UCL Grand Challenges


First UCL Interdisciplinary Conference on Disability

Disability between academic and research practice: breaking barriers towards a just and equal world - 9th May 2018

Reserve your place at the Conference

Disability is an inherently cross-disciplinary issue, which should be genuinely researched through a 360-degree viewpoint, embracing its social, political, clinical and psychological origins, as well as the technical-contextual sphere connected to disabled people’s everyday life experience.

The First UCL Interdisciplinary Conference on Disability aims to bring together the most cutting-edge research on disability across departments and research centres, framing its evolving nature within the present situation and supplying a wide spectrum of academic perspectives with the purpose of favouring the effective, just and equal participation of disabled people in society. For this reason, the Conference intends to overcome the approach to disability as a problem to be solved, but as a way of innovating and promoting change in society, benefiting the community of disability researchers, disabled and non-disabled people by developing a more all-encompassing approach aimed at investigating disability as a multi-faceted phenomenon.

Event details

Date/time: 9th May 2018, 10am-5pm

Location: Room G12 - The Bartlett School of Architecture
UCL Faculty of the Built Environment
22 Gordon Street

Find out more and reserve your place at the conference now.

Keynote speakers

Dr Catherine Holloway, UCL Interaction Centre and Global Disability Innovation Hub

Dr Diane Carr, UCL Knowledge Lab at the Institute of Education

Call for papers

Researchers are invited to respond to the call for papers to be presented across a range of disciplines addressing one of three broad research themes of the conference, which are:

  • Inclusion, equality and social justice
  • Human Health and Well-being
  • Accessibility and Transformative Technology

Researchers can submit their paper for individual or group presentation (please note that we ask for only one presenter per group), and will be allocated a 15 minute time slot for presentation and discussion.

Call for papers: submit your paper now

Submission opens: 8th September 2017

Submission closes: *EXTENDED DEADLINE*: 4th December 2017

The conference will be held on 9th May 2018

The commission will review the proposals, and you should hear from us in the second week of December. Participation and attendance at the conference will be free of charge. For expressions of interest in attending but not presenting at the conference, or any further information please contact the Conference team:

francesca.peruzzo.14@ucl.ac.uk or 


About the Conference

The project of organising the First Interdisciplinary Conference on Disability aroused from the idea of creating a space dedicated to the interdisciplinary character of disability at UCL. Funded by the UCL Grand Challenges Small Doctoral Grants, our intention is to contribute to the UCL Grand Challenges’ aim of creating an interdisciplinary community of researchers on disability issues, in order to foster and enhance UCL’s intra-departmental research and network. Our project seeks to build a stronger connection between staff and doctoral students from different disciplines, departments, and research centres, to develop and support an interdisciplinary approach to disability, favouring potential future collaborations.

This conference will gather for the very first time in UCL high-quality academic research on interdisciplinary approaches to disability. The aim is to open the path to the development of cross-disciplinary and cross-cutting tools to investigate disability, and the wide range of perspectives being presented at the event will feed into an important deal of research impact.

Conference organisers


Francesca Peruzzo is the Conference Project Leader and PhD candidate at the UCL Institute of Education in the Department of Education, Practice and Society.  Her interests lie in sociological approaches to disability policies and practices in higher education. Her doctoral research investigates the effects of exclusionary processes on disabled students’ subjectivities, and their implications for inclusive practices and equality of opportunities in academic contexts.

A former disabled student assistant and UCL Student Disability Ambassador, she collaborated with the UCL Student Disability Service to inform their policies and practices, and with UCL ChangeMakers to voice disabled students through a panel of discussion.

Rafie Cecilia

Rafie Cecilia is the Conference Project Developer and a PhD candidate at UCL Institute of Archaeology. Her research examines the impact of technology on the experience of blind and partially sighted visitors in museums. Rafie looks at technology as empowerment tool for disabled people. Additionally, she has six years of experience working and volunteering in the assistance of blind and partially sighted visitors in museums and galleries. For her research, she collaborates with the British Museum, the Wallace Collection, the Museum of London, and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.