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Erwin Dijkstra: important for people to know that there are also academics with a disability

We hardly ever seen people with a disability appearing on talk shows and other media channels. The Dutch Minister for Disability Issues, Rick Brink, decided that this needs to change and drew up a list of 70 experts who have a disability and who deserve more attention.

Erwin Dijkstra

His list also includes Erwin Dijkstra, a lecturer and researcher at the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law at Leiden Law School. As a result of brain damage, Dijkstra has mobility issues and impaired vision. In local newspaper the Leidsch Dagblad he talks about what his contribution could be in the media.

'In a documentary, I could discuss the self-sufficiency of disabled people and how the Social Support Act 2015 is very different to previous legislation’, Dijkstra says. 'And how this Act has changed the opportunities for this group to be,  or to remain, independent and self-sufficient. Of course we already have lots of experts, but I think that it would be good for people, either with and without a disability, to see that there are also academics with a disability. Besides my specific expertise and narrative skills, this could be an extra contribution.'

It important for Dijkstra that the general public gets used to people with a disability appearing on television. 'Viewers would then see people with a disability in all sorts of roles, and the participation in society of this section of the population would become more ordinary. This would enlarge acceptance in society which is necessary to facilitate this participation.’

Read the full article (in Dutch) in the Leidsch Dagblad (pdf)

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