The Social Model of Disability: Europe and the Majority World

Book Cover - Social Model The Social Model of Disability: Europe and the Majority World
 Edited by Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer, The Disability Press
 ISBN 0954902602, £16.50 (including postage, 0113 343 4407)



This book captures growing international interest in disability issues, describing how the social model has been used as a catalyst for worldwide social action, writes Trish Hafford-Letchfield.

Globalisation and economic polarisation has contributed to disabled people in the majority world being among the most poor, disadvantaged and isolated groups. Contributors to this book, however, share the enormous work and effort going on internationally to ensure disability is recognised as a human rights issue, away from charity and rehabilitation models.

Of particular interest was the chapter on the development of Disabled People’s International. Collaboration of worldwide disabled organisations and individuals has led to enormous international legislative and policy changes, not least through the contribution of their own communities. Cases studies from Europe and worldwide demonstrate transferability of disablist concepts across continents where social exclusion is common even if cultural and attitudinal systems and structures are different. 

Comparative studies can often lead to generalisations. This book, however, demonstrates that the social model has established “bedrock principles” of dignity and freedom. Rock on!

Trish Hafford-Letchfield is a senior lecturer at London South Bank University

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