Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds (ROBAM) is the fourth annual inter-university/college disability conference in Toronto. ROBAM 2018 will happen from March 2-3, 2018 at the Ryerson Student Centre and other locations to be determined.
The Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds Conference was initially hosted at Ryerson University in 2012. In 2014, student groups and campus/community activists from Ryerson University, York University, University of Toronto and George Brown College came together to imagine an inter-campus conference that brought together disability community activists, service providers, academics, and everybody in between. This is the second year of the Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds Inter-University Conference.
ROBAM 2018 Conference Package:
Please find our conference package linked below. At the conference we will also have print copies available in small, large, inverse and Braille print, as well as USB keys with word documents available.
- Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds Conference Package – PDF
- Reclaiming Our Bodies Minds Conference Package – Word Document
ROBAM 2018 Theme: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’
Originating out of disability activism, the term “Nothing About Us Without Us” was born out of disability justice movements that were frustrated, angry and ready for change around disability policies. The term has since been used as a source of empowerment and self-autonomy for the people who are most affected by ableist policies, and stating explicitly: You will not create in our name, we will create for ourselves.
The Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds Conference needs to consistently reflect on the meaning behind the concept of “Nothing About Us Without Us.” As a conference based out of a university and college setting, we run the risk of continuing to privilege and prioritize the voices that historically and currently dominate the conversation around disabled spaces.
Our spaces have and continue to be defined by settler colonialism, cis-hetero-patriarchy and white supremacy. We aim to centre those who have been historically marginalized through these systems of oppression at our conference.
Our conference needs to better represent and reflect the community around us, and recognize that many in our community have been left alone to fend for themselves. Accessibility, community and capacity building of disability justice movements cannot be an afterthought of our conference, nor our movement.
This year’s Reclaiming Our Bodies & Minds Conference is about taking a new direction based on an old principle that we all deserve to be part of the conversation about our bodies and minds. We hope that the Conference will be an opportunity for engagement and action that starts within our communities. Then we can start to build a conference that does not just talk about accessibility and inclusivity but actively reflects it in our structures, discussions and implementation.
We invite you to join the planning committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conference will be a safe, consumer/survivor/mad-positive, wheelchair-accessible space. ASL and live-captioning will be present at workshops and panels, ASL will be present for performances. Attendants, childcare and active listeners are available on request at registration. There will be a debriefing space and a quiet space available on Saturday for the entire day. Overhead room lighting will be used in all spaces, but can be dimmed/turned off in the quiet and debriefing spaces. There will be no loud abrupt sounds in panels or workshops, and trigger/content warnings will be announced prior to performances. Should it not interfere with access to the conference, we ask for all attendees’ participation in making the conference fragrance-free.