“This is my way”: reimagining disability, in/dependence and interconnectedness of persons and assistive technologies
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PURPOSE: Postmodernism provides a radical alternative to the dominant discourses of Western societies that emphasize autonomy and independence. It suggests a reimagining of the relationship between the self and the body and the increasingly blurred boundaries between biology and machine. The purpose of this article is to explore in/dependence through a discussion of interconnectedness of persons and assistive technologies. KEY MESSAGES: Drawing on postmodern theories, we discuss the interconnections inherent in disability experiences through the case example of Mimi, an adolescent girl with severe physical disabilities. We consider how Mimi, her assistive technologies and her parents can be viewed as assemblages of bodies/technologies/subjectivities that together achieve a set of practices. An examination of these various couplings suggests different understandings of disability that open up possibilities for multiple connections and reimagines dependencies as connectivities. CONCLUSIONS: Connectivity can be embraced to explore multiple ways of being-in-the-world for all persons and problematizes the goals of independence inherent in rehabilitation practices.
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