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Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

The interwar years made the previously invisible limits of the body visible and measurable. In the eighteenth century, there had been interest in and attempts at measuring the boundaries of human capabilities. In the nineteenth century, these attempts took on eugenic imperatives as disability was increasingly defined as abnormality. However, the First World War changed the way we thought about disability through greater recognition and awareness that disability could be acquired and could affect anyone. Furthermore, the war marked the start of strong

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

century, the engineers at Bell Laboratories decided that the patterns of speech form were more important than frequency for recognising speech and so only used measurements from men and children, the values of which were ‘averaged across all the repetitions to serve as the final “typical” value’. 51 Using this kind of statistical approach is why voice recognition machines like Siri and Alexa still have ‘significant race and gender biases’. 52 However, it is important to note that Bell Laboratories were pioneering this approach to facilitate speech recognition

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

’s terms: ‘Standardization thus assumed not just scientific or medical but also economic and political significance.’ 53 In Chapter 5 I make the argument that the MRC’s focus on medical statistics impeded recognition of the risk of coal-dust to miners’ lungs. Yet ironically, the MRC’s focus on medical statistics in the twentieth century overwhelmingly aligned with its increased recognition of the social determinants of health. For instance, after the Second World War the industrial health research board of the MRC sponsored a wide-scale survey on the occupation

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

Timmermans and Berg have demonstrated, standards can function as political tools. For instance, amidst the Covid19 global pandemic, divergent standards between countries in the manner of calculating death rates have been linked to political expediency. Thus, ‘standards are inherently political because their construction and application transform the practices in which they become embedded’. 91 The fight for recognition of and compensation for ‘miner’s lung’ is a clear example of the way in which politics and objective standards can conflict with testimony. Normal

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

technology moved from the home to the hospital during the interwar period. The lack of recognition of the individuality of breathing meant these individuals were inspired to adapt and ‘tinker’ with respiratory assistive technology in order to make them work for them. It is important to note, however, that certain of the respiratory technologies in this chapter were designed to manually stimulate the lungs, facilitating the breath by literally forcing compression of the chest. This kind of respiratory-assistive technology does the breathing for the user (like a modern

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

Medresco. Subscribers already using the amplified telephones were not consulted before the telephone was designed, because ‘as far as likely users are concerned the subjective conditions likely to be met with will be extremely varied and cannot be satisfied equally’. 139 This was perhaps one of the legacies of users modifying their own telephones in the 1920s. Although there was recognition of the diverse needs of people with hearing loss, the design of the telephones was conducted entirely to the specifications of the engineers, with no input from relevant users

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Charlotte Dale

some nurses may have been the lure of public recognition: the Royal Red Cross (RRC), inaugurated in 1883, was a prestigious award that provided nurses with tangible evidence of their service. It allowed recipients to place themselves alongside Florence Nightingale and other ‘heroic’ recipients such as Nurse Catherine Grace Loch, of the Indian Army, and Sister Janet King, who had served during the Anglo-Zulu War.21 Historically, female nurses have been motivated for a variety of reasons to engage in military campaigns: as historian Jane Schultz illustrates in the case

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
George Campbell Gosling

-overdue recognition of the nature of their work, just as when the NHS removed their financial function it did not leave them struggling to find a new purpose. By 1948 the almoners were ready to make the case that any business related to patient payments was a distraction from their real work in the hospital, a view the medical profession had long held. Financial and social work were dual strands, each deeply rooted. Both were indicative elements of the hospitals as charities

in Payment and philanthropy in British healthcare, 1918–48
Open Access (free)
Bonnie Evans

autistic individuals’ rights to be autistic and their claims to de-medicalise the entire concept of autism are just a natural progression from the recognition that autism needed to be released from state control in deficiency institutions, into the hands of schools and parents, and eventually children and adults with the diagnosis. At its core, this is a debate about rights. It is part of the

in The metamorphosis of autism
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

raw edge. Yet her main concern seems to be a desire to convey a sense of their heroism and stoicism. She writes of: fingerless hands, lungs pierced, arms and legs perfectly well gangrenous, others already threatening tetanus (against which they are now beginning to inoculate patients), mouths swollen beyond all recognition with bullet shots, fractured femurs, shattered jaws, sightless eyes, ugly scalp wounds; yet never a murmur, never a groan except in sleep. As the men come in they fall on their pallets and doze until roused for food.5 Eighteen Months in the War

in Nurse Writers of the Great War