QD Conference – Programming


The participants at the Queer Disability conference who have various labels and identities of mental illness, crazy, psycho-social or psychological disabilities, psychiatric survivors and cognitive disabilities have made the following suggestions for making the conference better next time!!

  1. A fully articulated policy of NON-INSTITUTIONALIZATION so that all people can attend the conference without fear of being institutionalized.
  2. A recognition of the broad diversity within the category of mental disabilities including both identities and lables such as psychiatric disability, mental illness, psychological differences, emotional disabilities, crazy, psychiatric survivor, cognitive disability, autism and others.
  3. A clear indication to presenters and delegates to be respectful in the use of language that degrades the experiences of people with forms of mental disabilities. This requires a reduction of negative comments about being crazy, paranoid, or retarded- especially in the context of “we aren’t crazy”. We request a reduction in the hierarchy of disabilities evident in comments and presentations.
  4. We recommend more active outreach to developmentally disabled people and people with cognitive disabilities who may not have access to attending on their own or are not part of the queer or disability communities and have been underrepresented at this (and other) events.
  5. A respect for a range of visible and invisible manifestations of symptoms, and the right to choose method of services, access to services, types of help wanted including wanting medication and not wanting it, wanting therapy and not wanting it and our right to exist as crazy if we so choose.
  6. More presentations/content on mental disabilities especially to reflect the possibility that some people with these disabilities have unstable disabilities and might not make the event- plan back ups and highlight the topic and issues to include people with mental disabilities.
  7. Yes, we need a quiet room- but it has to be QUIET- and that means not being right beside the main traffic area.
  8. In addition to a quiet room we need a crisis room- or a place to sceam, vent, cry and not have to be quiet and where support is available.
  9. IN advance of presentations that deal with sexual assault, violence, psychiatric issues and just in general for the conference, announcements should be made that content could trigger reactions among people who are vulnerable.
  10. Because of the nature of our triggers and the intensity of reactions, we need a safe, and easy escape- this means two doors when possible, space in the aisles and organization of space so that it does not require tremendous effort or attention to leave the room.
  11. Although we have not requested professional psychiatric services at these events, we feel that voluntary peer counsellors, or counsellors trained to provide support should be available in the same way that interpreters, guides, readers, and attendants are available. It is important that anyone providing support be bound by the NON-institutionalization policy and that they be non threatening and non opprossive.


The Queer Disability Conference will provide an excellent opportunity for disabled queers and our allies to enlighten, stimulate, educate and connect with each other. We offer workshops, academic presentations, community driven meetings, keynote addresses and performances.

This conference will bring together a wide variety of queer disabled people: from Deaf gay men to intersexed folks, from lesbians with CFIDS to trans folk with cancer. If you are both queer and disabled (or an ally), this conference is for you.

For the first time in U.S. history, disabled queers will come together – to think, to play, to strategize, to share resources.

Our program was thoughtfully created to give you the maximum information in two days and one night.

There are 3 main areas of interest in the program: community; academic; and arts.

The community workshops will focus on direct information from disabled queers about WHO we are, WHAT we are doing and WHERE we are going.

The academic presentations will look at the intersections of disability theory and queer theory. They will review the existing literature, present current research, and offer direction for future work.

The arts workshops will explore the vast body of work by disabled queers. In addition to workshops, there is an evening of queer disability art on Sunday evening.

In addition to workshops, there will be keynotes, posters, informal caucuses as well as quiet rooms and hang-out areas.

The conference will be accessible – including sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, print materials on audiotape and Braille, scent-free meeting areas, and attendants.

Workshop proposals are no longer being accepted for this conference. Some workshop panels still need panelists; if you wish to be a presenter/panelist, please contact QDProgram@hotmail.com and state your area of interest.



We are using queer to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trangendered folks and also intersexed folks. We welcome people who align themselves with these broad labels. We also welcome people who challenge these labels but who would be seen as part of these groups by others.


We are using this term to include people who have physical and/or mental impairments that significantly impact their lives. We include, but are not limited to, people who have mental, hearing, emotional, physical, visual, health and/or chronic conditions. We recognize that there is incredible diversity within each of these general groupings.