The Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project

One in five people in the UK has a disability. Yet this important demographic is often underrepresented in our academic, legal, and political institutions. The Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project aims to develop exciting initiatives which will bring new perspectives to academic analyses of law and policy, and to generate policy-relevant research which better engages with the demands of our diverse population.

The project also intends that in addition to specific academic aims, these objectives for expanding the substantive discussion of disability in the University’s teaching and research will also have a filter-down effect: improving the accessibility of facilities for students and academics with disabilities, enabling disabled researchers to better contribute to the University's academic life. 

Our initiatives to increase the inclusion of disability in research and teaching on disability law and policy include:

Firstly, building on the success of the Let's Get Disability on the List! campaign, we are working with faculties and departments to incorporate a disability perspective into academic outputs. This process includes mapping and connecting important disability related research already being done at Oxford, providing methodological training and support in how to conduct research with or as a disabled person, and helping departments to develop courses and reading lists which adequately address disability.  Secondly, through our Knowledge Exchange Forum we aim to enable University researchers to learn from the experiences and perspectives of local Disabled Persons' Organisations (DPO's) to help academics better frame and focus their research objectives in a way that is sensitive to and relevant for our diverse population.  Thirdly, we aim to enable academics and students to build the most innovative and effective international academic approaches into their research. Our conference in Hillary Term 2018 will bring together leading academics from  Oxford, from the UK, and from around the world to exchange research and to build partnerships. This will help drive an inclusive research direction at Oxford. The Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project combines these initiatives with the aim to develop an academic environment more responsive and more relevant to the legal and political demands of our society. 

About the Project Founders 

Dr Marie Tidball is a founding director and coordinator of the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project. She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology and a Knowledge Exchange fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities Centre (TORCH). Her academic interests concern the intersection between disability and society with a specific focus on the criminal justice system. In addition to her academic pursuits Marie has extensive experience of project managing award-wining campaigns aimed at driving disability inclusion within academia, civil society, and government. Prior to her academic career Marie worked as a broadcast journalist for Channel 4 News.  

Alex Donnelly is a founding director of the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project. He is a Mellon-Sawyer fellow at the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict (CRIC) and a Research Associate at the Changing Character of War Programme (CCW). His research focuses on the anthropology of conflict, and on veterans' welfare issues. Alex has previously held appointments at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and at Harvard Law School's Project on Disability (HPOD), and has worked for the UK government and military.