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Call for Papers

Deadline: 30 August 2019

Submission Guidelines

We encourage contributors to emphasize the client voice in their submissions through direct quotations, art, or co-authorship.

Submissions should align with Art Therapy’s Aim and Scope. Submissions must include a title page that indicates “Special Issue: Art Therapy and Disability Studies” and marked “Special Issue” in the online submission process. You can submit your research through our online submission portal. We encourage everyone to review our Instructions for Authors for further guidelines.

Art Therapy

Table of Contents for Art Therapy. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

Visit Journal Articles

Guest Editors

Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi, MA, MFA, ATR, PhD

Candidate in Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago


Catherine Hyland Moon, MA, ATR-BC

Professor, Art Therapy Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Therapy and Disability Studies

Disability is an umbrella term; it can be understood as a developmental, cognitive, sensory, mental and physical impairments, etc. An individual may experience bodymind function limitations and/or exclusions to participate in everyday life activities in an ableist society. Thus, people with disabilities may experience stigma and marginalization. Disability is a complex social, cultural, political, racialized, class-based, and gendered experience. The field of art therapy has had a long history of responding to disabilities based on an individualistic and interventionist (medical) model. In contrast, a social model of disability highlights the systemic nature of discrimination and oppression. In recent scholarship, the relational/political model of disability has called attention to the limitations of a binary that positions the medical model versus the social model.  Given that disabled people are often “Othered” in medical and mental health service settings, critical discussion on these topics is warranted.

As a mental health field, art therapists have a long history of working with people with disabilities, but there have been few articles within the field’s professional journals citing perspectives and literature from disability culture and Deaf culture or from the field of disability studies. We seek research, theoretical perspectives and practice models that complicate the meaning of disability in art therapy. Proposed papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics: relationship of Deaf Studies, Deaf culture, Mad Studies and Mad culture to art therapy theory and practice; identity politics and Disability within art therapy settings and art therapy education; Disability and intersectionality; Disability and activism. Example questions might focus on, but are not limited to:

  • How have art therapists employed the social model in working with disabled clients in various settings, especially in clinical scenarios where treatment, rehabilitation, and the potential for “cure” are the primary objectives?
  • How might art therapy be informed by the ways that disabled people have used art to explore and claim their disability as an identity and as biological, psychological and social experiences, while also pushing beyond the conventional narrative of overcoming?
  • How might art therapists critically examine and expand their practices in ways that challenge a binary conception of disability?
  • What is the impact of disability stigma on art therapists who are themselves disabled or who have experienced chronic illnesses?
  • How do art therapists consider the contingent nature of disability in relation to their own disabled or non-disabled identities?
  • How have the contributions of disabled art therapists’ lived experiences contributed to conceptualizing and delivering art therapy within educational and human service settings?
  • How do art therapists engage in reflexivity in relation to the power and privilege associated with ableism?
  • How can art therapists further art as an alternative narrative for rescripting disability or challenging the meaning of the “healing potential of art” from disability studies/Deaf studies and/or Mad studies perspectives?
  • How can art therapists provide alternative spaces, models, and practices informed by disability studies?

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