This textbook brings together a wide range of expert voices from the field of disability studies and the disabled people's movement to tackle the essential topics relevant to this area of study. From the outset disability is discussed from a social model perspective, demonstrating how future practice and discourse could break down barriers and lead to more equal relationships for disabled people in everyday life.

An interdisciplinary and broad-ranging text, the book includes 50 chapters on topics relevant across health and social care. Reflective questions and suggestions for further reading throughout will help readers gain a critical appreciation of the subject and expand their knowledge.

This will be valuable reading for students and professionals across disability studies, health, nursing, social work, social care, social policy and sociology.

Rights and Legislation

Rights and Legislation

Rights and legislation

This chapter provides an overview of the development of the legislation and fundamental rights that affect disabled people in everyday life. It explores the interdependency of rights and legislation, and considers the institutional practices that maintain societal inequality. Finally, it evaluates the current legislation and considers what still needs to be done in order to promote equal rights and treatment for all.

To understand the oppressive forces affecting disabled people, it is essential to consider not only personal prejudices, but also the practices of society (Oliver 1996).

Bynoe states ‘laws can provide the means to define civil and political relationships in society, and, where these are unequal or are non-existent, to modify or to create them’ (1995: 123).

As this statement suggests, rights ...

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