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(Self-) Advocacy and survival

I believe that knowledge is power (or at least, as Michel Foucault believed, that knowledge and power are inextricably linked). Mainstream discourse around health, reinforced in part through medical and societal hubris, is highly ableist and serves to marginalise or exclude chronically ill and disabled people from all social domains, not only from the healthcare arena. Such discriminatory and exclusionary landscapes create barriers within knowledge producing spheres, meaning that the construction of - and mainstream acknowledgement of - emancipatory counter-discourses are rendered more difficult. Sharing our experiences and speaking truth to power as chronically ill and disabled people helps us to break down these barriers. At the same time, I am mindful that those amongst us who would most benefit from having our testimonies heeded are typically those who are most marginalised.

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