Disabling Barriers: Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law

Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt, eds

October 2017
UBC Press
ISBN: 9780774835237

Abstract:

Disabling Barriers analyzes issues relating to disability at different moments in Canadian and American history. In this volume, legal scholars, historians, and disability-rights activists demonstrate that disabled people can change their social status by transforming the political and legal discourse surrounding disablement.

Traditionally, disabled people were regarded as objects of pity and condescension. The rise of the social model of disablement – which identifies barriers, rather than physiological impairments, as the main problem facing people with disabilities – has resulted in a dramatic reconfiguration of how we regard political and legal structures affecting people with disabilities. Employing tools from the fields of law and history, this volume explores how disabled people have been portrayed and treated in a variety of contexts, including within the labour market, the workers’ compensation system, the immigration process, and the legal system (both as litigants and as lawyers).

This original contribution deepens our knowledge of the role of people with disabilities within social movements in disability history. The contributors encourage us to rethink our understanding of both the systemic barriers disabled people face and the capacity of disabled people to effect positive societal change.

This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of disability studies, disability history, and disability law, as well as to disability activists in Canada and the United States.

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About the Author:

Ravi Malhotra’s primary research interests are in the areas of Labour and Employment Law, Human Rights, Globalization and Disability Rights Law. He has published widely in a number of journals including the Journal of Law & Equality, the Harvard International Law Journal, New Politics, the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, the Manitoba Law Journal, the Ottawa Law Review, the Journal of Law & Social Policy, Socialism & Democracy, the Supreme Court Law Review, and the Alberta Law Review. He is the author of Exploring Disability Identity and Disability Rights through Narratives: Finding A Voice of Their Own (with Morgan Rowe) (Routledge) and editor of Disability Politics in a Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Marta Russell (Routledge). He is also writing a biography of double amputee and politician E.T. Kingsley, with Dr. Benjamin Isitt, under contract with University of British Columbia Press and is based on research funded through SSHRC. 

Click here to visit his Faculty web page.

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