Chapter 1: Introduction, Background, and History Next Chapter

Sarah Parker Harris, Tamar Heller & Abigail Schindler

In: Disability Through the Life Course

Chapter 1: Introduction, Background, and History

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Introduction, Background, and History
Introduction, background, and history
Sarah ParkerHarris
TamarHeller
AbigailSchindler

Historically, people with disabilities of all generations have been isolated from general society, which has restricted their opportunities to participate on an equal basis with others. Barriers include environments, attitudes, institutions, discourses, policies, and practices, all of which shape the experiences of people with disabilities throughout the life course (Priestley, 2003). Little research and scholarship specific to a life course approach to disability exists, as much of the work has been grounded in age-related approaches (e.g., birth, youth, adult, or aging) or disciplines (e.g., developmental psychology or gerontology). However, a life course approach that addresses disability issues across generations and through various life stage transitions is useful to inform and further our understanding of disability.

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