Earlier this year, I was honoured to be awarded a prize from the Caroline Gooding Memorial Fund to support my research in Disability Law. Last Friday, Baroness Jane Campbell gave the annual Caroline Gooding Memorial Disability Law lecture – co-hosted by the University of Leeds School of Law and Interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies – during which the prizes for 2019 and 2020 were formally announced and presented (via Zoom).
In addition to the financial support the award has given me – meaning that as a disabled researcher, I am able to continue my work without further compromising my health – it is a huge honour to have my work recognised and supported by the committee responsible for a fund set up in memory of the work of such a pioneering disabled activist as Caroline Gooding. Gooding was a ‘radical lawyer’ who was instrumental in the campaign for, and the development of, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010), and who worked tirelessly to research and implement ways in which the law can be used to make the world a better place for disabled people. You can read a commentary on the work of Caroline Gooding, and her contribution to the field of civil rights for disabled people in this article by Nick O’Brien: “Disability Discrimination Law in the United Kingdom and the New Civil Rights History :The Contribution of Caroline Gooding“. For me, as a disabled feminist and academic lawyer, it is a huge privilege to be awarded a prize commemorating the life, work, and activism of such a remarkable person who has now become a significant influence for me.
In this post, I want to share the link to the Caroline Gooding Memorial Lecture 2020 – at which Baroness Jane Campbell gave a talk entitled “Disability Rights and the Pandemic: A Story of Resilience”: you can access a transcript of the talk via her website (here).
I also want to share my short acceptance speech that was played at the lecture after my prize had been awarded by Baroness Campbell (which was quite a moment!). The clip lasts 3 min 21 sec.
It is so encouraging to have my work recognised and supported by this prize. I would once again like to thank the Caroline Gooding Memorial Fund committee for the faith they have shown in the work; and look forward to doing it justice with my completed thesis.