I am professor of disability studies at the University of Helsinki and the president of the Nordic Network on Disability Research, NNDR. My chair is the first of its kind in Finland, and it was made possible by the substantial financial support from various disability organizations.
Disability studies is a field where disability is examined as a social, cultural and a political phenomenon. It differs from traditional medical or clinical perspective where the main focus has been on the identification of impairments, and on the improvement of disabled people’s functional abilities. Disability studies is a multidisciplinary field that aims to gain understanding about the various physical, social and attitudinal barriers in disabled people’s lives and thus further their opportunities for equal social participation.
My own research has focused mainly on philosophy of disability; I have dealt with issues such as the ontological formation, as well as the moral and political significance of disability.