Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Partnership Grant, 2016

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life (BIT) is intended to establish a community-university research program that builds and expands upon a working relationship between Project Re·Vision and Tangled Art + Disability, Ontario’s leading disability arts organization that cultivates disability, d/Deaf, and Mad arts in Ontario (Artistic Director: Eliza Chandler). In partnership with Tangled, and along with 11 community-based organizations and 12 academic institutions, BIT will set in motion a creative and intellectual wave of leading-edge artistic creation research, technological innovation, and critical inquiry within and beyond Ontario. Blending theories and practices of disability arts, feminist arts, and community arts, this grant explores how, and to what ends, we can cultivate arts that re-figure bodies/minds of difference.

From Invisibility to Inclusion: Developing and Evaluating Policies and Practices to Facilitate the Inclusion of Workers with Episodic Disabilities in Ontario Workplaces - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Insight Grant, 2016

This research project is a unique, interdisciplinary, intersectoral endeavour that focuses on the praxis of promoting systemic change in policies, organizations, and attitudes to advance the inclusion of people with EDs in Ontario workplaces. Our aim is to examine and assess existing information about demographic characteristics (prevalence, employment patterns) of persons with EDs, and the laws, policies, and programs that currently address responses to persons with EDs in Ontario workplaces. The project will also generate knowledge based on insights gained from online surveys, interviews, and arts-based digital stories, knowledge that can be used as resources to enhance employers' and co-workers' attitudes and perceptions and to facilitate organizational change. 

Through Thick and Thin: Investigating Body Image and Body Management among Queer Women in Southern Ontario – Women’s Health Xchange

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Jen Rinaldi, Co-Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Women's Xchange 2014-2015

Photo credit: Michelle Peek

Over the last three years, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) has engaged with communities about the very negative experiences of queer people within the healthcare system in relation to their bodies, particularly in relation to body image and body management practices. Queer women have been largely left out of scholarly discussion and research regarding women’s body image and body management practices, with research generally focusing on the stories of women with privilege – white, able-bodied, upper class, cisgender, and heteronormative. By focusing on women of privilege, women who experience differences in their identity are not being represented and are thus being held to standards that may differ significantly from what they desire. In collaboration with Project Re·Vision,  Through Thick and Thin aims to collect and share digital stories of queer people’s experiences with the Southern Ontario healthcare system to help care providers develop a more critical understanding and approach to body image, weight, exercise, and nutrition with queer women clients.

nishnabek de'bwe win//telling our truths: Aboriginal people and allies using technology, telling stories, and making change

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Dr. Susan Dion; Co-Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Research Council of Canada Award SSHRC, Insight Grant

Although much is written about Aboriginal students' experiences in schools ( Dion, 2010; Schissel & Wotherspoon, 2003) little research has been produced that provides Aboriginal students and teachers in urban environments opportunities to tell their own stories. What do Aboriginal people themselves have to say about their experiences of schooling in an urban context? In what ways might access to these stories provide stakeholders with the capacity to better respond to Aboriginal students' needs and Aboriginal student achievement? To understand these perspectives, nishnabek de’bwe win invites Aboriginal teachers and students who teach and learn in urban schools to create digital stories about their experiences during 3-day digital storytelling workshops. Ultimately, our objective is to understand how to create school communities that support positive Aboriginal student achievement. Students and teachers will be invited to participate in the project as researchers and as educators through making self-reflexive videos about their experiences of schooling and by then sharing those films in professional development sessions.

Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage: A Multi-media / Multi-Platform Re-engagement of Voice in Visual Art and Performance

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Dr. Anna Hudson, Co-Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Social Science and Research Council of Canada Award (SSHRC) Partnership Grant, September 2013 to September 2020

Photo credit: Michelle Peek

The goal of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage is to conduct collaborative research on the contribution of Inuit visual culture, art, and performance to Inuit language preservation, social well-being, and cultural identity. We come together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous specialists to address the colonial disruption of Inuit oral tradition that coincided with the establishment of the Inuit art market in the 1950s, and the production and distribution of objects without Inuit voice. Our key activities to engage with issues Inuit face today are to target, extend, and develop initiatives linking culture, language, and identity with visual culture, art and performance. By using the classroom, the community centre, the museum and art gallery, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and the World Wide Web, we hope to bring teachers, students and community members, along with academic and non-academic researchers, into a dialogue about the art as a foundation of Inuit traditional knowledge. This research will contribute to the cultural health of Inuit people, identified as the core for every other kind of health for Inuit because it links to one’s sense of identity, the collective social supports for the individual, and the sense of being grounded in positive relationships that nurture individuals and communities now and for future generations.

Mobilizing New Meanings of Disability and Difference

AWARDED: Principal Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant, October 2011 to September 2014

Women living with disabilities and physical differences are often represented negatively in our society and encounter a number of stereotypes about their abilities, needs, and interests. There is evidence that negative stereotypes inform the experiences that over two million Canadian women with disabilities and physical differences have with their health care providers and constitute a significant barrier to these women receiving satisfactory access to preventive and primary healthcare services in Canada. Existing studies indicate that encountering such barriers to health care resources is linked with an increased risk of mental health problems and chronic disease for women with disabilities and physical differences compared to disabled men and to their non-disabled female counterparts. In this qualitative, participatory arts-informed research project we analyzed and evaluated the effectiveness of two arts-based approaches to alter and transform pervasive stereotypes, including negative cultural and medical views of body differences held by health care professionals, that contribute to health inequities experienced by women living with disabilities and physical differences. The arts-based methods we used were: i) Digital stories or autobiographical videos made by health practitioners and women with disabilities and differences; and ii) Research-based drama with health providers in community and institutional settings. These methods were evaluated as successful in transforming patient-clinician interactions and enhancing clinical competences thereby improving access to and quality of health care for women living with disabilities and physical differences.