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.



Socially constructed barriers prevent disabled people from full participation in society. Barriers are present everywhere, from the steps going into a building, to the accessible toilet being used as a broom cupboard, to the passer-by who stops to tell a wheelchair user how brave and inspirational she is. Taking on an understanding which identifies the problem of disability as having to do with the barriers faced by disabled people involves a shift in thinking:

When people identify disability as ‘our problem’ they will respond to us as victims in need of ‘special’ treatment and requiring ‘special’ services. When people identify disability as a problem with the way society is organised, they will work to remove the barriers by which we have been prevented from taking part ...

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