another source within it. In other words, disabled philosophers must make more effort—and potentially, considerably more effort—to participate in the annual divisional meetings (and the association in general) than is required of nondisabled philosophers, an inequitable state of affairs that implicitly discourages the participation of disabled philosophers at the meetings and reinforces prevalent biases according to which all philosophers are nondisabled and that no disabled person is a philosopher.
Nor have the Secretary-Treasurers of the Eastern (see Bett 2012) and Central (see Smith 2013) Divisions of the APA provided any information about accessibility at (CART, ASL, attendant services, a quiet room, etc.) and to (wheelchair-accessible airport shuttles and taxis) their annual meetings in the prefatory material to the issues of the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association (the conference programs) devoted to their respective meetings. To be sure, the Central and Eastern Divisions have tended not to provide any information whatsoever about airport shuttles or local transportation in their respective issues of the Proceeding and Addresses; however, since advance reservations are required for accessible airport shuttles and taxis in most of the American cities in which the meetings are held, the failure to provide this kind of information means that philosophers who use wheelchairs, walkers, or who otherwise need wheelchair-accessible transit must seek out the information for themselves (say, through a web search or "call-out" on social media) or run the risk that they will be stranded at the airport in the city in which any given meeting takes place. Like the failure of the national APA office to adopt a UD approach or even provide general information about accessibility on its website, the failure on the part of the Eastern and Central Divisions to provide more specific information about access to and at their respective meetings entails that participation in them requires more effort on the part of some disabled philosophers than is required of other philosophers, an unfair state of affairs that relies on and reproduces biased and prejudicial assumptions about who philosophers are, who comprises the membership of the association, what they require to do their work, and what is an equitable distribution of resources. Indeed, the only reference to accessibility to or at the Eastern and Central Division conferences made in the prefatory material to their respective issues of the 2012-2013 Proceedings and Addresses amounts to this sentence (used in both of the issues) about hotel accommodations: "Please be sure to let the hotel know if you are physically challenged 8 and have special room requirements" (emphases added). A final insult to disabled philosophers has come in the form of the ableist language ("blind review") used in the calls for papers for upcoming Eastern and Central meetings that has appeared in the prefatory material to the respective Eastern and Central Division programs (see Bett 2012; Smith 2013).
The Pacific Division of the APA is an exception to this neglect of concerns and issues for disabled philosophers. In addition to its efforts to collect demographic information about the composition of its meetings, the Pacific Division has issued a "Statement on Program Diversity" (American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, April 2012) that articulates an explicit commitment to the increased participation of disabled philosophers in all aspects of its meetings and to the collection and review of data in this regard. The Pacific Division has also provided some information about accessible transportation (airport shuttles, taxis) in past issues of the Proceedings and Addresses devoted to its conference and has eliminated ableist language from its calls for papers in favor of the term anonymous review (Lopes 2013). Furthermore, the Pacific APA indicates quite prominently on its section of the national APA website that it complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the organization of its meetings. These measures, undertaken by the Pacific Division, go some distance to redress the legacy of inaction and indifference on the part of the APA national office and the Eastern and Central Divisions with respect to the inclusion and participation of disabled philosophers; nevertheless, there is certainly need for improvement. In particular, although the Pacific APA demonstrates its commitment to inclusion of and accessibility (construed as compliance with the ADA) to disabled philosophers on its homepage, the assumptions that underpin this pledge derive (as do the national APA's distribution of resources) from an individualized and medicalized conception of disability, rather than a politicized conception of it. That is, the Pacific APA does not assume a UD approach, but rather makes accessibility provisions and services ("accommodations") available to individual members who require them only if and after they complete a form (posted to its section of the national APA website) that solicits documentation of a given member's "primary" disability, "secondary" disabilities, and "functional limitations" in order to verify that the provisions and services requested are genuinely required. 9 In other words, disciplinary medical and legal discourses that imply and reinforce each other determine the extent to which the Pacific APA "accommodates" disabled people, who must enter into a confessional mode and simultaneously subjectify themselves as anomalous and indeed deficient in order to secure the services and provisions that they require.
The dire situation of disabled philosophers vis-à-vis the APA in particular and professional philosophy more generally, that is, many of the obstacles to the participation of disabled philosophers within the APA and, arguably, the profession of philosophy more broadly would be addressed if a committee devoted to improving the status of disabled philosophers existed within the association, a committee, that is, on a par with the committees in the association that serve other underrepresented groups in the profession: the Committee for the Status of Women in Philosophy, the Committee on the Status of Blacks in Philosophy, the Committee on Hispanics, the Committee on Asian & Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies, the Committee on Indigenous Philosophers, and the Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Philosophers. 10 A committee devoted to improving the status of disabled philosophers could (among other things) press the national APA executive to develop a comprehensive policy on accessibility for the association at large, organize sessions in slots that are guaranteed on the programs of the divisional meetings, and establish and disseminate a newsletter to the APA general membership (as most of these other committees do) in which issues of concern to disabled philosophers and relevant to disability and philosophy would be considered, raising the profile of disabled philosophers within the association and also within the profession at large. 11 If a committee devoted to disabled philosophers were treated on a par with the aforementioned APA committees, furthermore, the chair of the committee (like the chairs of the other committees) would hold a position on the national Standing Committee for Inclusiveness in the Profession, 12 giving disabled philosophers another avenue through which to influence APA policy and practice. That, to date, no such recognized committee has been established to address and advocate for the concerns and interests of disabled philosophers at this level of the hierarchy in the APA is yet another way in which the constituency of disabled philosophers receives inequitable treatment within the association and ultimately is tacitly discouraged from remaining in the profession at all. 13
In addition to the constitutive role that the aforementioned entrenched institutional practices and the epistemologies of ignorance from which they stem play in the homogeneous composition of professional philosophy overall, the uniformity of the philosophy "professoriate" produces and is reproduced by and through (among other things): the narrow range of topics and issues that the top journals in the field address; the restrictive set of writing styles and techniques that contributions to these journals (must) employ; the predictable sameness of the contributors and contributions to the edited collections and textbooks that the leading publishers of philosophy generate; the rigid hierarchy of disciplinary specializations that is enforced through departmental course offerings, job postings, and hiring practices and preferences; and the extremely limited number of knowledges and perspectives to which authoritative status accrues across the discipline and throughout the profession. Topics and issues, techniques, specializations, and knowledges and perspectives that go against the grain—that is, do not reinforce a certain (nondisabled, white, male, cisgender, heterosexual) persona of the professional philosopher; do not uphold a certain style and practice of doing philosophy; and even resist the prevailing self-congratulatory sense of awe(someness) and wonder about what the tradition of Western philosophy has done/does (i.e., "discover" universal and timeless truths)—are variously marginalized, discounted, obscured, and rendered as irrelevant for, and even detrimental to, the "health" of philosophy and indeed the expansion of human knowledge and progression of (hu)mankind themselves. In short, non-European, non-Western, anti-ableist, feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, queer, and other non-conformist and non-mainstream concerns, knowledges, values, cultural traditions, and perspectives remain widely regarded and represented—both implicitly and explicitly, across the discipline and throughout the profession—as biased, as "ideology," partial, naïve, misinformation, and error.
Over the course of several decades, feminist philosophers have responded to the homogeneity, sexism, and masculinism of the profession and discipline of philosophy in a variety of ways. Feminist philosophers have convincingly shown that there are correlations between the demographics of the profession and the content of philosophical inquiry, conditioning (among other things) what questions are prioritized, how they get asked, what kinds of answers are sought, and what methods of investigation are employed. The efforts of feminist philosophers have had lasting and far-reaching effects, raising the consciousness of professional philosophers about gender inequality and sexism (construed as binary relations between men and women) within the profession, discipline, and tradition of philosophy. These efforts and the fruit of them include: the publication of a number of anthologies and edited collections of feminist philosophy; the establishment of professional associations for women philosophers and feminist philosophers; the founding and development of a premiere journal of feminist philosophy; special issues of other philosophy journals devoted to feminist philosophy or topics especially of interest to feminist philosophers; the establishment of a blog for feminist philosophers; the election of quite a number of women and feminist philosophers to leadership positions within the APA and other national philosophy associations; and the growing presence of feminist philosophy at APA divisional meetings, that is, the increasing number of sessions on division programs that address topics and concerns especially of interest to feminist philosophers and women, that highlight gender inequality in the profession, or that focus on the work of a woman philosopher.
Nevertheless, it is quite clear that the benefits that have directly and indirectly accrued to feminist philosophers and women philosophers due to these improvements have not been distributed equally among them (as the Pacific APA data demonstrates). Nondisabled white women philosophers (and those who pass or have passed as such) have been the almost exclusive beneficiaries of these developments, a result for which they themselves are, to some degree, responsible and for which they should, to some extent, be held accountable. By virtue of their disability and race privilege—that is, as the most advantaged constituency of underrepresented philosophers in the profession—many nondisabled white feminist philosophers continue to implicitly and explicitly construe gender as prior to, more fundamental than, and separable from other matrices of subjecting power, even if and when they claim to endorse and uphold the political, theoretical, and discursive value of intersectionality. In other words, many feminist philosophers continue to presume that "women" share so many experiences by virtue of their (conventional) gender—and are, therefore, "similarly situated" in the most significant ways with respect to privilege and oppression—that an analytic focus on gender in isolation from, say, disability, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, and nationality constitutes a legitimate project. For these feminist philosophers, that is, women are first and foremost oppressed as women and are oppressed as different groups of women—that is, as disabled lesbians of color, as disabled bisexual white women, as nondisabled heterosexual women of color, and so on—only secondarily and less significantly. Notice, however, that the purity of this analytical conception of the category of gender is achieved only by obscuring other axes and networks of power with which gender is complicit and co-exists, usually through the implicit institution of a nondisabled white norm (see McKenzie, 2013). In concrete terms, feminist philosophers and theorists who make this implicit motivational assumption develop techniques and pursue projects that likewise prioritize the category of gender in isolation from other subjecting categories. 14 Thus, the often unacknowledged belief according to which gender is isolatable from other matrices of subjecting power has led to a number of rather self-serving and politically-counterproductive conceptual, theoretical, and institutional practices that have found their way into recent feminist efforts to "diversify" the profession of philosophy.
Consider the expressions "women and other underrepresented groups" and "women and minorities," terminology that has been readily transported from managerial and juridical discourses (such as corporate social responsibility statements, government policy, university administration protocols, etc.) and uncritically assimilated into feminist (and other) discourses ostensibly designed to contest and reduce the homogeneous character and composition of the discipline and profession of philosophy. These two expressions, which have been mobilized primarily by nondisabled heterosexual white women philosophers, enable them to conceal their own specificity—that is, their own privileged position vis-à -vis the profession, the discipline of philosophy, and the sub-discipline of feminist philosophy—and simultaneously retain their position of centrality and primacy in the very feminist discourses that they advance to resist the homogeneity of the discipline and profession in the first place. For the only women who are not (already) included in the nebulous denouement of the phrases "women and other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "women and minorities in philosophy" are nondisabled straight white women themselves. If any women other than nondisabled heterosexual white women are assumed to be encompassed by the category of "women" used in these phrases, then the phrases themselves would be redundant. Who, after all, are these nameless, faceless, and unidentified other "Others"? That is, it seems that nondisabled heterosexual white women should be recognized as the only women encompassed by the category of "women" in the phrases "women and other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "women and minorities in philosophy." Without nondisabled heterosexual white women, that is, the category of "women"—which is prioritized in the phrases "women and other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "women and minorities in philosophy"—would be empty. Indeed, it seems that the phrases "women and other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "women and minorities in philosophy"—which simultaneously position nondisabled straight white women as the paradigm of "women" and de-gender all other women—should be recognized as equivalent to the phrases "nondisabled heterosexual white women and other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "nondisabled heterosexual white women and minorities in philosophy." Because of the furtive vagueness of the expressions "other underrepresented groups in philosophy" and "minorities in philosophy," furthermore, that is, because the referents of these phrases are rarely, if ever, specified or identified, these expressions have come to be employed interchangeably within feminist discourses on diversifying philosophy, enabling concealment of the fact that, in virtually all cases, the latter phrase—namely, "minorities in philosophy"—has until very recently been used (and, in some cases, still is) to refer to philosophers of racialized minorities only, that is, has not also encompassed philosophers who are underrepresented due to ableism, heterosexism, and gender-border guarding (for instance, see Haslanger  2012, 2013; see also American Philosophical Association 2013c).
Disability is also routinely and systematically left out of most intersectional feminist philosophical analyses that remain preoccupied with and restricted to the trilogies of "gender, race, and sexuality" and "gender, race, and class." Many feminist philosophers have received a large portion or even all of their philosophical training in areas and sub-fields such as mainstream ethics and political philosophy, bioethics, and cognitive science, where individualized and medicalized conceptions of disability are especially prevalent and explicit; thus, these philosophers have almost certainly not been informed (and have likely not informed themselves) about social-political conceptions of disability. Indeed, few feminist (and other) philosophers understand disability as a dispositif 15 on a par with and inextricable from gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, class, age, and nationality, among other axes and networks of power. In feminist philosophy and elsewhere in philosophy, that is, disability (unlike gender or race) is generally not conceived as a relation of social power in which everyone is implicated, but rather, is still widely regarded as an unfortunate and politically-neutral characteristic (pathological property) that some individuals possess and embody and about which there is little, if anything, for an intersectional, politically-informed feminist philosophy to analyze and interrogate. 16
An especially disconcerting example of this theoretical, discursive, and institutionalized stance pertains to the marginalized and subordinated status that work in feminist philosophy of disability is afforded on PhilPapers: Online Research in Philosophy (n.d.), 17 the large and influential database of research and writing in philosophy that is organized according to areas of specialization, sub-fields, and topics which are themselves hierarchically arranged in a descending order of importance in accordance with dominant ideas in the tradition and discipline about which areas, sub-fields, and topics: (1) have the most/less philosophical import; (2) have the most/less explanatory power; and (3) should be endowed with the most/less authoritative status. The so-called "core" or "fundamental" areas of the discipline—Metaphysics and Epistemology, Value Theory, Science, Logic, and Mathematics, History of Western Philosophy, and Philosophical Traditions—are designated as the supreme categories on the system and, in turn, other areas of inquiry are designated as sub-categories of these categories, or sub-categories of the sub-categories of the categories, or ("leaf") sub-categories of the sub-categories of the sub-categories of the categories, where a sub-category's distance from the supreme categories marks the diminished import, explanatory power, and authoritative status of the areas of inquiry its encompasses. I want to point out, however, that classification of items, state of affairs, and other phenomena is no mere value-neutral reportage or representation of objective differences, relations, and similarities that await discovery and recognition; on the contrary, classification (and classification systems) is performative insofar as it contributes to the constitution of the very value-laden resemblances, distinctions, associations, and relationships that it puts into place. The constitutive categories that the PhilPapers database uses to classify research and writing position feminist philosophical work on disability under the rubric of a "leaf" (sub-)category—namely, "Feminism: Disability"—which is subordinate to the sub-category of "Topics in Feminist Philosophy," a sub-category of the superior category of "Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality," which in turn is a sub-category of the supreme category of "Value Theory." In the schema of the PhilPapers database, that is, feminist philosophy of disability is conceived as on a par with (and more like) "topics" in feminist philosophy such as "Autonomy," "Love," "Identity Politics," and "Reproduction," rather than on a par with, an element of, and in relationship with other formative political and discursive categories of identity and subjection—in this context, gender, race, and sexuality—in a more comprehensive and politically-astute category of "Philosophy of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Disability" to which the category of "Topics in Feminist Philosophy" would be subordinate. Thus, although the superior category of "Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality" includes sub-categories of "Philosophy of Gender," "Philosophy of Race," and "Philosophy of Sexuality," it does not encompass an offspring category of "Philosophy of Disability." In short, the relegated status of work in feminist philosophy of disability on the PhilPapers database reflects a political decision that serves as an institutional and structural mechanism precluding and even preventing the incorporation of disability into an intersectional analysis, and thereby reinforcing depoliticized conceptions of disability and contributing to the marginalization and diminution of feminist philosophical work on disability within the field of feminist philosophy in particular and within the broader discipline and profession of philosophy more generally (on the constitutive properties of classification, see the essays in Douglas, Hull, and Goodman,1993; see also, Bowker and Star 1999). 18
"Leaf" sub-sub-sub-categories of "Disability" can also be found elsewhere on PhilPapers under the rubric of the broader sub-sub-category of "Biomedical Ethics," alongside of and on a par with items such as "Drugs," "Death and Dying," and "Neuroethics," as well as under the rubric of the sub-sub-category of "Social Ethics," alongside of and on a par with items such as "Deception" and "Friendship." Both of these "leaf" sub-sub-sub categories of "Disability" are, ultimately, derivatives of the superior (sub-)sub-category of "Applied Ethics," itself a sub-category of the supreme category of "Value Theory." My argument is that the company that the ("leaf" sub-sub-)sub-category of "Disability" keeps in the former location on the database—namely, Biomedical Ethics—reinforces medicalized conceptions of disability and minimizes its social, political, and discursive significance, especially given how subordinate is the positioning of "Disability" within the database as a whole; importantly, furthermore, the almost exclusive classification and categorization of philosophical work on disability under the rubric of both "Biomedical Ethics" and "Social Ethics" relies upon reductive assumptions according to which the only philosophically interesting claims that can be made about disability lie within the realm of the biomedical, bioethical, and ethical, obscuring the fact that much of the work done in philosophy of disability concentrates on epistemological and metaphysical questions about the phenomena (see Tremain 2010).
To make matters worse for jobseekers who specialize in philosophy of disability, the co-directors of the PhilPapers Foundation have transported the framework of its classificatory system to another database that they developed and now co-host, namely, PhilJobs: Jobs in Philosophy, 19 which has become the most popular job board for listings in professional philosophy. Given the AOS (area of specialization) and AOC (area of competence) categories on the PhilJobs database, therefore, members of hiring committees are implicitly discouraged and even directly prevented from posting advertisements that place disability on a par with gender, race, and sexuality or reflect the fact that philosophy of disability (like philosophy of gender and philosophy of race) crosses the sub-disciplines of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and so on. Whereas there are AOS and AOC categories for "Philosophy of Gender" and "Philosophy of Race," under the banner of which employers can post jobs within the category of "Value Theory," there are no AOS or AOC categories for "Philosophy of Disability" within the category of "Value Theory" under which employers can post jobs. Instead, the guiding assumption of PhilJobs seems to be that job postings for philosophical work on disability are most appropriately situated on the jobsite when they are sequestered under the rubric of "Biomedical Ethics" or "Applied Ethics," an ableist sequestration that perpetuates the medicalization and depoliticization of disability within philosophy; constrains how philosophers of disability can represent their research to prospective employers; constrains the extent to which hiring committees can solicit such work; contributes to the diminution and marginalization of critical philosophical analyses of disability; and contributes to the underrepresentation of disabled philosophers and other philosophers of disability in the profession (see PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers n.d.).
The scarcity of published feminist philosophical work on disability that takes a socio-discursive or social-political (as opposed to a biomedical or pathology) approach to the phenomena that surround disability is also testament to the pervasiveness of ableist and uninformed assumptions about disability 20 within feminist philosophy in particular and the broader discipline more generally. The dearth of work on disability in peer-reviewed feminist philosophy publications provides a case in point. As the call for papers to this issue of DSQ indicated, for example, the leading feminist philosophy journal Hypatia published only a handful of articles and reviews on disability between 2002 and 2012. This historical fact—along with the fact that specialists on disability and disabled feminist philosophers are underrepresented on the journal's advisory board, board of associate editors, and editorial board 21 —certainly "troubles" remarks that one of the journal's past editors made in the introduction to an online issue of archival material (absent work by or about disabled feminist philosophers or feminist philosophers of disability) organized around the theme "the place of women in the profession of philosophy." Despite the scarcity of work on disability in past issues of Hypatia, that is, this editor claimed that the journal has had "a longstanding concern with the representation and status of women and minority group members [a doomed expression] in our profession," where this remark seemed to be intended to encompass work on disability (Cudd 2012; emphasis added). Nevertheless, only a week after the wide release of the call for papers for this special issue of DSQ, Hypatia circulated a call for papers for a special issue on feminist disability studies and within the following six months published several more articles on disability (more early outcomes of this special issue). To take another other example: the well-respected Journal of Social Philosophy recently published a special issue on the theme of "Gender, Implicit Biases, and Philosophical Methodology" (Crouch and Schwartzman, 2012), none of the contributions to which focussed on the implicit (let alone blatant and explicit) biases that disabled women philosophers or feminist philosophers of disability confront, though one of the contributions to the issue did make passing reference to "abilities" in a list of human "differences."
Feminist philosophical work on disability has also been largely excluded from the most popular recent edited collections and anthologies of feminist philosophy and theory, all of which have otherwise gone to some length to represent various dimensions of "diversity" within feminist philosophy and theory. For example, Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader (2005), edited by Elizabeth Hackett and Sally Haslanger, has over 590 pages and is comprised of 55 reprinted articles, only 1 (1.8%) of which is about disability and was written by a disabled feminist philosopher. Another example: The Feminist Philosophy Reader (2007), edited by Alison Bailey and Chris Cuomo, has over 900 pages and is comprised of 59 reprinted articles, only 1 (1.7%) of which is about disability and was written by a disabled feminist philosopher. And finally, Philosophy and Gender (2011), a four-volume collection edited by Cressida Heyes, has over 1500 pages and is comprised of 75 reprinted articles, only 1 (1.3%) of which is about disability and was written by a disabled feminist philosopher.
By now, the list of grievances in regard to the epistemic injustice and epistemological ignorance that disabled feminist philosophers and feminist philosophers of disability confront within the sub-discipline of feminist philosophy, in particular, and in the discipline and profession of philosophy, in general, should seem almost endless. I should not have to point out that the factors that I have identified—which are material, structural, discursive, and institutional—exceed the scope of analyses on implicit biases and stereotype threat with which discussions of (gender) inequality within feminist philosophy and the profession and discipline of philosophy more broadly have become preoccupied. I shall also spare my dear readers a discussion of the widespread lack of attention to disability in the planning and composition of other (non-APA or quasi-APA) philosophy conferences, meetings, and workshops in the profession, with the exception of one noteworthy recent event.
In May of this year, the APA Committee for the Status of Women in Philosophy (CSW) and the Women in Philosophy Task Force (WPHTF), in collaboration with other bodies of influence within the APA (the Inclusiveness Committee, the national APA, the Pacific Division, and the Committee on the Status of Blacks in Philosophy) and the University of Dayton held a three-day conference whose theme was "Diversity in Philosophy." None of the three feminist philosophers who organized the conference (all three of whom are nondisabled heterosexual white women), nor any of the several philosophers who were members of the program committee, nor any of the several people who were invited keynote speakers is a specialist in philosophy of disability. 22 Once again, the subjugated knowledges, argumentative claims, and perspectives of disabled philosophers and philosophers of disability were not regarded as central to—as vital to—intersectional analyses in feminist philosophy; to conceptions of "diversity" and inclusion that circulate in the profession; to discussion of how to promote an expansive philosophy curriculum; or to consideration of how to improve working conditions in the profession. Nor was there any indication in the initial call for papers for the conference—which circulated on various blogs, list-servs, and other social media and was posted to the CSW website 23 —whether ASL, CART, attendant services, or other accessibility services or provisions would be available at the event or what procedures prospective disabled presenters should follow to make these arrangements (although, among other things, the initial CFP did indicate that Powerpoint would be available for the benefit of sighted people). Indeed, only after I drew attention to the irony of this state of affairs on a feminist philosophy list-serv, pointing out how the very wording of the call for papers itself in fact showed that disability (as well as sexuality) had been added on to a prior, more homogeneous, conceptualization of the conference, was the initial CFP on the CSW website revised to indicate that the program would include a panel on disability and accessibility (later redesigned as a panel on disability and philosophy) and that accessibility requirements would be made available upon request, with instructions provided about whom to contact to make these arrangements. In short, there was no involvement of disabled philosophers or philosophers of disability, either as organizers, presenters, or attendees incorporated into the design and planning of the conference from the outset, a form of quarantine that reinforces prevailing prejudices and biases about who counts as a philosopher and what counts as philosophy, how philosophers should conceive "diversity" in the profession and discipline, and what philosophers require to do their work, while simultaneously reproducing the asymmetrical relation of privilege and subordination between nondisabled and disabled philosophers that circulates in, and indeed is institutionalized in, feminist philosophy and the broader discipline of philosophy.
Improving Feminist Philosophy and Theory by Taking Account of Disability intervenes at this critical, temporal, material, discursive, institutional, and professional juncture to push the limits of (ableist) feminist and mainstream philosophy in several new directions. Each of the articles included in the issue makes a path-breaking contribution to the emergence of feminist philosophy of disability. Taken together, the articles demonstrate that the relationships between the marginalization of philosophy of disability within feminist and mainstream philosophy, the underrepresentation of disabled philosophers (however gendered or racialized) within the profession of philosophy, and the subordinated status of disabled people in society at large are mutually constitutive and mutually supporting, entangled and entwined. The nine powerful contributions to the issue are roughly organized into three sections.
In the first section, Maeve O'Donovan, Ashley Taylor, and Melanie Yergeau interrogate various discourses that have increasingly gained influence within philosophy in order to argue that these discourses and the areas of inquiry that they investigate have deleterious effects for disabled people. O'Donovan opens the issue with a trenchant critique of claims made in the realm of evolutionary psychology and feminist criticisms of them. O'Donovan shows that the claims of evolutionary psychology naturalize various forms of social oppression—including ableism—and that feminist criticisms of these claims continue to ignore the way that they naturalize the social relations of power that produce disability, enabling this naturalization to persist. Ashley Taylor considers the critiques of John Rawls's theory of justice that philosophers of disability have recently articulated. In a measured and sympathetic treatment of these critiques, Taylor draws upon Judith Butler's work on "normative violence" in order to show why they are, nevertheless, unsatisfactory. Melanie Yergeau confronts claims made in cognitive science and philosophy of mind according to which autistic people lack a theory of mind (ToM). Yergeau argues that these claims amount to assaults on the humanity of autistic people and should be reconceived as calls for a theory of war (ToW).
Melinda Hall's contribution to the issue provides a bridge between these discussions of current and emerging debates in philosophy and articles by Jane Dryden and Kelly Fritsch that turn our attention back to the history of philosophy. In Hall's lively article, she uses Michel Foucault's work on mid twentieth-century psychiatric-expert testimony in his landmark Abnormal to undermine the arguments that influential transhumanists such as Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom currently advance. Dryden revisits Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's writing in order to show that a closer analysis of disability within the history of philosophy can serve to open up provocative and fruitful interpretations of philosophical texts. These fresh readings of the philosophical tradition can, Dryden argues, offer feminist philosophers of disability and other disability scholars new ways in which to conceptualize the phenomena of disability. Equally, Fritsch asks us to consider how Theodor Adorno's writing on "identitarian logic" and "negative dialectics" could both enable discussions of the body within feminist philosophy of disability and thwart phenomena such as the ubiquitous International Symbol of Access (ISA) that limit the unruly and subversive possibilities of disability. Furthermore, a feminist philosophy of disability informed by Adorno's work could, Fritsch argues, resist the total domination and suffering that capitalism imposes.
Access and movement also motivate Heather Rakes's poetic argument for accountability to intersectionality—across disability, race, sexuality, gender, nation, and other axes—in feminist philosophy and theory and feminist practice. Rakes uses the writing of Eli Clare and Aimee Carrillo Rowe to indicate the form that the practice of feminist philosophy should take in order to be accountable to people in subordinated social positions. Questions of accountability take center stage in Sami Schalk's discussion of ableist metaphors in the feminist texts of bell hooks and Tania Modleski. Schalk argues that the use of "extended ableist metaphors" in the texts of these feminists undermines their professed feminist projects. In order to advance her arguments, Schalk builds upon the insights about ableist language that disability theorists such as Vivian May and Beth Ferri, Amy Vidali, Jay Dolmage, and Tanya Titchkosky have produced. Configurations and questions of accountability are also foregrounded in Aimi Hamraie's contribution to the issue, the last article in this set of three articles that challenge feminist philosophers and feminist theorists to more critically consider the "normate template" that underpins the exclusionary assumptions that they hold about privilege, oppression, inclusion, and diversity, and the extent to which they are accountable for the material, embodied, discursive, and systemic harms that these assumptions produce. Hamraie has developed the term "normate template" to signify the normative prototype that is assumed in the design of built environments and, furthermore, recapitulated in many of the feminist critiques made of mainstream design theory.
A journal issue of this scope and quality is made possible only with the kind assistance and collegiality of many people. I received over thirty submissions in response to the call for papers that circulated in various forums in early and mid-2012. In turn, I sent each submission to at least two anonymous reviewers. That's a lot of reviewers! Some of the reviewers were so politically committed to the aims and goals of the issue that they reviewed more than one submission to it. Indeed, a number of authors (not all of whose work was ultimately included in the issue) remarked on the great care and attention that the reviewers of their work had paid to it. I want, therefore, to publicly acknowledge the assistance of these people who helped bring this special issue of DSQ to fruition. Some of them served as reviewers of submissions; some recommended reviewers; and some of them offered other valuable advice about the issue:
Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins
Therí Alyce Perkins
Special thanks are due to these dear friends, colleagues, and comrades who happily recommended resources for this introduction, kindly read and offered feedback on sections of earlier drafts of it, or very generously read and commented on entire drafts of it: Jane Dryden, Jay Dolmage, David Hyder, Tracy Isaacs, Stephanie Kerschbaum, Ladelle McWhorter, Nathaniel A.T.
Coleman, Michael Gillan Peckitt, and Jesse Prinz. I also want to thank Bruce Henderson, Editor-in-Chief of DSQ, and Laura Seeger, Publishing Production Coordinator at Ohio State University, for the assistance that they provided in the final production stages of this issue. Last, but certainly not least, I want to convey my deep admiration and appreciation to the authors included in this issue of DSQ for their pioneering and subversive insights, their devotion to the project, their co-operation and respect for the deadlines that I imposed on them, and their patience with and even eager acceptance of the repeated editorial demands that I made of them.
This issue of Disability Studies Quarterly is dedicated to the many victims and survivors—deceased and living—of the Huronia Regional Centre, formerly known as the Orillia Asylum for Idiots and the Ontario Hospital School, Orillia (1876-2009).
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- Executive Committee of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division. 2011. Program Review Report, 2004-2011. Available at: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apaonline.org/resource/group/bf785b0d-eb59-41f8-9436-1c9c26f50f8e/program_review_report.2004-1.pdf. Accessed on August 16, 2013.
- Feminist Philosophers Collective. 2009. "Gendered Conference Campaign." Feminist Philosophers blog. Available at: http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/gendered-conference-campaign/. Accessed on: March 26, 2013.
- Foucault, Michel. 1980. "The Confession of the Flesh." In Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977, edited by Colin Gordon, 194-228. NY: Pantheon Books.
- Fine, Michelle, and Adrienne Asch, eds. 1988. Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture and Politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- Gines, Kathryn T. 2011. "Being a Black Woman Philosopher: Reflections on Founding the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 26(2): 429-43.
- Hackett, Elizabeth, and Sally Haslanger, eds. 2005. Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Harman, Elizabeth. 2009. "'I'll Be Glad I Did It' Reasoning and the Significance of Future Desires." Philosophical Perspectives.
- Haslanger, Sally.  2012. "Changing the Ideology and Culture of Philosophy: Not by Reason Alone." Hypatia : A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 23 (2): 210-223. Reprinted in Virtual issue: "Hypatia Essays on the Place of Women in the Profession of Philosophy" Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1527-2001.2008.tb01195.x/full. Accessed on: April 3, 2013.
- ———. September 2, 2013. "Women in Philosophy? Do the Math." New York Times. Available at: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/women-in-philosophy-do-the-math/. Accessed on: September 3, 2013.
- Haslanger, Sally, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Elizabeth Barnes, Jennifer Saul, and Katya Hosking. 2013. "Disability Resources for the Philosophy Classroom." Available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xQ14Mb2qoNo1sXPKBp7OaXOC8BG5MFYdgOdracJQyQU/edit?pli=1. Accessed on: August 20, 2013.
- Heyes, Cressida J. 2011. Philosophy and Gender. Volumes I-IV. New York and London: Routledge.
- Hutchison, Katrina, and Fiona Jenkins. Forthcoming. Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change? New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Jump, Paul. 2013. "Male Domination of Philosophy 'Must End'." Times Higher Education. 7 March 2013. Available at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/male-domination-of-philosophy-must-end/2002324.article. Accessed on March 7, 2013.
- Leiter, Brian. 2013. "10th Anniversary of the Blog." Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog. Available at: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2013/08/10th-anniversary-of-the-blog.html. Accessed on: August 18, 2013.
- Lopes, Dominic McIver. 2013. "Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association: Pacific Division Program 86(4):2-6.
- magicalersatz. 2011. "Accessible Conferences — Where to Start?" Feminist Philosophers blog. Available at: http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/accessible-conferences-where-to-start/. Accessed on: July 1, 2013.
- ———. 2013a. "New Listserv for Philosophers with Psychological Disabilities." Feminist Philosophers blog. Available at: http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/new-listserv-for-philosophers-with-psychological-disabilities/. Accessed on: August 25, 2013.
- ———. 2013b. "Teaching Disability: A Resource." Feminist Philosophers blog. Available at: http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/teaching-disability-a-resource/#comments. Accessed on: August 20, 2013.
- Matthen, Mohan. 2013. "The Niquab and Dr McGurk."New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science blog. Available at: http://www.newappsblog.com/2013/09/the-niqab-and-dr-mcgurk.html#more. Accessed on: September 4, 2013.
- McKenzie, Mia. May 28, 2013. "The Myth of Shared Female experience and How It Perpetuates Inequality." Black Girl Dangerous. Available at: http://blackgirldangerous.org/new-blog/2013/5/13/the-myth-of-shared-female-experience. Accessed on: May 30, 2013.
- MIT School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. "What is 'natural' and what is 'social'? Q&A Interview with MIT Philosopher Sally Haslanger," February 2013. Available at: http://shass.mit.edu/news/news-2013-qa-mit-philosopher-sally-haslanger. Accessed March 3, 2013.
- Mitchell, David T., and Sharon L. Snyder. 2001. Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
- Norlock, Kate. 2009. "Love to count: Arguments for Inaccurately Measuring the Proportion of Philosophers Who Are Women." APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 8 (2): 6-9. http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apaonline.org/resource/collection/d03ebdab-82d7-4b28-b897-c050fdc1acb4/v08n2Feminism.pdf?hhSearchTerms=Love+and+to+and+count+and+Arguments+and+for+and+Inaccurately+and+Measurin.
- ———. "Women in Philosophy in the US." In the Program Review Report, 2004-2011 by the Executive Committee of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division. Available at: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apaonline.org/resource/group/bf785b0d-eb59-41f8-9436-1c9c26f50f8e/program_review_report.2004-1.pdf. Accessed on August 16, 2013.
- Novaes, Catarina Dutilh. 2011. "Why a Gendered Conference Campaign and Not a Race/Disability Conference Campaign?" New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science blog. Available at: http://www.newappsblog.com/2011/12/why-a-gendered-conference-campaign-and-not-a-racedisabled-conference-campaign-.html. Accessed on: August 15, 2013.
- PhilPapers: Online Research in Philosophy. n.d. Available at: http://philpapers.org/. Accessed on: August, 4, 2013.
- PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers. n.d. Available at: http://philjobs.org/jobs. Accessed on: August 12, 2013.
- Peckitt, Michael Gillan. n.d. The Limping Philosopher blog. Available at: http://thelimpingphilosopher.wordpress.com/. Accessed on: August 4, 2013.
- Price, Margaret. 2011. Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Schliesser, Eric. 2012. "Professional Academic Philosophers: Actively Support the Gendered Conference Campaign." Available at: http://www.change.org/petitions/professional-academic-philosophers-actively-support-the-gendered-conference-campaign. Accessed on: September 20, 2013.
- Shelby, Tommie. 2005. We Who Are Dark: the Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Shen, Helen. 2013. "Inequality Quantified: Mind the Gender Gap." Nature 495 (7439) March 6, 2013. Available at http://www.nature.com/news/inequality-quantified-mind-the-gender-gap-1.12550. Accessed on March 8, 2013.
- Smith, Robin. 2013. "Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association: Central Division Program 86 (3):1-8.
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- STEM Disability Committee. n.d. Available at: http://www.stemdisability.org.uk/default.aspx. Accessed on: May 4, 2013.
- Tremain, Shelley. 2006. "Reproductive Freedom, Self-regulation, and the Government of Impairment In Utero. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 21 (1):35-53.
- ———. 2010. "Biopower, Styles of Reasoning, and What's Still Missing From the Stem Cell Debates." Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 25 (3):577-609.
- ———. Forthcoming. Foucault and (A) Feminist Philosophy of Disability. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Shelley Tremain is a disabled, white, working-class, vegan, femme-identifying, and bisexual feminist philosopher who holds a PhD in philosophy from York University (Canada), where she wrote a dissertation on disability and Anglo-American theories of justice. She has been actively involved in efforts to diversify the demographics and subject-matter of philosophy and feminist philosophy, especially with respect to disability. She has also published widely on philosophy of disability, ableism in feminist philosophy, Foucault, racism, genetic technologies, and bioethics and is a member of the editorial boards of three of the leading journals in disability studies. She is editor of Foucault and the Government of Disability (The University of Michigan Press, 2005), an expanded and updated tenth-anniversary edition of which is forthcoming in 2014, and her monograph Foucault and (A) Feminist Philosophy of Disability is also forthcoming. Like the first edition of Foucault and the Government of Disability, both of the latter books will be published in Corporealities: Discourses on Disability, the critically-acclaimed series from The University of Michigan Press. In 1997-98, Tremain was the Ed Roberts Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of California at Berkeley and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, California. From 1998-2002, she was a Research Associate and Principal Investigator at Canada's national policy research institute to promote the human rights of disabled people. She has written and produced community radio programming on disabled women, curated a groundbreaking multidisciplinary exhibition of visual art, spoken word, and writing by disabled lesbians and two-spirited women for A Space Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, was featured in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) exhibit "Pride & Prejudice: Three Decades of LGBT Community Organizing," and, as one of twenty-five people named in 1998 as the most influential members of the Canadian queer community, she was inducted into the National Portrait Collection of the CLGA. She currently works as the Disability and Accessibility Advisor at St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre (IWC) in Hamilton, Ontario, where she is developing a multi-year accessibility plan and anti-ableist training policy that will enable the four locations of IWC to better address the needs of disabled newcomers to Canada, including disabled refugees arriving in Canada from Iraq and Syria.
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (a non-profit consortium of colleges that promotes equity in hiring) recently formed an alliance to increase the recruitment and hiring of disabled employees and to improve their retention and opportunities for career advancement in workplaces, including universities, colleges, hospitals, research laboratories, government agencies, and other organizations. To read about this alliance, see Dunn 2013.
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- Cultural discourse on "diversity" should in a number of ways be recognized as what Foucault referred to as an "individualizing and totalizing" outcome of (neo)liberal governmentality. For the purposes of this introduction, I set aside this set of issues. I will discuss these issues in some detail, however, in Tremain, forthcoming. For an explanation of Foucault's claims with respect to the "individualizing and totalizing" character of (neo)liberal governmentality in the context of genetic counseling and prenatal testing and screening, see Tremain 2006.
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- In a post on the New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science blog, provocatively titled "Are Philosophers More Biased Than Other Academics?" Helen De Cruz (2013a) advanced this claim: "Even if we take into account the difficulties that minorities face in academia, we cannot explain why philosophy does worse than most other academic fields. I'd like to put a slightly controversial idea on the table: there are good reasons to believe that philosophers are less effective than academics from other fields in their ability to counter their own biases, i.e., they exhibit a larger bias blind spot" (emphasis added). It is indeed indicative of how philosophers routinely omit disability from discussions of biases within the profession of philosophy that one manifestation of implicit hostility toward and bias against disabled philosophers (in the form of the ableist language employed throughout the New APPS post and the studies to which it links) goes unexamined in the post and presumably unrecognized. The use of ableist language and rhetoric is in fact commonplace throughout philosophy and feminist philosophy, in large part because of the prevalence of ocular metaphors in Western epistemologies and the valorization of neurotypicality. Also see Helen de Cruz, "Is Philosophy Especially Plagued by Sexual Harassment?" (2013b; cf. Brogaard 2013a). While the New APPS blog is neither friend nor ally to disabled people (see also Matthen 2013), no blog for philosophers does more to contribute to the hostile climate that disabled philosophers endure in philosophy than Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog, whose author/owner routinely refers to other philosophers, politicians, writers, etc. as (among other things) "lunatics," "idiots," "crazy," "imbeciles," and "morons" in order to disparage them. See, for instance, a post entitled "10th Anniversary of the Blog" (Leiter 2013), in which the author/owner of the blog explains that one element of his modus operandi on the blog has been "to call 'morons' morons." In May of this year, I used the SortSites Powermapper (n.d.) diagnostic tool in order to test the accessibility of the New APPS blog. Powermapper found issues with 81% of the first 10 pages on the site tested. Powermapper reported that 9 of the first 10 pages have accessibility problems and rated the accessibility of the blog as "worse than average." In August of this year, I tested the accessibility of the Leiter Reports blog with the SortSites Powermapper. Powermapper found issues with 27% of the first 10 pages of Leiter Reports tested, reported that 3 of the first 10 pages have accessibility problems, and rated the blog as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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- American Philosophical Association (n.d.). I used SortSites Powermapper in order to test the accessibility of the newly-designed national APA website. Powermapper found issues with 72% of the first 10 pages on the site. Powermapper reported that 8 of the 10 pages have accessibility problems and rated the accessibility of the site as "worse than average."
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- The disparity between the estimated percentage of disabled people in the population at large and the self-reported percentage of disabled philosophers may also be influenced by the naturalization of disability in philosophical circles and resulting stigma of the identity of "disabled" in these context. In other words, philosophers who would be included in the constituency of disabled people on (say) a U.S. census, may be reluctant to, or refuse to, identify themselves as "disabled," even in response to an anonymous survey, due to ableist prejudices and biases about disabled people that they have incorporated into their own self-understandings, self-perceptions, and professional persona.
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- My suggestion that accessibility should be conceived as a practice strongly resembles assertions that Jay Dolmage (2006, 2013) and Margaret Price (2011) have made according to which UD should be conceived as "a way to move."
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The links are to the virtually defunct Disabled Philosophers blog (n.d.), offspring of the Feminist Philosophers blog, and The Limping Philosopher blog (Peckitt, n.d.) owned and operated by disabled philosopher (Dr.) Michael Gillan Peckitt who gets diminishingly misidentified on the APA website as a "disabled philosophy researcher." The blog-post on accessible conferences appeared on the Feminist Philosophers blog (magicalersatz 2011) and the blog-post about a listserv on "inclusion in professional philosophy with special attention to psychiatric disability" (magicalersatz 2013a) also appeared on the Feminist Philosophers blog. In May of this year, I used the SortSites Powermapper to test the accessibility of the Feminist Philosophers blog. Powermapper found issues with 72% of the first 10 pages of the blog, reported that 7 of the first 10 pages have accessibility problems, and rated the Feminist Philosophers blog as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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- This term is an especially egregious euphemism to refer to disability and disabled people, a reference that was regrettably implicit in Linda Martín Alcoff's (2012) "Philosophy's Civil Wars," the Presidential Address that she delivered at the Eastern APA in December 2012. In the hour-long speech, which addressed (among other topics) the relation between the homogeneity of the discipline and profession of philosophy and the content of Western European philosophy itself, Alcoff referred to disability only obliquely once; however, disability was nevertheless the "narrative prosthesis" (to use Mitchell and Snyder's apt phrase; see Mitchell and Snyder, 2001) that bolstered the speech. For in order to motivate the argument at the outset of the speech, Alcoff described the discipline and profession of philosophy as "demographically challenged," an expression that plays off of terms such as "physically challenged," "mentally challenged," and "intellectually challenged" that depoliticize and naturalize disability and which disabled people identified as patronizing euphemisms soon after they were initially introduced into everyday discourse. To refer to a given state of affairs or characteristic as "challenged" (e.g., "horizontally challenged" = fat, "vertically challenged" = too short, "stylistically challenged" = bad taste in dress, etc.) has, nevertheless, become a popular form of sarcastic derision or a (apparently) humorous putdown. Note, however, that this sarcasm and this humor rely upon and imply a rhetorical device that mocks and derides disabled people. Not surprisingly, though disappointingly nonetheless, the description of philosophy as "demographically challenged" elicited laughter from the (almost exclusively nondisabled) audience of philosophers at this session of the Eastern APA in December 2012. To watch the uncaptioned and untranscribed video or listen to the uncaptioned and untranscribed podcast of the speech, see Alcoff 2012; for another use of disability as a narrative prosthesis in a philosophical context, see Brogaard 2013b.
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- The blurb at the "Request for Accommodations Under the ADA" link on the Pacific APA homepage reads as such: "In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association provides reasonable accommodations to registered participants in its Annual Meeting. The assessment of reasonable accommodations is based on the limitations manifested by a particular disability and may differ for each participant. The participant must request accommodations and disclose his or her disability before any accommodation can be implemented. All accommodations provided are based upon individual needs as reflected in documentation or information related to the participant's disability or functional limitations. The Division may require further documentation to substantiate a request for accommodations. The Division holds accommodation requests and supporting documents confidential. All requests must be made in writing by sending the form below to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division no later than March 1 immediately prior to the meeting" (emphases added). A downloadable form is provided that asks prospective participants to identify their "Primary Disability," their "Secondary Disability(ies)," and their "Functional Limitations." To read the blurb and the downloadable form, see American Philosophical Association Pacific Division n.d.
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- The implicitly and explicitly ableist practices of the APA are in stark contrast to the ways that the Modern Languages Association (MLA) treats its disabled members. As many readers of this journal know, the MLA has a seven-member Committee on Disability Issues, with two staff liaisons to the Committee in the national MLA office itself. The provision of CART, ASL, attendant services, etc. is included in all sessions of MLA conventions. Individual disabled members are not expected to pre-arrange accessibility requirements. A specific section of the MLA website, furthermore, includes the names and emails of the current Committee members, access guidelines for organizers and session participants of MLA convention sessions, access guidelines for hiring departments, instructions on how to use sign-language interpreters, and a list of sessions related to disability on the program of a given year's upcoming MLA convention, about a dozen of which sessions take place within slots on the program that are guaranteed in accordance with MLA policy. The Committee on Disability Issues of the MLA (n.d.) has enshrined all of these practices into the standard operating policies of the MLA. Another vital effort to move toward access is the Composing Access webpage co-sponsored (n.d.) by the Committee on Disability Issues in College Composition (CDICC) and the Computers & Composition Digital Press (CCDP) of the National Council of Teachers of English. See also the website of the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Disability Committee, which aims to support and improve policies, practice, and provision for disabled people studying or working in the STEM fields. See STEM n.d.
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- In the Spring of 2012, the Society for Disability and Philosophy was formed. Although the Society for Disability and Philosophy (of which I have been a member) is affiliated with the APA, and will likely raise the profile of disability and disabled philosophers within the APA, it is not on a par with the other APA committees that I have mentioned, does not have the same input on APA policy as do the committees that represent underrepresented groups in the profession, none of its members holds a guaranteed position on the Inclusiveness Committee, and its members need only indicate that they are interested in disability and philosophy (in fact, some of the current members of the society are self-professed eugenicists, few of the members of the groups are specialists in critical disability studies, few of the disabled people in the group are philosophers, and most of the philosophers in the group are not disabled). Rather, the Society for Disability and Philosophy is comparable in status to the many groups within the APA that have been granted recognition from the Divisions and thus may organize sessions for their respective meetings. Among these many varied groups are (for example): the Society for Realist-Antirealist Discussion, Society for the Study of the History of Analytic Philosophy, and the Bertrand Russell Society. With the newly-furbished APA website, a discussion group for disabled philosophers has formed. Given that this discussion group carries no political weight nor influence on formal APA policy, its introduction ought to be regarded as a cosmetic gesture meant to appease complaints about the APA's complacency with respect to its disabled members in particular and disabled philosophers in general.
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- At a meeting of the national APA Executive Committee in the fall of 2004, a decision was made to create the position of "Disability Issues Representative" on the Inclusiveness Committee, rather than to form a Committee for Disabled Philosophers whose Chair would hold a position on the Inclusiveness Committee. In other words, the individual who holds the position of "Disability Issues Representative" on the Inclusiveness Committee is not answerable nor accountable to the members of a committee who themselves would have been selected and appointed to a (hypothetical) Committee for Disabled Philosophers because they have expertise of some kind with respect to disability vis-à-vis the discipline of philosophy and professional philosophy. The role of the individual who holds the position of "Disability Issues Representative" is to serve the interests of all of the disabled members of the APA, including organizing sessions on disability at the divisional meetings, raising awareness in the profession about disability, providing information about accessibility requirements, arranging accessibility for individual members at the divisional meetings, etc. Readers of this introduction can draw their own conclusions about the efficacy of this position, given everything that I point out about the general practices of the APA with respect to disabled philosophers. They should, in addition, consider whether any other underrepresented group in the APA and the profession of philosophy at large would be expected to accept this kind of tokenistic representation.
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- From 2004 to early 2013, I have brought the issue of the crucial need for an APA Committee for Disabled Philosophers (and the ableism of APA policies more generally) to the attention of every person who has served as either the Executive Director of the APA, the Ombudsperson of the APA, Chair of the APA Inclusiveness Committee, or APA Disability Issues Representative, as well as to readers of/subscribers to the Feminist Ethics and Social Theory (FEAST) listserv, the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) listserv, the Feminist Philosophers blog, the New APPS blog, and the Women in Philosophy Taskforce (WPHTF) list-serv. In all cases, these calls for attention to the situation of disabled philosophers vis-à-vis the APA have been either ignored, dismissed, pushed aside, or shut down. In short, the APA has engaged in a sustained form of epistemological ignorance about how its policies affect its disabled members and disabled philosophers more generally and the feminist philosophical and broader philosophy community have enabled it to do so. Note that an APA Committee for Disabled Philosophers, were it to be established, should not be used to relieve other groups and committees with the APA of their responsibilities to disabled members of the association. For instance, a Committee for Disabled Philosophers should not be used as a strategy to relieve the APA Committee on Sexual Harassment of its obligation to address the issue of how sexual harassment is inflicted upon and experienced by disabled women philosophers.
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- The most obvious example of this sort of ableist, white supremacist, and heterosexist practice in feminist philosophy is the much-publicized Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) that the Feminist Philosophers blog ran successfully for several years, until some feminist philosophers mobilized against it. To read the FAQ for the GCC, see beta 2011. To read another general introduction to the GCC, see Feminist Philosophers Collective 2009. For an aborted petition in support of the GCC, see Schliesser 2012. For a very problematic endorsement and promotion of the GCC, see Novaes 2011. Because of the persistent failure of feminists to incorporate disability into their analyses, many disabled women no longer self-identify as "feminists." See, for instance, Cohen-Rottenberg's blog-post "Why This Disabled Woman No Longer Identifies as a Feminist" (2013).
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- Disability theorists variously define disability as (among other things) an identity, a subject-position, a perspective or consciousness of a certain type of subject, and a form of discrimination and oppression. I want to argue that disability is most aptly described as what Foucault defined as a dispositif: As he (1980, 194) explained it, a dispositif is "a thoroughly heterogeneous ensemble consisting of discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral and philanthropic propositions."
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- Thus, when, on the rare occasions on which feminist philosophers at least acknowledge the role that this axis of complex network of power should play in intersectional analyses—that is, in a list with other categories such as gender, race, and class—they almost invariably refer to the naturalized regulative ideal of "ability," rather than the more appropriate apparatus of power named "disability." The most recent example of this refusal or at least reluctance to recognize disability as a dispositif, that is, as a complex and complicated network of power was articulated in a post that appeared on the Feminist Philosophers blog in late August of this year. The post, entitled "Teaching Disability: A Resource" (magicalersatz 2013b), solicits teaching resources on disability for a crowdsource project called "Disability Resources for the Philosophy Classroom" (Haslanger, Burke, Barnes, Saul, and Hosking, 2013) and even encourages the contribution of items that "come across as hostile and deeply hurtful to disabled people" so long any such given "resource" is prefaced with an "explicit warning" that its content "express[es] discriminatory ideas about disability" (magicalsersatz 2013b). Sure enough, some philosophers have been ready and willing to take up the offer. See, for instance, the annotated entry for Harman 2009 in "Teaching Disability," which includes this disclaimer: "This paper may upset some disabled people because it uses the term cure to refer to making a deaf baby able to hear, and because it argues for [the conclusion that the argument according to which] deafness should not be cured in babies" exemplifies "bad reasoning." See Harman 2009, in Haslanger, Burke, Barnes, Saul, and Hosking 2013.
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- In May of this year, I used the SortSites Powermapper to test the accessibility of the PhilPapers database. Powermapper found issues with 45% of the first 10 pages of the database, reported that 4 pages of the first 10 pages have accessibility problems, and rated PhilPapers as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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- For three months after I became the editor of "Feminism: Disability" (and other sub-sub-sub categories on disability) in the Fall of 2011, I attempted to convince the chief editors of PhilPapers that feminist work on disability should be repositioned within the database in a way that recognizes its intersectionality with gender, race and sexuality. These efforts were repeatedly dismissed and alleged to be a reflection of my own inflated sense of the importance of philosophical work on disability. Because I assumed that I would get support from (nondisabled) feminist colleagues, I finally challenged the chief editorial team to take up the matter with the feminist philosopher who edits the category of "Gender, Race, and Sexuality" and the two feminist philosophers who co-edit the sub-category of "Topics in Feminist Philosophy." Imagine my dismay and disappointment when one of the chief editors informed me shortly thereafter that the three feminist philosophers had agreed ("by consensus") with the chief editorial team that disability should not be positioned on a par with, and in relation to, gender, race, and sexuality within the database, but rather should retain the relegated position on the database to which it had initially been assigned. I am surprised that the subordinated positioning on the database of feminist philosophy itself has not been challenged.
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- In August of this year, the PhilJobs Foundation and the APA officially announced a new partnership with respect to the jobsite. Although the database now has a new name—PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers—it uses the same AOS and AOC categories as the earlier, pre-partnership PhilJobs. In other words, Philosophy of Disability cannot be considered an AOS or AOC under which employers can post jobs. That the new partnered database retains the earlier PhilJobs categories reproduces a blatant discrepancy with respect to how the APA addresses disability, a discrepancy that also existed on its pre-partnership job board: Jobs for Philosophers. For although Philosophy of Disability is neither an AOS nor an AOC category on PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers, the APA does recognize Philosophy of Disability as an AOS or AOC on its membership forms. I wanted to test the new PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers database for its accessibility to disabled philosophers. So, after the new database was unveiled, I performed a diagnostic test on it with the SortSites Powermapper. Powermapper found issues with 54% of the first 10 pages of the PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers database, reported that 6 of its first 10 pages have accessibility problems, and rated the database as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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- These assumptions underpin an analogy that feminist philosopher Sally Haslanger (current President of the Eastern APA, Convenor of WPHTF, and 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Woman in Philosophy Award) recently made. In order to illustrate the distinction between "the natural" and "the social," with an appeal to conventional cisgender categories, Haslanger drew an analogy between, on one side, the control derived from contraceptives and, on the other side, the control derived from technology to prevent or fix "disabilities." As Haslanger explained it: "One strategy is to note that physical differences are not fixed. One important difference between males and females is the capacity (or lack of it) to become pregnant. However, birth control gives us some control over that, and this has had a huge impact on women's opportunities. The same is true for disabilities. We have the ability to intervene in nature. That's what technology is all about!" See MIT School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences 2013.
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- Despite the lack of specialists in feminist philosophy of disability on the journal's Board of Associate Editors, the members of this Board assumed that they were qualified to adjudicate and reject two proposals for special issues on disability that I have submitted to the journal in recent years. My proposal for a special issue on disability, feminism, and technology was rejected in 2009 ("too narrow in scope") and my proposal for a general, open issue on feminist philosophy and disability, much like this issue of DSQ, was rejected in 2011 ("doesn't demonstrate how all of these different topics can hang together"). Although it would be a very unusual and indeed politically suspect argument for the editors of Hypatia to make, they could claim that insofar as the bulk of submissions made to their peer-reviewed journal are submitted at an author's discretion, rather than invited or solicited, they bear only limited responsibility for the underrepresentation of feminist philosophy of disability and work of disabled feminist philosophers that has (until very recently) characterized the journal's publication schedule. Notice, however, that this rationale provides no explanation for why work on feminist philosophy of disability has not been actively solicited in calls for submissions to special issues of the journal, such as the recent calls for submissions to special issues on the themes of "Climate Change," "Animal Others," and "Crossing Borders," (among others). If Hypatia were to recruit feminist philosophers of disability (and disabled feminist philosophers) for its editorial boards, these feminist philosophers would likely motivate the journal to address some of its other ableist policies and practices, including the inaccessibility of its website, that uncaptioned and untranscribed videos and podcasts are often put on the journal's website, the inaccessibility of its conferences, the underrepresentation of disabled feminist philosophers and feminist philosophers of disability on its conference programs, and so on. In May of this year, I used the SortSites Powermapper to test the accessibility of Hypatia's website. Powermapper found accessibility problems with 81% of the first 10 pages on the site and rated the website as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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- It was discouraging, though, again, not surprising, that so many feminist philosophers raved about the conference on Facebook and on philosophy blogs, both during and immediately after it took place, failing to recognize, or minimizing, the significance of the way that disabled philosophers and philosophers of disability had been virtually excluded from the conference: "amazing," "amazing success!" "awesome," "a complete success." What was even more discouraging was the hostile response that I received from one of the conference organizers, in comments on one of these Facebook posts, when I noted the inaccessibility of the conference venue. In June of this year, furthermore, the (past) Chair of the APA CSW, posted a comment on the FEAST listserv that was intended to rebut my objections in this paragraph on my introduction (I had posted an earlier version of this paragraph of the introduction on three philosophy discussion lists during the previous week in early June). Among other things, the CSW Chair posted a link to the skeletal list of recommendations for accessible conferences that has appeared on the Feminist Philosophers blog (see endnote 7). I surmise that the then CSW Chair did not find it odd that she was required to refer to a non-APA blog to provide evidence that the APA co-organizes accessible conferences, that is, that the APA (and its representatives) cannot provide this evidence from its own website. Meanwhile, the "Disability Representative" of the APA did not make any intervention into this public discussion, nor did she follow up with me personally about my criticisms of the conference, nor has she at any time in the more than five years in which she has served in this role within the APA responded to or followed up on any of my (repeated) criticisms of the APA with respect to its failure to adequately represent or advocate for its disabled members or disabled philosophers in general.
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- In May of this year, I used the SortSites Powermapper to test the accessibility of the CSW website. Powermapper found that 72% of the site has accessibility problems. Powermapper rated the CSW site as "worse than average" with respect to accessibility.
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