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  • Living reference work
  • © 2021

Handbook of Disability

Critical Thought and Social Change in a Globalizing World

  • Perspectives from researchers, development experts, professionals, practitioners, activists, and disabled persons

  • Comprehensive coverage of the history, contemporary developments and future directions in disability studies

  • Provides social science, humanities, legal, policy and clinical discussions

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Table of contents (92 entries)

  1. A Conversation on Disability Justice and Intersectionality

    • Jen Deerinwater, Sandy Ho, Vilissa Thompson, Alice Wong, Nirmala Erevelles, Marina Morrow
  2. Access to Gainful Employment for Women and Youth with Psychosocial Disabilities in Africa: A Case Study

    • Dorothy Nakato Mubezi, The Capacity Building Unit, International Disability Alliance
  3. Advocacy in Inclusive Humanitarian Action

    • Sandra Willis, Helen Verdeli
  4. Aligning Employment Promotion with Poverty Prevention

    • Silvia Garcia-Mandico, Christopher Prinz
  5. CO-CREEMOS: A Strategy to Attend Diversity in Colombia

    • Silvia Baldiris, Yuliana Puerta, Clemencia Zapata, Ingrid Solano, Jutta Treviranus
  6. Compassion as a Tool to Enhance Communication Between Nurses and Children in the Oncology Pediatric Ward

    • Tania Villalobos Luján, Michelle Wyndham-West, Mariana Campos Gutiérrez
  7. Conclusion: Moving Forward

    • Ezra Zubrow, Alexis Buettgen
  8. Decolonising Disability: Indigenous Māori Perspectives of Disability Research in the Modern Era

    • Tristram Ingham, Bernadette Jones, Paula Toko King, Kirsten Smiler, Helena Tuteao, Gabrielle Baker et al.
  9. Disability Activism and Advocacy: Introduction

    • Victor S. Pineda, Serida L. Catalano

About this book

This important reference work maps the terrain of disability across the world by providing an overview of issues, concerns and developments in the domains of society, culture, medicine, law, policy, justice, education, economics, and science and technology. It is a truly inclusive volume bringing together perspectives from researchers, activists, professionals, service providers, international development experts and policymakers based in the global North and South, and it particularly focuses on the voices of the principal stakeholders---disabled persons themselves.

Working from an interdisciplinary matrix, this book reviews historical developments, contemporary practices and policies . It addresses hitherto unchartered areas in the disability discourse that will be significant in the years to come. In the modern world, the social and medical responses to disability have been separation, segregation and incarceration of disabled people. These responses are reflected in practices of special education, building of asylums, medical classifications and sheltered employment. Current thinking on disability is based on the need to overcome such segregation through the enactment of human rights and socially just programmes, policies and laws such as inclusive education, affirmative action, reasonable accommodation, and supported decision-making.
This book explores:

·  The evolution of the concept of disability over space and time and identifies approaches to disability, debility, equality and equity;

·  Broad trends in research on disability across the world;

·  New directions in work on disability;

·  The emergence of a global disability movement and its etiology;

·  Intersections of disability with other demographic variables like gender, race, caste, and age; and

·  Historical and socio-economic interfaces with colonialism, globalization, and social development.

Spread over 14 sections and spanning more than 80 chapters, this volume is the most comprehensive, up-to-date reference work available on the subject.  

Editors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada

    Marcia H. Rioux

  • School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

    Alexis Buettgen

  • Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo, State University, Buffalo, USA

    Ezra Zubrow

  • Advocacy Director, International Disability Alliance, Toronto, Canada

    José Viera

About the editors

Marcia Hampton Rioux was a Distinguished Research Professor and Professor Emerita in the School of Health Policy and Management in York University’s Faculty of Health. Nationally and internationally, Professor Rioux was regarded as a leading legal scholar and pioneer in the field of human rights and equity. She held a PhD in jurisprudence and social policy from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to being named a Distinguished Research Professor by York University, Professor Rioux was the director at York University’s Institute for Health Research. She was the co-founder and first Chair of the School of Health Policy & Management as well as the Critical Disabilities Studies program. She was a driving force in the promotion of disability rights and the enhancement of opportunities for marginalized people. She played a leadership role in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and published widely in the area of disability and human rights. She was a co-founder of Disability Rights Promotion International, which now monitors rights for people with disabilities in more than 62 countries. She was a Fellow of the Institutes of Advanced Studies in the U.K. and Australia.

Professor Rioux was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award in recognition of her contributions to Ontario communities. In 2014, she was invested into the Order of Canada for her scholarship in the field of social justice and for her advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities. Professor Rioux lectured throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. She was a visiting scholar and professor at a number of international institutions, including the University of Zagreb, Croatia and LaTrobe University in Australia. She edited a number of collected volumes and more than 70 book chapters and articles on human rights. Marcia died in September 2021. Her most recent project was this Handbook. 

Alexis Buettgen is a community-engaged scholar with an interdisciplinary academic background in community psychology and critical disability studies. Dr. Buettgen has over 15 years of experience in community-based participatory research and evaluation as a Senior Researcher at several community-based research organizations and organizations of people with disabilities (OPDs). Prior to this, Dr. Buettgen worked in a variety of community settings providing direct support to individuals with various experiences of oppression and marginalization, including people with various disabilities. These community experiences have informed her research program to critically examine issues of poverty, exclusion and intersectional approaches to promote equity, and social and environmental justice. Dr. Buettgen holds academic appointments in the  Department of Economics and School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University,  and the Critical Disability Studies program at York University. Her scholarship aims to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and community action using a critical theoretical, human rights and disability justice approach. She is dedicated to participatory and collaborative research examining the influence of economic and political environments on the progressive realization of disability inclusion. Her work connects the local with the global through fieldwork carried out at local, national, regional and international levels. Her record of publications includes journal articles, invited book chapters, a monograph and numerous reports commissioned by international, national, and local government agencies, OPDs, other disability organizations, and NGOs. Her scholarly publications have appeared in leading international peer-reviewed journals in the field of disability studies, health sciences, human rights, and the social economy. Dr. Buettgen has been an invited speaker, guest lecturer and course instructor on the topics of critical theory, human rights, global health, climate justice, intersectionality, and applied research for social justice at numerous universities and community organizations.

Ezra Zubrow was educated at Harvard and the University of Arizona.  He is an Anthropologist presently holding positions at the Universities of Cambridge, Buffalo, and Toronto as well as previously teaching at Stanford.  He has been a fellow at various Institutes for Advanced Research in Europe and Australia. He has a broad range of interests focusing on the demographic, ecological, and spatial aspects of social and physical environments as well as disability. He has written or edited 10+ books,150+ articles as well as receiving 20+ million dollars of grants.   Among his writings are two co-written books- The Atlas of Literacy and Disability and The Landscape of Literacy and Disability.

Over the last two decades, he has been the vice president and president of a labor union as well as the chair of a faculty senate.  During these tenures, he actively made changes to promote human rights and has served on various International Commissions on Law and Environment. An internationalist, he has done over 50 fieldwork expeditions in North America, South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.  Most recently, hehas been focusing on the circumpolar region.

 Jose Viera has more than 18 years of experience working nationally and internationally in the field of human rights and inclusive development. As a person with a disability, Mr. Viera is committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities and advocating for their human rights. Mr. Viera is the Advocacy Director of the International Disability Alliance and was the Chief Executive Officer for the World Blind Union (WBU), a global organization with a broad international membership of over 300 organizations at the sub-national and regional levels in over 196 countries. Mr. Viera is also the Global Disability Summit Secretariat Senior Manager. The Global Disability Summit is a world-leading and pioneering event that unites the global effort for momentum towards the inclusion of the world’s poorest and most neglected people. In addition, Mr. Viera is the Permanent Representative of the UN Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities for Sustainable Development, also an Independent Board Member of CBM Global Disability Inclusion, as well as the former President of the Federation of the Blind of Argentina. Before joining WBU, Mr. Viera was director of the Latin American Regional Center for Disability Rights Promotion International, a global monitoring rights system where he led regional and global initiatives to promote the ratification and implementation of the UN CRPD and the agenda 2030. In addition, Mr. Viera, has more than 10 years of experience as an associate professor at the international studies department of Siglo 21 University in Argentina, lecturing on sustainable development and international cooperation issues. Mr. Viera holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a master’s degree in Management of Development. Mr. Viera has contributed to various publications and research projects on disability and development with a special focus on the Global South. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Handbook of Disability

  • Book Subtitle: Critical Thought and Social Change in a Globalizing World

  • Editors: Marcia H. Rioux, Alexis Buettgen, Ezra Zubrow, José Viera

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences, Reference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-16-1278-7Due: 11 January 2024

  • Number of Pages: XX, 1700

  • Number of Illustrations: 23 b/w illustrations, 106 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Social Work, Education, general