While there are many introductions to disability and disability studies, most presume an advanced academic knowledge of a range of subjects. Beginning with Disability is the first introductory primer for disaibility studies aimed at first year students in two- and four-year colleges. This volume of essays across disciplines—including education, sociology, communications, psychology, social sciences, and humanities—features accessible, readable, and relatively short chapters that do not require specialized knowledge.
Lennard Davis, along with a team of consulting editors, has compiled a number of blogs, vlogs, and other videos to make the materials more relatable and vivid to students. "Subject to Debate" boxes spotlight short pro and con pieces on controversial subjects that can be debated in class or act as prompts for assignments.
PART 1: DEFINING DISABILITY
1. Davis, Lennard. Introduction.
2. Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. Becoming Disabled
3. Linton, Simi. Reassigning Meaning.
4. Dolmage, Jay. Disability Rhetoric.
5. Omansky, Beth and Karen Rosenblum. A Comparison of Disability With Race, Sex, and Sexual Orientation Statuses.
6. Silberman, Steve. Neurodiversity Rewires Conventional Thinking About Brains.
PART 2: DEAFNESS AND DEAF CULTURE
7. Padden, Carol A. Talking Culture: Deaf People of Disability Studies.
8. Leahy, Morgan. Stop Sharing Those Feel-Good Cochlear Implant Videos.
9. Groce, Nora. "Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language"
PART 3: THE HISTORY OF DISABILITY
10. Burch, Susan and Kim Nielsen. Disability History.
11. Baynton, Douglas. Defectives in the Land: Disability and American Immigration Policy, 1882–1924.
12. Carey, Allison C. On the Margins of Citizenship. Disability Activism and the Intellectually Disabled.
PART 4: DISABILITY, IDENTITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
13. Erevelles, Nirmala. Disability and Race.
14. Schalk, Sami. Coming to Claim Crip: Disidentification With/In Disability Studies.
15. Mingus, Mia. Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability.
16. Ralph, Laurence. What Wounds Enable: The Politics of Disability and Violence in Chicago.
17. David M. Perry and Laqrence Carter-Long. Misunderstanding Disability Leads to Police Violence.
18. Metzl, Jonathon. Let’s Talk About Guns, But Stop Stereotyping the Mentally Ill.
PART 5: EXPERIENCING DISABILITY
19. Miserandino, Christine. The Spoon Theory.
20. Peace, Bill. Ableism and a Watershed Experience.
21. Sacks, Mike. O.C.D. in N.Y.C.
22. Hedrick, Michael. Living with Schizophrenia: The Importance of Routine.
23. Michalko, Rod. The Two-in-One.
PART 6: DISABILITY AND CULTURE
24. Rosenberg, Alyssa. If Hollywood's So Creative, Why Can't It Tell New Stories About People With Disabilities?
25. Abramovich, Seth. Little People, Big Woes in Hollywood: Low Pay, Degrading Jobs, and a Tragic Death.
26. Kornhaber, Spencer and Lauryn S. Mayer. The Ethics of Hodor: Disability in Game of Thrones.
27. Anand, Shilpaa. From a Bendy Straw to a Twirly Straw: Growing up Disabled, Transnationally.
28. Luft, Alexander. The New Kid in Primetime: What Speechless Has to Say.
29. Bolt, David. An Advertising Aesthetic: Real Beauty and Visual Impairment.
30. Moosa, Tauriq. Your Body Isn’t Your World: The Heroes of the Mad Max Video Game and Disability.
31. Gibbons, Sarah. Auti(sim) and Representation: Autis(i)m, Disability Simulation Games, and Neurodiversity.
32. Kuusisto, Steve. Why I’m a Crippled Poet.
PART 7: THE DISABILITY YET TO COME
33. Ware, Linda. Disability Studies in K-12 Education.
34. Biklen, Douglas and Jamie Burke. Presuming Competence.
35. Girma, Haben. Disability and Innovation.
36. Barker, Nicole C.S. "What Will You Gain When You Lose?" Deafness, Disability Gain, Creativity, and Human Difference.
37. Capuzzi Simon, Cecilia. Disability Studies: A New Normal.
PART 8: SUBJECT TO DEBATE
38. Disability and Sexual Objectification
A. Bartlett, Jennifer. Longing for the Male Gaze.
B. Crippledscholar.com. Disabled Women and Sexual Objectification (or the Lack Thereof).
39. Sexual Surrogacy.
Unlockingwords.wordpress.com. Disability and Paying for Sex
40. Prenatal Testing and Abortion.
A. Whattoexpect.com. The Benefits of Prenatal Testing.
B. Tennant, Michael. "U.K. Lawmaker: End Abortion Discrimination Against the Disabled.
41. Assisted Suicide
A. Golden, Marilyn. The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws.
B. Zakaria, Rafia. Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal.
42. Cochlear Implants.
A. Owens, Brian. Infants May Benefit from Advanced Cochlear Implants.
B. Ringo, Allegra. Understanding Deafness: Not Everyone Wants to be "Fixed".
43. Nondisabled Actors in Disabled Roles.
A. Ryan, Frances. We Wouldn’t Accept Actors Blacking Up, So Why Applaud "Cripping Up"?
B. Seymour, Tony. Able-Bodied Actors in Disabled Roles: Modern-day "Blacking Up" … Or Is It?