The Third Annual Jeffrey Douglas Jones Memorial Talk
Elizabeth Purcell

April 5, 2024, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Philosophy Department, Lewis & Clark College

John R. Howard Hall 202
615 S Palatine Hill Rd
Portland 97219
United States


April 5th, 2024 3:30 - 5:00pm PST

While the COVID-19 global pandemic disrupted and endangered the health and welfare of people all over the world, there is one social group that has faced special discrimination in the aftermath of this world-wide catastrophe: people with disabilities. Within the United States, various response plans in Washington, Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee place the lives of people with disabilities in danger by rationing the care available.[1] Similarly, medical professionals in Europe and Asia have had to make difficult decisions when choosing whom to help when medical resources are so scarce.[2] Furthermore, children with special needs, such as those for autism or Down’s Syndrome, have had their services limited or curtailed within the United States.[3] Finally, workers with health conditions have been laid off or fired because their employers did not desire or were unable to pay for their needed health leaves.[4] The aim of this paper is to address these injustices by considering Iris Marion Young’s five faces of oppression – exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence -  affecting people with disabilities in our post-pandemic world.[5] I argue further that people with disabilities have been silenced by a fearful public concerning these matters and as a result, have suffered an epistemic injustice. I conclude by providing a new model for embodiment as a better guide for inclusion, care and differentiated solidarity.

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