• Disability;
  • disability geography;
  • embodiment and space;
  • social model


This paper reflects upon treatments of the body in both disability studies and disability geography, taking seriously the impaired body in its immediate materiality: in its flesh-and-boneness, in how it deals with everyday practices in everyday places, as this embodiment is ‘voiced’ by disabled people themselves. The paper discusses Hansen's in-depth research with a sample of disabled women living in Scotland and Canada, teasing out their experiences of coping with impaired bodies in non-disabled spaces. Particular attention is given to their own bodily practices, complete with ‘timings and spacings’ that may depart from what is supposedly normal for non-disabled people. It is also shown how these women resist ableist accommodations that entail both modifying external spaces and ‘correcting’ bodily differences. The paper concludes by identifying a key but neglected step within the ‘politics’ of better accommodating disabled people: namely, shifting the emphasis from (aiding disabled people in) doing things ‘normally’ to (underlining for all of ‘us’) simply the normality of doing things differently.