The Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism

1st Edition

Edited by Maria Berghs, Tsitsi Chataika, Yahya El-Lahib, Kudakwashe Dube


476 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815349303
pub: 2019-11-11
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 11th November 2019

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The onslaught of neoliberalism, austerity measures and cuts, impact of climate change, protracted conflicts and ongoing refugee crisis, rise of far right and populist movements have all negatively impacted on disability. Yet, disabled people and their allies are fighting back and we urgently need to understand how, where and what they are doing, what they feel their challenges are and what their future needs will be.

This comprehensive handbook emphasizes the importance of everyday disability activism and how activists across the world bring together a wide range of activism tactics and strategies. It also challenges the activist movements, transnational and emancipatory politics, as well as providing future directions for disability activism.

With contributions from senior and emerging disability activists, academics, students and practitioners from around the globe, this handbook covers the following broad themes:

• Contextualising disability activism in global activism

• Neoliberalism and austerity in the global North

• Rights, embodied resistance and disability activism

• Belonging, identity and values: how to create diverse coalitions for rights

• Reclaiming social positions, places and spaces

• Social media, support and activism

• Campus activism in higher education

• Inclusive pedagogies, evidence and activist practices

• Enabling human rights and policy

• Challenges facing disability activism


The Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism provides disability activists, students, academics, practitioners, development partners and policy makers with an authoritative framework for disability activism.

Table of Contents

List of figures; List of tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; PART I; Introduction - contextualising disability activism; Introducing disability activism (Maria Berghs, Tsitsi Chataika, Yahya El-Lahib & Andrew K. Dube); A virtual roundtable: re/defining disability activism with emerging global South disability activists (Tsitsi Chataika (ed), Samantha Sibanda, Abraham Mateta & Krishna Gahatraj); PART II; Neoliberalism and austerity in the global North; 1. The impact of neoliberal politics on the welfare and survival of chronically ill and disabled people (Mo Stewart); 2. These days are ours: exploring young disabled people’s experiences of activism and participation in social movements (Miro Griffiths); 3. The links between models and theories to social changes as seen and understood by activists and academics - what works? (Joanne Sansome); 4. Figures: An artist-activist response to austerity (Liz Crow); 5. As technology giveth, technology taketh away (John Rae); PART III; Rights, embodied resistance and disability activism; 6. Exercising intimate citizenship rights and (re)constructing sexualities: the new place of sexuality in disability activism (Alan Santinele Martino and Margaret Campbell); 7. "I show the life, I hereby express my life": Activism and art in the political debate between social movements and institutions on D/deaf body in Italy (Fabrizio Loce-Mandes); 8. Resisting the work cure: Mental health, welfare reform and movement against psychocompulsion (Denise McKenna, Paula Peter & Rich Moth); 9. My disability, my ammunition, my asset in advocacy work (Tafadzwa Rugoho); PART IV; Belonging, identity and values: Diverse coalitions for rights; 10. Disabled mothers of disabled children: an activism of our children and ourselves; (Liz Crow & Wendy Merchant); 11. Dementia as a disability (Kate Swaffer, Brian Le Blanc & Peter Mittler); 12. Voices from survivors of forced sterilisations in Japan: Eugenics Protection Law 1948-1996 (Nagase Osamu); 13. Indigenous species (Khairani Barokka); PART V; Reclaiming social positions, places and spaces; 14. Disability sport and social activism (Damian Haslett & Brett Smith); 15. Naples in the hands: Activism for aesthetic enjoyment (Ciro Pizzo, Carmela Pacelli & Maria Grazia Gargiulo); 16. Pissed off! Disability activisms fighting for toilet access in the UK (Charlotte Jones, Jen Slater, Sam Cleasby, Gillian Kemp, Eleanor Lisney & Sarah Rennie); 17. Mobility as occupation: Non-confrontational activism in Trinidad and Tobago (Sylette Henry-Buckmire); PART VI; Social media, support and activism; 18. The tragedy of the hidden lamps: In search of disability rights activists from the global South in the digital era (Nqobani Dube); 19. "With the knife and the cheese in hand!" A Virtual ethnography of the cyber-activist disabled movement in Brazil and its transnational impact (Marco Antonio Gavério, Anahi Guedes de Mello and Pamela Block); 20. Australia’s treatment of indigenous prisoners: The continuing nature of human rights violations in Western Australia jail cells (Hannah McGlade); 21. ‘Lchad Poland’ and the fight against inequality: The role of internet advocacy in cases of a rare genetic condition (Anna Chowaniec-Rylke); PART VII; Campus activism in higher education; 22. Random acts of diversity: ableism, academica & institutional sites of Resistance (Stephanie J. Cork, Beth Douthirt-Cohen, Kelly Hoffman, Paul T. Jaeger & Amanda Strausser); 23. At the margins of academia - on the outside, looking in: refusing, challenging and dismantling the material and ideological bases of academia (Armineh Soorenian); 24. Sensitisation: broadening the agenda to ‘include’ persons with disabilities (Pragya Deora) ; 25. Rainclamation: How installation art can reclaim space, transform collective suffering into poetic resistance, and bring aesthetics to disabled viewers (Erin Davenport); PART VIII; Inclusive pedagogies, evidence and activist practices; 26. Zimbabwean disability activism from a higher education perch: an uncertain present but exciting future (Martin Musengi); 27. Research as activism: perspectives of people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities engaged in inclusive research and knowledge co-production (Ann Fudge Schormans with Heather Allan, Donavon O’Neil Allen, Christine Austin, Kareem Elbard, Kevin John Head, Tyler Henderson, Karrissa Horan-LaRoche, Rainbow Hunt, Nathan Gray, Rex Marchi, Donna McCormick, Romeo Dontae Tresean Biggz Pierre & Sean Rowley); PART IX; Enabling Human Rights and policy (transition: international politics); 28. Reinventing activism: evidence-based participatory monitoring as a tool for social change (Marcia Rioux, Paula Campos Pinto, Dagnachew Wakene, Rados Keravica & Jose Viera); 29. Implementation of CRPD in the post-soviet region: Between imitation and authenticity (Egle Sumskiene, Violeta Vevorgianiene & Rasa Geniene; 30. Swedish disability activism: From welfare to human rights? (Marie Sépulchre & Lars Lindberg); 31. Gendered disability advocacy: Lessons from the girl power programme in Sierra Leone (Emma Frobisher, Willem Elbers & Auma Okwany); 32. "We need not remake the past": Rebuilding the disability movement in Toronto, Canada (Melissa Graham); PART X; The coming challenges (Transition: transnational and emancipatory politics); 33. Causes and effects of claims for rights: Why mainstreaming in Africa matters (Andrew K. Dube); 34. Unsettling realities and rethinking displacement: Transforming settlement services for refugees, migrants and people with intellectual disabilities (Natalie Spagnuolo & Yahya El-Lahib); 35. Disability futures: activism futures and challenges (Maria Berghs, Tsitsi Chataika, Yahya El-Lahib & A. K. Dube); INDEX

About the Editors

Maria Berghs is an anthropologist with a PhD in sociology and social policy. She works in the field of medical anthropology and sociology, specialising in disability studies. Her research interests include disability, global health (sickle cell), humanitarianism, ethics, gender and West Africa (Sierra Leone).

Tsitsi Chataika is the Chairperson and a senior lecturer in disability and inclusive education in the Department of Educational Foundations, University of Zimbabwe. Her recent publication is The Routledge Handbook of Disability in Southern Africa.

Yahya El-Lahib is a long-time disability activist and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. His research focuses on the intersection of disability and displacement as interlocking systems of oppression that continue to shape the marginalization experiences of people with disabilities within and outside state borders.

Kudakwashe Dube is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Africa Disability Alliance and has over 30 years of experience designing, managing, evaluating and monitoring development and disability programmes with international and grassroots movements. He is also chair of trustees of ADD International that fights for independence, equality and opportunities for disabled people living in poverty, alongside organisations of disabled people.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities