Sample #1: Project Re•Vision: The Mythical Norm and Possibility of Disability
Sample #2: Envisioning New Meanings of Disability and Difference
Sample #3: Student Body Diversity/The Diversity of Student Bodies
Sample #4: Appearance and Difference in Clinical Interactions
Sample #5: Bodies and Embodiment in Counselling and Therapy
For a complete list of Carla’s speaking engagements to date please view her CV (pdf)
Workshop Sample #1: Project Re•Vision: The Mythical Norm and Possibility of Disability
In this workshop, Carla introduces Project Re•Vision, a mobile multi-media lab she created that uses arts-based methods to dismantle stereotypical understandings of disability and physical difference which can create barriers to healthcare, education, and inclusion in the broader community. At the heart of Project Re•Vision are digital storytelling workshops, where participants create 2 to 3 minute-long videos that pair audio recordings of personal narratives with visuals (photographs, short videos, artwork, and more). Since its inception only two years ago, Re•Vision has generated an impressive archive of over 90 digital stories from women and men living disabilities and differences and healthcare providers. These films explore disability and difference as social experiences rather than as problems to be solved by medicine.
In her presentations, Carla screens a selection of digital stories on visible and invisible differences made through Project Re•Vision. By pairing and sharing stories made by health care providers and people living with disabilities on experiences of and encounters with disability and difference, she invites audiences to reflect on the ways that the project helps to breakdown barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds. The interweaving of these stories encourages consideration of how failure to fit with ablest standards of normal might open up other possibilities and deepen appreciation of the uncertainty and ambiguity that is the basis of life.
Workshop Sample #2: Envisioning New Meanings of Disability and Difference
In our society, a great deal of importance is placed on our appearance and physical abilities. How the culture values or devalues physical features, sizes, and capacities has a significant impact on our body images and identities. In this workshop, Carla explores how body and self-images are created, and how perceptions of appearance and difference are shaped through cultural images and in people’s everyday interactions. The workshop provides a place for staff members in health care and human service organizations to expand their knowledge in working with issues of disability, physical difference, and body diversity and equity so that they can support people in navigating difficult interactions and enhance accessibility and inclusion in their own settings.
In delivering these workshops, she often works with Eliza Chandler, Dr. Kirsty Liddiard, Dr. Manuela Ferrari, Elisabeth Harrison, and Fran Odette, respected educators with experience in teaching critical disability studies and in training service providers working in different contexts to successfully accommodate people living with disability and physical differences. She also works with Lorna Renooy, Dr. Hilde Zitzelsberger, Dr. Gail Mitchell, and Dr. Roxanne Mykitiuk, experienced researchers and practitioners in the area of facial and/or physical difference and disability and health provider education, to facilitate workshops on cultural images of and social interactions with those living with disability and difference.
Workshop Sample #3: Student Body Diversity/The Diversity of Student Bodies
In this workshop, Carla explores current trends in student body diversity and the diversity of student bodies within Canadian schools. Topics include the diversity of us; consequences of anti-fat messages for differently-sized children; harassment and harmful curricular messages in school settings; the implications of sexualization for the sexual subjectivity and empowerment of girls and young women; and Aboriginal education and de-colonizing urban schools. Highlighted in all her presentations are curricular and extra curricular interventions that may be effective in promoting body diversity/equity and in advancing inclusion of diverse bodies and a diverse student body at school.
Carla has worked with Dr. Vanessa Russell, Dr. June Larkin, Dr. Susan Dion, Dr. Anna Hudson, Tanya Senk, and Hannah Fowlie, respected and experienced educators and professors, in conducting research and workshops on body equity, diversity, and inclusion in schools and on Aboriginal education and de-colonizing urban schools.
Workshop Sample #4: Appearance and Difference in Clinical Interactions
This workshop explores common stereotypes related to our physical differences, including disability, facial or physical difference, body size, and others. Carla works with groups to uncover how perceptions of appearance and difference shape interactions and to trace the implications of misconceptions for health equity and social inclusion. She also explores people’s embodied experiences of disability and difference and the creative strategies they find for responding to imposed invisibility and marginalization. Introducing and applying the concepts of “agency” and ally-ship, she examines how workshop participants might apply this knowledge to their work.
Workshop Sample #5: Bodies and Embodiment in Counselling and Therapy
This workshop offers an overview of models used to understand problems related to embodiment, and introduces Carla�������s preferred method, which combines feminist relational with narrative frameworks. Her approach is based on 20 years experience counselling women from different racial/ethnic backgrounds, of varying body sizes, and with and without disabilities who are dealing with problems associated with embodiment. Over past 12 years, she has conducted research on diverse women’s body histories and completed training in narrative therapy which she shares in this workshop. Carla explores embodiment concerns as problems of connection—with one’s body, one’s physical needs, one’s embodied emotions and memories, and with others. She also examines how potentially injurious body practices (of bingeing, purging, starving and cutting) may become means of coping with intolerable bodily states associated with trauma—including sexual abuse, medical trauma, and body-based harassment. In her view, harmful practices may be understood as habit-forming ways of disconnecting from one’s embodied emotions, from others, and from the body as a site of violation. Drawing from feminist poststructuralist theory, Carla advances a narrative approach, which understands people’s bodily selves as formed through image, language, and social relations. She describes how, in her clinical practice, she skilfully weaves together narrative with feminist relational methods.