Feminist Audio Books

In this extract you can hear Kirsten Hearn talking about her reasons for setting up Feminist Audio Books for women with visual impairments.


An inclusive art practice

Kirsten Hearn was a founder member of Sisters Against Disablement in the 1970s. She and other feminists with disabilities challenged assumptions that disabled women were either to be pitied or admired. They lobbied for more representation both in the disabled people’s rights movement and the women’s movement of the time. Kirsten Hearn also fought for her right to be able to study art at Goldsmiths and after that at the Royal College of Art, where she studied Design Education and Environmental Media in 1980. She was one of very few blind people ever to attend art school at this time.

What next?

Kirsten Hearn chairs the board of Inclusion London, an organisation that promotes equality for deaf and disabled people in the capital. She has spent the last 12 years acting as an adviser to the government on disabled people’s rights and has set up Whole World Design, an empowerment coaching and training consultancy. Feminist Audio Books (FAB) also still exists, although Kirsten is not currently involved with its management.


Do you listen to audio books, or books being read aloud? How important is it to create accessible political texts?

How does art express bodily senses, abilities, differences?