You can listen to the audio of this talk at the links below:
Full talk: https://soundcloud.com/perth-indymedia/trigger
Full talk with Q and A: https://archive.org/details/TriggerWarnings
This talk was recorded at the Institute for Critical Animal Studies Oceania 2015 Conference in Melbourne. You can find out more information about this conference here: http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/conference-schedule/
You can find links to listen to other talks from the conference here: http://progressivepodcastaustralia.com/2015/08/14/108/
Below is further information about the talk from the conference booklet, available here: http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2015-booklet-final-.pdf
Getting trigger happy with trigger warnings: mental health, (dis)ability and
Trigger warning: Talk will include discussion of disability and mental health
issues including depression, anxiety, and suicide. Will also include discussion of how other oppressed groups may be triggered i.e. through racism, queerphobia, sexism, etc. No detailed or graphic discussion of any of these issues.
Ableism, discrimination against people with disabilities, is unfortunately commonly found in mainstream Australian society and in activist circles. Many Australians associate the word ‘disability’ with intellectual impairments such as Down’s syndrome, or with a physical and visible disability, which might require the use of a wheelchair. However, the leading form of disability in the world is depression. Other forms of mental illness are also very common, such as anxiety and substance abuse. Although anti-discrimination laws protect the rights of people with disabilities, much still needs to be done on public attitudes and awareness, particularly towards those who are often not viewed
as having a ‘disability’.
This paper will consider how animal rights activists and other advocacy groups can be more inclusive of people with disabilities, particularly mental health issues, through the use of trigger warnings, safe spaces policies, preventing activist “burn-out”, and making adjustments to working arrangements. Such policies are also applicable to those who may not have a disability, but may also be triggered by traumatic discussions, such as queer people, survivors of violence, Indigenous people, people of colour, and other groups that experience discrimination or trauma. As the advocates for progressive change in society, it is vital that animal activists and other groups have a thorough knowledge of disability issues, and use this knowledge to make real changes that are more inclusive of people with disabilities.