On Rehabilitation, April 23 2010

Treating Aphasia: Reflections on the Medical and Social Models of Rehabilitation
Heather Farrell, Speech-Language Pathology

Aphasia is a condition characterized by a loss or decline in the ability to understand language or use it expressively, while other cognitive abilities remain intact. Speech-language pathologists–whose primary professional role is to assess and treat communication disorders–approach aphasia intervention from a variety of perspectives. The dominant approaches are based in the Medical Model, which focuses on the individual, implies recovery from “illness,” and privileges the clinician as expert. The Social Model of rehabilitation represents an alternative approach whose primary goal is to change the behaviour and attitudes of people in the social environment of the person with aphasia. In this talk, I will discuss how these two models inform aphasia intervention, and reflect on what they both can offer patients, families, clinicians and society.

Merleau Ponty’s Phantom Limb Analysis: Presuppositions about the Body in Practical Rehabilitation
Tristan Laing, Philosophy, York University

My presentation will attempt to quickly and clearly explicate Merleau Ponty’s arguments from “The Phenomenology of Perception” concerning the phenomenon of the phantom limb. These arguments attempt to demonstrate that both empirical and psychological accounts fail at describing phenomena of the phantom limb. Merleau Ponty’s account for the body is an attempt to say something adequate about the body, in the face of the breakdown of idealist, psycho analytic, and empirical accounts. This talk about bodies is relevant to rehabilitation in the sense that if we want to rehabilitate bodies, we should probably be able to say something about our bodies which is adequate to the experiences our bodies actually have. Or, failing that, if knowledge as such has the structure of breaking-down, we should be able to say something about our bodies as the kinds of things which could have that kind of knowledge.

Children’s Movement in an Integrated Kindergarten Classroom: What Can Their Bodies Do?
Coralee McLaren, Nursing

Moving about freely is a prerequisite for children’s physical, psychological, and social well being. Evidence from the field of cognitive neuroscience indicates that moving and gesturing are also necessary for optimal cognitive and communicative development. Very little is known about how children use their bodies’ intrinsic capacities for movement, and how they interact with the physical features of everyday environments. This knowledge gap is particularly problematic for children with physical disabilities because gross and/or fine motor impairments restrict their movement and exclusionary attitudes, safety concerns and environmental barriers further curtail their ability to explore their surroundings. Hence, a non – dualistic perspective is used to elicit data about children’s ‘body-environment’ interfaces: i) children’s bodies are conceptualized according to Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical premise that any body’s potential is unknown until it demonstrates ‘what it can do’, and ii) an integrated classroom is conceptualized according to James Gibson’s theory of affordances, which posits that people and their environments are inextricably interrelated.

Good(s)/Work: Organized Academic Labour and the ‘Rehabilitated’ University
Morgan Vanek, English

Concern for the state of post-secondary education in Canada is so ubiquitous that it hardly seems necessarily to review the many perceived threats to ‘independent’ research, ‘quality’ instruction, and the ‘mission’ of the university. Nonetheless, this paper will begin by exploring the features of Canadian universities most widely declared in need of adjustment or repair – and then turn to the structure and activities of trade unions for academic workers to begin to theorize that ‘rehabilitated’ university. What does the union’s demand for job security for contract faculty have to do with the commercialization of knowledge, for instance – and what can these negotiations teach us about the material conditions of ‘knowledge production’? Do Fredric Jameson’s observations – that the work of academics “can for the most part be subsumed under the rubric of elaboration, reproduction, or critique of ideology,” and so makes only an inappropriate and “fatuous” parallel to the production of goods – still adequately describe the activities of academic workers? If not, which seem to be exempt from this characterization – and why?

WIDEN (Workshops for Inter-Discipline Exchange & Novelty) aims to reveal the shared projects and symbiotic insights emerging from the manifold knowledge bases of the University of Toronto.

On Rehabilitation April 23 2010
On Food April 9 2010
On Mining March 26 2010
On Movement March 10 2010
On Expertise February 26 2010
On HIV/AIDS February 10 2010
On Colour January 27 2010 (in bold defiance of midwinter)
On Women December 4 2009 (in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Montreal Massacre)
On Fidelity November 27 2009
On Walls November 9 2009 (in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall)
On the Supernatural October 30 2009
On Voice April 29 2009
On Space April 14 2009
On Remembering Violence March 11 2009
On Vision February 25 2009
On Darwin February 11 2009
On Pleasure January 28 2009

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