Jen Slater

A photo of Jen Slater, a white person with short brown hair, on a grey background. Jen is wearing a blue and black checked shirt. They have three earrings in their left ear (which is on show), a nose ring, and a thin silver necklace. They are looking just off centre of the camera, smiling and gesturing with their hands, as if mid-sentence.

Jen Slater

Sheffield Hallam University

I led the AHRC-funded Around the Toilet project ( Around the Toilet used arts-based participatory approaches to explore toilets as spaces of exclusion and belonging. A number of practical community-focused outputs were made through the research, all available at the project blog.

I am also interested in critical explorations of developmental discourse in relation to issues of access and accessibility. My 2015 book, Youth and Disability: A Challenge to Mr Reasonable, explores youth and disability as social, cultural and political constructs, alongside gender, sexuality and the body.

Most recently, I have begun to think about how symbols and tokens of ‘equality’ and ‘inclusion’ (e.g. LGBT rainbows, ‘Can’t Wait Cards’) are used and discussed by those they represent, and what function they play within institutional environments.

Pronouns: they/them



Twitter: @jenslater_



Around the Toilet project blog.

An AHRC-funded research project which explored what makes a safe and accessible toilet space (includes a full project report).


Beers, Burgers and Bleach: Hygiene, Toilets and Hospitality in the context of Covid 19 research project site

A Wellcome Trust funded research project exploring toilets in hospitality settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how changing hygiene and monitoring practices have impacted on hospitality workers.


Lift the Lid: a zine (mini magazine) about toilet experiences and accessibility

This zine is a collection of toilet stories and experiences, alongside musings, ideas and opinions about the varied – sometimes mundane, but often crucial – role that toilets play in our lives


The Toilet. [2017] animated film

This quirky animation weaves together personal accounts from transgender, disabled and Muslim people, who share the trials and tribulations of accessing and using public toilets in a society where some are made to feel welcome and others are not.


Toilet Design Toolkit
A digital tool, based on Around the Toilet research findings, designed to support architects, designers, academics and students to critically and creatively rethink notions of access in relation to the toilet design process.


Open Access Publications:
Jones, C. and Slater, J. (2020) The toilet debate: Stalling trans possibilities and defending ‘women’s protected spaces’, The Sociological Review, 68(4), pp.834-851.

Slater, J., Jones, C. and Procter, L. (2019) Troubling school toilets: resisting discourses of ‘development’ through a critical disability studies and critical psychology lens, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(3), pp.412-423.

Slater, J., Jones, C. and Procter, L. (2018) School toilets: queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment, Gender and Education, 30(8), pp.951-965.

Book chapter on toilets + disability activism (please get in touch if you don’t have access):
Jones, C., Slater, J., Cleasby, S., Kemp, G., Lisney, E. Rennie, S. (2020) ‘Pissed Off! Disability activists fighting for toilet access in the UK’, Eds. M. Berghs, T. Chataika, Y. El-Lahib, K. Dube, in The Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism, Routledge, pp. 219–231.

Related Images

  • A cartoon graphic recording of an 'Around the Toilet' workshop, drawn by artist @Smizz. It shows a pair of hands being dried under a hand-dryer. Next to there is a child, trying to run away but being pulled back by an adult hand. A speech bubble comes from the child's mouth, reading 'I'm not going in there... hand-dryers scare me!'.