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.



The idea that care is regarded by many disabled people as a problematic concept, or as a feature of their oppression, may initially seem quite challenging. The word is so prevalent in the contexts in which many disabled people live that it passes almost without notice. To take the time to enquire of its meaning might seem a strange and unnecessary thing to do. Unexamined, the idea of care seems unquestionably benign. It is a word that suggests concern, consideration for others and attentiveness to their needs (Swain and French 1998). The following two quotes, however, illustrate a divergence of perspectives:

Let us state what disabled people do want by stating first what we don't want:


(Wood 1989: 201)

One third of social care ...

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