The sociology of disability distinguishes systemic obstructions, disdainful demeanors, and social prohibition (purposefulness or incidental), which make it troublesome or incomprehensible for people with disabilities to accomplish their  functionings.

General Resources


  • American Sociological Association
    Section on Disability and Society
    The section aims to strengthen the theoretical and methodological aspects of disability and society studies. The goal of the section is to foster the development of the sociology of disability through the organized interchange of ideas, teaching experiences, research programs, and results.
  • American Red Cross
    People with Disabilities
  • Apple
    Apple products are intuitive and easy to use. A variety of assistive technologies come standard. So every device not only has accessible features — but accessible principles — built right in. (i) Vision solutions: larger text, magnification and screen-reading (with Bluetooth support for a range of Braille displays and keyboards); (ii) Hearing solutions: custom vibrations, flash alerts, mono-audio and support for a range of Bluetooth digital hearing aids; (iii) Motor solutions: Assistive Touch, enabling multi-touch gestures to be assigned to custom single-finger (or mouth/headstick) gestures, and support for other specialist headsets and switches. «Inclusive technology» must be mainstream and affordable, aimed at a broad customer base and not primarily designed for the niche disability or elderly markets. It must also provide the full range of functions expected of a mainstream device but with a varied choice of input and output methods to cater to a wide range of abilities.
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
    A network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families and communities. APF strives for equal rights, citizenship, social participation and the free choice of the mode of life of people with disabilities and their families.


  • Barnes, Colin / Oliver, Mike
    [1993] Disability: A Sociological Phenomenon Ignored by Sociologists
    Sociological analyses of disability have been theoretically and methodologically inadequate. In common with the other major contemporary disciplines sociology has accepted almost without question the legitimacy of the individualistic, biomedical approach to disability. This partial and essentially ‘non-disabled’ reading of the phenomenon has succeeded in precluding a meaningful evaluation of the economic, political and cultural forces which created and continue to create disability in modern society. The discipline as a whole has contributed significantly to the continued marginalisation of the disabled population. By focusing on the development of the international disabled people’s movement and the work of disabled writers it is suggested that disability is an issue as central to mainstream sociological discourse and analysis as class, gender, race and sexuality.
  • Beschermde Werkplaats Mechelen
    A workplace for disabled people in Belgium.
  • Britisch Sociological Association
    Disability Study Group 
    Disability occupies an ambiguous position within sociology. It has been a consistent feature since early symbolic interactionist studies used accounts of impairment in social deviance studies. This approach has remained firmly embedded within the sub-discipline of medical sociology. In broader sociology engagement with disability as a social relationship rather than individualistic concern remains marginal. Disability is a complex relation between personal and environmental/social factors. In the early 1980s the field of disability studies emerged, with a strong emphasis on social oppression, a strong criticism of the social deviance paradigm and a reconsideration of the disabling dynamics of society and a sociology of impairment. The Disability Studies Group reflects the diversity of disability related research among sociologists and promotes a recognition of disabled academics in sociology.


  • Children with Disabilities
    A special issue of the journal The Future of Children 22(1), Spring 2012
  • Cloerkes, Günther / Felkendorff, Kai
    [2007] Soziologie der Behinderten: Eine Einführung
    The standard work of the German sociology of disability. This textbook and reference book introduces into all the main areas of the subject: disability and people with disabilities in a sociological perspective; disability as a social problem; institutionalization of disability; disability and socio-economic conditions; attitude and behavior towards people with disabilities; disability as a stigma; inclusion and social integration of people with disabilities; families with disabled children; recreation of disabled people; special education and social education.
  • Coopman, Sthepanie J.
    Disability on the Net
    An examination of disability sites as narrative texts, in which web authors construct for and with visitors/readers representations of disability, activism, and civil rights. The author analyzes how authors use places in cyberspace to construct particular views of disability and the disability community.


  • Disability History Museum (DHM)
  • The mission of DHM is to foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experience of people with disabilities, their families and their communities over time. DHM is a virtual project, it has no bricks or mortar. DHM hosts a library of virtual artifacts, education curricula, and museum exhibits. These programs are designed to foster research and study about the historical experiences of people with disabilities and their communities.
  • Disability-Research Discussion List
    A list intended for all those interested in research as it affects disabled people. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and news, among researchers and others working primarily within a social interpretation of disability. Managed by the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds.
  • Disability Research Resources
    With special attention for disabled women. Editor: Barbara Robertson.

    What do people with disabilities want?

    “Nothing special, nothing unusual. We want to be able to attend our neighbourhood school, to use the public library, to go to the movies, to get on a bus to go shopping downtown or to visit friends and family across town or across the country. We want to be able to get into our neighbourhood polling station to vote with everyone else on election day. We want to be able to get married. We want to be able to work. We want to be able to provide for our children. We want high quality, affordable medical care. We want to be seen as real people, as a part of society, not something to be hidden away, pitied or given charity.”

    [Disability rights activist Adrienne Rubin Barhydt, April 10, 1996 - Disrights.org]

  • Dyslexie & Dyscalculie
    Dyslexia network in the Netherlands. Research and treatment institutes for dyslexia and other language related problems.
  • Dyslexia Online
    A selection of articles on dyslexia. Learn about the symptoms, possible causes, and ways to prevent this learning disorder.


  • Equal Access to Software and Information (EAST)
    An affiliate of the American Association for Higher Education. Its mission is to serve as a resource to the education community by providing information and guidance in the area of access-to-information technologies by individuals with disabilities. EASI gathers information about developments and advancements within the adaptive computer technology field and spreads that information to colleges, universities, K-12 schools, libraries and into the workplace. The membership is composed of people from colleges, universities, business and other institutions.


  • Financial Aid for Disabled Students
    A financial aid and scholarship guide for students with disabilities. In this comprehensive and simple-to-use directory you will find numerous scholarship options for students with disabilities that range from national financial aid opportunities to local opportunities within the United States and Canada. Each scholarship profile indicates whether online programs at accredited colleges or universities are eligible for the award.
  • Fox, Susannah / Boyles, Jan Lauren - Pew Research Center
    [2012] Disability in the Digital Age
    More than 20 years after the initial passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, internet access remains unequally distributed. Adults living with disabilities do not engage in networked society at the same rate as their peers who do not report disability (54% vs. 81%).


Global Applied Disability Research Network for Employment and Training.


  • Information Society disAbilities Challenge (ISDAC)
    They want to challenge Europe and its nations to make the Information Society fully accessible to people with disabilities (PwD), and challenge people with disabilities to demonstrate their abilities in an Information Society context by playing an active role in building a fully accessible Information Society in Europe.
  • InternAUT
    Developing self-advocacy for people living with autism. A group of autistic people are collaborating online to provide mutual support to people who have this condition, which is much misunderstood and can lead to exclusion from society. Please visit the site and consider what you might do to help. You can also visit the alt.support.autism newsgroup.
  • Internet Resources for Special Children (IRSC)
    An index of resources for children with disabilities. Last modified 1996.


Kastl, Jorg Michael 
[2010] Einführing in die Soziologie der Behinderung
Wiesbaden: Springer
A German introduction into the sociology of disability. It explains the concept of disability and what sociology can contribute to the understanding of disabilities. The author also explains what the phenomena of disability can contribute to our understanding of society.


Museum of disABILITY History - New York, USA
A brick-and-mortar museum about the history of people with disabilities from medieval times to the present era. The museum seeks to promote a higher level of societal awareness and understanding, and a change in attitudes, perceptions and actions that will result in people with disabilities having the greatest possible participation in their communities.


  • Parenting with a Disability Network (PDN)
    A peer support and information-sharing network for parents and prospective parents with a disability. The aim of PDN is to develop consumer friendly approaches to parenting with a disability by providing opportunities for networking, peer support, information-sharing and education.
  • Parents with Disabilities Online
    A guide to parenting resources for people with disabilities. Editor: Trish and John Day
  • Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
    Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. Mobility problems and hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can add complication. It is important to plan ahead so you are better prepared for any urgent situation. This booklet gives tips on getting informed, making a plan, assembling a kit, and keeping your plans up to date. Created by the US Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross.


  • Social Security Disability Secrets
    Provides a detailed and indepth explanation of the Social Security Disability Process. In addition to providing the best overview of how the system actually works, the sites answers numerous questions which most claimants inevitably have. Written by a Disability Examiner, Tim Moore.
  • Stuart, Ossie
    The social model of disability - What it is and why it is important
    In: Scope




  • Celebrities with Disabilities [2:06]
    Brooke Rudisill made a video is for her Special Education class about popular celebrities that are diagnosed with different types of disabilities.
  • Disability Rights Movement [7:28]
    Brianna Letendre’s school project.
  • Disabling segregation [17:57]
    Dan Habib at TEDxAmoskeagMillyard
    Photojournalist Dan Habib didn’t give much thought to disability —until his son Samuel was born with cerebral palsy. In this emotional talk, the disability-rights advocate explains his family’s fight to ensure an inclusive education for Samuel, and how inclusion benefits not just Samuel and those who are included, but all of us. 
    Dan Habib is the director, producer and cinematographer of the Emmy-nominated documentary, Including Samuel. His second film, Who Cares About Kelsey?, documents the lives of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed—while improving the overall school culture and climate.
  • Famous People with Disabilities [4:34]
  • Inclusion, belonging and the disability revolution [23:01]
    Jennie Fenton at TEDxBellingen
    Jennie Fenton is a parent, a carer, a disability advocate, an environmental scientist and founder of local social inclusion project, Bello Bellonging. She is also an Ambassador for the NSW government’s program, Living Life My Way, which is about sharing empowering stories around disability. Jennie shares the story of her family’s journey from disability to possibility and all the dark and light places in between. She also looks at the broader changes happening in the world for people who live with disability and outlines some of the ways that Bellingen, as a community, as well as people, as individuals, can do their part for this revolution.
  • Look at me, not my disability! [1:15] 
    UNESCO: Different Abilities is a program aimed at the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, providing them with strong creative knowledge and the opportunity to learn and express their stories and raise awareness of their rights by using audio-visual means.
  • No Arms no Legs no Worries [4:10]

Disability Organizations & Associations


  • African Union of the Blind (AFUB)
    An umbrella organisation of 57 member organisations of and for blind and partially sighted persons in 51 African countries.
  • Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) 
    An international non-governmental organization headquartered in Canada and with regional offices in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and North America and the Caribbean. Aims at the full participation of all disabled people in the mainstream of life, particularly those in developing countries.
  • European Blind Union (EBU)
    A large network of member organisations brings together a wealth of expertise related to visual impairment and its implications in the daily life of millions of persons with sight loss. EBU is the voice of blind and partially sighted people in Europe.
  • European Disability Forum (EDF) 
    An independent NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities. EDF is a platform which brings together representative organisation of persons with disabilities from across Europe.
  • Inclusion International
    A global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
  • International Disability Alliance 
    An international alliance of individuals to defend the rights of those with disabilities at national, regional and international levels.
  • Union Latinoamericana de Ciegos (ULAC) - Latin-American Blind Union 
  • MindFreedom International - Win Human Rights in Mental Health 
    A nonprofit organization that unites 100 sponsor and affiliate grassroots groups with thousands of individual members to win human rights and alternatives for people labeled with psychiatric disabilities. MindFreedom facilitates human rights campaigns in mental health, challenges abuse by the psychiatric drug industry, support the self-determination of psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers, and promotes safe, humane and effective options in mental health. MindFreedom has been recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a human rights NGO with Consultative Roster Status.
  • Sense International 
    A non-profit organization working to improve access to services for people who are deaf-blind. As a global charity organization it supports deafblind people in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Romania and Uganda.
  • United Nations: Enable
    The official website of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD). It provides public information on topics related to disability and the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities. SCRPD works to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in society and development, through key global instruments such as the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (1982), the Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1994) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), as well as other relevant human rights and development instruments.
  • World Blind Union (WBU) 
    The global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. WBU members are organizations of and for the blind in 190 countries and international organizations working in the field of vision impairment.
  • World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBUAP) A non-governmental and not-for-profit association, and one of the six regional of the World Blind Union (WBU). WBUAP aims to work towards the advancement and well-being of the blind and vision-impaired persons for the equalisation of opportunities and full participation in society with dignity.
  • World Health Organization: Disabilities and rehabilitation 
    The Disability and Rehabilitation Program Team of the WHO works to enhance the quality of living and equal opportunities for all persons with disabilities.


  • Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF)
    A non-profit organization working to empower people with disabilities and support their full integration into society, through promoting and protecting their rights.





  • Aide aux Personnes à Handicap Moteur (APAHM)
    APAHM works to socially integrate people with physical and motor disabilities into mainstream society. They provide a variety of services for integration.
  • Association des Paralysés de France (APF)
    The French Association for the Paralyzed is an organization of and for people with multiple or mobility disabilities and their families.
  • Conseil National Handicap (CNH) 
    The National Council for the Disabled is a national body that is directly related to the minister in charge of disability. It has a dual mission: to ensure the participation of disabled people in the development and implementation of policies, and evaluate the situation of disability and give opinions and proposals to improve it.
  • Fédération des Aveugles et Amblyopes de France
    A non profit organization that provides a variety of services to assist the visually impaired and blind of all ages in all pertinent issues.
  • Union Nationale des Associations de Parents et Amis de Personnes Handicapées Mentales (UNAPEI)
    A member organization of Inclusion International, an organization that advocates for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. Unapei is the first French federation of associations representing and defending the interests of people with intellectual disability and their families. Founded in 1960, it brings together 550 volunteer associations, relatives and friends, who act to provide any intellectual impaired person with a home and support solution.


  • Paraplegics Association of Greece (PASPA)
    A National Assembly Member of DPI. DPI and its individual country members advocate the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities in all aspects of life worldwide.


  • Öryrkjabandalag Íslands (ÖBI) - Organization of Disabled in Iceland
    A service organization made up of 34 organizations representing people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Félag Heyrnalausra - Icelandic Deaf Organization 
    Protects, promotes and advocates for the equal rights and improved quality of life of the deaf and hard of hearing people of Iceland.


  • Disability India Network (DIN)
    Comprehensive informatie related to disability in India. The site is hosted by the Society for Child Development, an organization the works for the empowerment of all persons with disabilities. It pays special attention to the development of resources for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities who form the most vulnerable sections of our society.
  • Sense International India
    Works in partnership with others —deafblind people, their families, carers and professionals— to ensure that everyone facing challenges because of deafblindness has access to advice, opportunities and support.


  • Associazione Italiana Assistenza Spastici (AIAS)
    A private non-profit organization, moving from a spirit of volunteerism. AIAS works to protect and promote the right of persons with disabilities to rehabilitation, health, education, education, work, and social integration to implement an effective prevention of disability.
  • Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti (ONLUS)
    The Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted advocates for equal rights and integration of people who are blind or visually impaired in Italy. They provide a variety of services to make up for the lack of adequate social services provided by the state and public bodies.


  • Algemene Nederlandse Gehandicapten Orgnisaties (ANGO) 
    ANGO works to improve the living conditions of people with a disability or chronic illness by informing people, advise, help individual and collective interests. It also organize also activities aimed at meeting and recreation, support and involvement.
  • CG Raad - Chronisch Zieken en Gehandicapten Raad Nederland
    The Dutch Council of the Chronically Ill and the Disabled.
  • Emancipatie Educatie Gehandicapte Arbeidskrachten (EEGA) 
    Emancipation and Education for Disabled Labor Forces in the Netherlands.
  • Nederlandse Cystic Firbosis Stichting (NCFS) 
    A parent-and-patient led organization for people with cystic fibrosis (CF). The NCFS gathers and provides information about CF to patients, parents and experts.
  • Stichting Welzijn Gehandicapten Nederland (SWGN)
    Association for the mental and social welfare of disabled people in the Netherlands.


  • Norges Blindeforbund 
    Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted provides information and advocacy for people with visual impairments.
  • Norges Handikapforbund (NHF) 
    The Norwegian advocacy organisation of people with disabilities. The vision is a society for all, where people with disabilities have the same opportunity as other people have to live according to their own wishes, abilities and interests.


  • Federación Española de Asociaciones de Polio y sus Effectos Tardís (FEAPET) 
    The Spanish Association of the fight against poliomielitis, works to assist those affected by polio and with other mobility disabilities.
  • Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad (RPD)
    RPD promotes the prevention of impairments, rehabilitation and social integration of people with disabilities; it works on disability policy issues, has a library of accessibility guides and maps for Spain and produces a book listing many state and nongovernmental disability agencies.
  • Solidarios para el Desarrollo 
    An organization linked to the Spanish Universities that aims to find the causes of social exclusion by offering alternative proposals. Not just reporting and assistance, but go further and feeling responsible for reviewing the global structures that affect people in situations of social exclusion: homeless, older and younger people, prison inmates, people with disabilities, mental health and hospitalization.
  • Servidor Web
    Asociación para la Promoción Minusválido.


  • MyRight - Empowers people with disabilities 
    The Swedish disability rights movement’s umbrella organisation for international development work. It is a politically and religiously independent aid organisation that works to ensure that persons with disabilities are better able to access their rights. MyRight’s development work is driven as a partnership between Swedish disability organisations and their equivalents in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • Neuro Förbundet 
    The Swedish Association of Neurologically Disabled serves approximately 500,000 people of all ages with disabilities of various neurological diagnoses, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke or ALS.


  • Cerebral - Schweizerische Stiftung für das cerebral gelähmte Kind 
    CEREBRAL encourages, informs and supports children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other mobility disabilities and their families.

United Kingdom

  • Action on Hearing Loss 
    Action on Hearing Loss —the new name for Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)— is the national charity helping people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. Offers a wide varity of services and advocacy for deaf people in the UK.
  • Birmingham Disability Resource Centre (DRC)
    An initiative of a local disability rights organisation in England - the Birmingham Disability Rights Group (BDRG). Disabled people’s experience of discrimination and social inequality often result in the denial of the opportunity and right of disabled people to speak on their own behalf and take their own decisions. DRC challenge the causes behind these experiences of social exclusion and inequalities. It encourages disabled people to speak out for themselves, become positive about their owen abilities and lifestyles and be supported in seeking ways to reduce or remove disabling barriers which stop them achieving full civil and human rights. DRC is an important part in the overall strategy of increasing disabled people’s access to mainstream activities. The site provides information on different aspects of disabilities and disabled people, on employment problems and possibilities, and useful goods and services, on education, transport and enforcement.
  • Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE)
    CAE is committed to the provision of buildings and places which are accessible to all users, including disabled and older people, and to the enhancement of quality in design. The centre is a technical information training and consultancy resource for the construction industry, providers of goods and services, the care professions and disabled people. It also operates as a forum for collaborative dialogue between providers and users on how the built environment can best be shaped to be accessible to all. The site covers a wide range of topics on the relation between built environment and disability.
  • Disability Rights UK
    Disability Rights UK works to create a society where everyone with lived experience of disability or health conditions can participate equally as full citizens.
  • Dyslexia Action
    Information and advice from the dislexia institute in the UK.
  • Information and Advice for Disabled People
    In the United Kingdom there are more than one hundred DIALs (Disablement Information and Advice Lines) which provide information and advice that makes a difference to thousands of people with disabilities. The site provides information about the DIAL network and their services.
  • Limbless Association (LA) 
    A charitable organization in the United Kingdom set up to help those with limb loss, and assist their families and carers. Provides information, advice and support for people of all ages who are without one or more limbs. It has a UK-wide network of volunteer visitors who are all amputees themselves, offering support and encouragement to prespective amputees, carers and those already trying to come to terms with limb loss or deficiency. The site contains a quarterly magazine Step Forward.
  • Mental Health Ireland 
    A voluntary organization that aims to promote positive mental health and to actively support persons with mental illness, their families and care givers through advocacy work.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) 
    A membership organization providing a wide variety of services to people with muscular dystrophy, and other neuromuscular conditions, and their families. The objective is to promote through empowerment, independent living for people with the condition of muscular dystrophy.
  • National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) 
    A not for profit, voluntary organisation offering a service nationwide to persons experiencing problems with their eye-sight. NCBI enables people who are blind and vision impaired to overcome the barriers that impede their independence and participation in society.
  • Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) 
    Provides a wide range of information and services for people who are blind or visually impaired in the UK.
  • Scottish Association of the Deaf (SCOD) 
    The Scottish national coordinating body for voluntary and statutory organizations which cater for a wide range of needs of the deaf. They provide a variety of resources for the deaf.
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) 
    A mental health advocacy organization that provides a variety of services to people with psychological disabilities.


  • Alberta’s Grassroots, Cross-Disability Organization (ACCD) 
    An organisation which works with cross disability community in Alberta to enable people with disabilities to be an active part of the community. The guiding principles are equality, integration, individuality, accountability and full participation. ACCD organizes several community projects. The site offers a newsletter and an annual report.
  • Inclusion Network
    Inclusion is the act of engaging people with disabilities in all our daily activities - at school, at work, at home and in the community. The goal of the Inclusion Network is to make the Greater Cincinnati community the most livable community for people with disabilities in the United States. The Network is composed of people with disabilities, civic and business leaders, human service professionals, and individuals interested in promoting inclusion.
  • National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
  • Through the Looking Glass (TLG) Berkeley, CA
    A community non-profit organization which emerged from the disability independent living movement in 1982. TLG has pioneered clinical and supportive services, training and research serving families in which one or more members - whether parent or child - has a disability or medical issue. TLG's mission has been to create, demonstrate and encourage resources and model early intervention services which are non-pathalogical and empowering.

Journals & Magazines

  • Ability Magazine 
    A bimontly American magazine focussed on issues of health and disability. The content goal is to help remove the misunderstandings and erase the stereotypes that surround disability issues. It covers the latest on health, environmental protection, assistive technology, employment, sports, travel, universal design, mental wellness and much more. The issues explored include the civil rights advancement, employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and human interest stories.
  • ALTER - European Journal of Disability Research
    An inter- & cross-disciplinary peer-reviewed European journal which looks at disability and its variations. It is aimed at everyone who is involved or interested in this field.
  • British Journal of Learning Disabilities (BJLD)
    An interdisciplinary international peer-reviewed journal which aims to be the leading journal in the learning disability field. It is the official Journal of the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD).
  • Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (CJDS)
    Publishes peer-reviewed original articles that advance research in the multidisciplinary, international field of disability studies. Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association (CDSA) - Association Canadienne des Études sur l’Incpacité (ACEI)
  • Critical Disability Discourses / Discours critiques dans le champ du handicap (CDD)
    A bilingual, interdisciplinary journal, publishing articles that focus on experiences of disability from a critical perspective. The journal’s review board consists of over 30 students from York University, the University of Toronto, Laval University, McMaster University, and the University of Cambridge. CDD was conceived by, and is managed entirely by, graduate students, under the auspices of the Critical Disability Studies graduate program. The objective is to create an academic space where graduate students might make valuable contributions to the expanding field of critical disability studies.
  • Disability & Health Journal (DHJ)
    A scientific, scholarly and multidisciplinary journal for reporting original contributions that advance knowledge in disability and health. Published on behalve of the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD).
  • Disability & Society
    An international journal providing a focus for debate about such issues as human rights, discrimination, definitions, policy and practices. Definitions of disability are more readily acknowledged to be relative; segregated approaches are seen as inadequate and unacceptable - placing greater emphasis on community care and inclusion. However, policy intentions may not have the desired effects on the realities of everyday practice and policy changes themselves may be merely cosmetic, or appropriate but unfounded. The journal publishes articles that represent a wide range of perspectives including the importance of the voices of disabled people.
  • Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ)
    A multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, creative writers, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. It represents the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that the multidisciplinary field of disability studies embraces. DSQ is committed to developing theoretical and practical knowledge about disability and to promoting the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society. DSQ is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS).
  • Information Technology and Disabilities (ITD) 
    A peer-reviewed journal published jointly by Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) and Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN).
  • International Journal of Disability, Development and Education (IJDDE)
    A multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal with an international focus. It provides a single source of information on the education and development of persons with disabilities. IJDDE aims to publish the very best research and review articles concerned with all aspects of education, human development, special education and rehabilitation. The content of IJDDE reflects a variety of topics, disciplines, research methods and cultural perspectives. Various orientations are represented, including education and special education, psychology, allied health, social work and psychiatry. Contributions from developed and developing countries ensure a truly international perspective.
  • International Journal on Mental Health and Deafness (IJMHD)
    Disseminates cutting edge research about the aetiology, development, diagnosis, treatment and intervention of mental health problems and behavioural disorders of individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired across the lifespan. IJMHD facilitates the establishment of a solid network of professionals working in the field, that can lead to further transnational collaborative research and ultimately, to the advancement of knowledge in the field of mental health and deafness. Published by the European Society for Mental Health and Deafness (ESMHD).
  • Italian Journal of Disability Studies (IJDS)
    A peer-reviewed journal founded by a group of independent researchers who wanted to create a space for discussion and dialogue on issues relating to disability from the perspective of Disability Studies in Italian.
  • Journal of Disability Policy Studies [JPS)
    DPS addresses compelling variable issues in ethics, policy and law related to individuals with disabilities. Regular features include From My Perspective, which discusses issues confronting a particular disability discipline or area, and Point/Counterpoint which addresses timely ethical issues affecting individuals with disabilities.
  • Journal of Intellectual Disability Research (JIDR)
    A multidisciplinary peer-reviewd journal devoted to the scientific study of intellectual disability and publishes papers reporting original observations in this field. Published on behalve of Mencap, the largest UK voluntary organisation promoting the interests of people with intellectual disability/learning disability and their families.
  • Journal of Literacy & Cultural Disability Studies (JLCDS)
    The journal focuses on cultural and especially literary representations of disability.
  • Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation
  • Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (LDRP)
  • New Mobility (NM)
    A magazine for active wheelchair users.
  • Ragged Edge
    The online edition of Ragged Edge magazine. Writing and thinking about our most ragged edge issues: assisted suicide, long-term care, rights, access.
  • Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPPSD)
    A critically acclaimed and widely-read scientific journal in the field of disabilities, published in association with TASH. It publishes articles on such topics as inclusion, augmentative and alternative communication, supported living, supported employment, early childhood issues, self-advocacy, positive behavioral supports, disability rights and issues of concern to families.
  • Review of Disability Studies (RDS) 
    A peer-reviewed academic journal that is targeted towards any person interested in disability studies. The journal is published four times a year, and each issue runs approximately 50 pages.
  • Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research (SJDR)
    An international peer-reviewed journal aiming to disseminate leading social research on disability. The journal’s defining characteristic is a focus on the relation between persons with disabilities and their environments, it is multi-disciplinary in scope incorporating research from a variety of perspectives. The journal was established by the Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR), an association that has facilitates the sharing and dissemination of social research on disability in the five Nordic countries.
  • Sexuality and Disabililty (SD)
    An international forum for the publication of peer-reviewed original interdisciplinary scholarly papers that address the psychological and medical aspects of sexuality in rehabilitation and community settings.

Research Centers

Hearing Disability: Deaf and Hearing Impaired

  • About.com
    Deafness / Hard of Hearing
  • DeafLife
    An American magazine for the deaf community. It’s a labor of love a way of being involved — and helping to make positive changes.
  • Deaf Linx - Fighting Audism through empowerment & education
    Find out why deafness in not a disability. And learn about audism: discrimination or stereotypes against deaf or hard of hearing people. For example by assuming that the cultural ways of hearing people are preferable or superior to those of deaf or signing culture, or that deaf people are somehow less capable than hearing people.
  • Deaf Resource Library
    A collection of reference material and links intended to educate and inform people about Deaf cultures in Japan and the United States, as well as deaf and hard of hearing related topics. Created by Karen Nakamura (Department of Anthropology at Yale University, USA).
  • Deaf Watch
    Information on all aspects of deaf and hard hearing people.
  • Dewane, Claudia
    [2010] Hearing Loss in Older Adults — Its Effect on Mental Health
    In: Social Work Today, 10(4)
  • Dutch Association for Hearing Impaired
    Nederlandse Vereniging Voor Slechthorenden (NVVS).
  • Ensink, Robert Jan Herman - Nijmegen University, Netherlands
    [2000] Genetic hearing impairment: a clinical study of various dominant inhereted subtypes
    Summary and conclusion of a PhD thesis written.
  • European Society for Mental Health and Deafness (ESMHD)
    An international non-government organisation for the promotion of the positive mental health of deaf people in Europe. Mental health includes healthy emotional, psychological and social development, the prevention and treatment of mental illness and other disorders. ESMHD focuses on people, who were born deaf or deafness occurred in early childhood and whose first or preferred language is sign language.
  • Graaf, Ron de / Bijl, Rob V. -Trimbos Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Psychological well-being of deaf and severe hard-of-hearing adults
    In the Netherlands an estimated 10,000-13,000 people live with a severe auditive handicap. In order to describe the prevalence of psychological well-being and its determinants, a study was carried out among 523 deaf and severe hard of hearing adults.
  • Healthy Hearing
  • Hearing Aids for Consumers
    Editor: Robert J. Olsson, audiologist for the California Tinnitus Assessment Center.
  • Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (HEAR) 
    A non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the real dangers of repeated exposure to excessive noise levels which can lead to permanent, and sometime debilitating, hearing loss and tinnitus (the hearing of sound when no external sound is present).
  • Hearing Health Foundation
  • International Federation of Hard Hearing People (IFHOH)
    The federation consists of National Associations of and for hard of hearing and late deafened people, and parents’ and professional organizations. Papers and a journal on hearing related issues.
  • Journals & Magazines
  • Kvam, Marit / Loeb, Mitchell / Tambs, Kristian 
    [2006] Mental Health in Deaf Adults: Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Among Hearing and Deaf Individuals
    In: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12(1): 1-7
  • Mark Ross - New York, USA
    Papers on the numerous problems faced by people with hearing impairments. Try this paper: Personal and Social Identity of Hard Hearing People
  • Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Hearing Enhancement (RERC-HE)
    A project that conducts research programs that promote technological solutions to problems confronting people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) - UK
  • SayWhatClub (SWC)
    Essays, links and resources, presented by the SayWhatClub. The SayWhatClub is an on-line group of late-deafened and hard of hearing and other interested folks who provide support and encouragement to each other through e-mail. Their goal is to provide a friendly, good-humored place to exchange conversation, information, advice, deep thoughts, humor, tall tales, and chit chat. They hope that members will get to know each other and develop an on-line community feeling.
  • Schum, Don 
    [2015] The Sociology of Age-Related Hearing Loss
    In: Audiology Online
  • Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) - Australia
    A non-profit educational organization, dedicated to the well-being of Australians of all ages and communication styles who do not hear well, their relatives and fiends. Its aim is to assist each hearing impaired person to make informed decisions about their own best alternatives for their hearing management.
  • Wikipedia
  • World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
    An international non-governmental organization that acts as a peak body for national associations of deaf people, with a focus on deaf people who use sign language and their family and friends.
  • YouTube
    • The Art of Sign Language, for Babies, Boobs and Bobs
      [10:26] Lissa Zeviar at TEDxAmsterdam
    • Inclusion, belonging and the disability revolution [23:01]
      Jennie Fenton at TEDxBellingen
      Jennie Fenton is a parent, a carer, a disability advocate, an environmental scientist and founder of local social inclusion project, Bello Bellonging. She is also an Ambassador for the NSW government’s program, Living Life My Way, which is about sharing empowering stories around disability.
    • Nagivating deafness in a hearing world [16:36]
      Rachel Kolb at TEDxStandford. 
      In the United States, two-thirds of hearing-impaired people do not complete high school. In this talk Rachel Kolb —who was born deaf— shows what is possible through family support and self-belief, and proves that what is assumed about you and what you can actually achieve don’t always match up.
    • Opening our Ears to the Deaf [17:42]
      Pamela Weisman at TEDxCoMo
      Much of the hearing population would say they never interact with the deaf. The deaf have separated themselves from the hearing, why? Our discrimination and lack of understanding of deaf culture.
    • What is it like to be deaf? [25:51]
      A video that educates the hearing people and spreads the awareness about the deaf culture.

Visual Disability: blind and visually impaired

  • American Council of the Blind (ACB)
  • Assistive Media
    On-line audio solution designed for persons with reading access barriers.
  • Blindness Resource Center
    An annotated directory of sites dealing with internet access for the blind. The categories include accessible web design, Lynx, net-tamer, Unix, Windows and Java Access, and Access Resources. Sponsored and maintained by the New York Institute for Special Education.
  • Braille Forum
    The monthly magazine of the ACB (American Council of the Blind).
  • Braille Monitor
    The voice of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the USA. A monthly journal that covers the events and activities of the NFB and addresses the many issues and concerns of the blind.
  • European Blind Union (EBU)
    EBU works towards an accessible and inclusive society with equal opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to fully participate in all aspects of social, economic, cultural and political life.
  • International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF)
    IGDF is comprised of over 84 member organisations, whose purpose is to serve people who are blind or vision impaired around the world, by training and providing guide dogs.
  • Paciello, Mike
    Making the Web Accessible for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Resources for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons - ACB
  • Scott, Robert A.
    [1969/91] Making of Blind Men: A Study of Adult Socialization
    New York: Sage
    A study on how organizations for the blind psychologically shape the identity of blind people in order to either help them achieve independence or perpetuate their own existence. In his sociology of blindness the author argues that many of the attitudes, behavior patters, and qualities of character that have loon been assumed to be given to blind people by their condition are, in fact, the result of ordinary processes of socialization. The nature of this socialization is mainly determined by organized intervention programs for the blind. The basic thesis of this book is: blindness is a social role that people who have serious difficulty seeing or who cannot see at all must learn how to play.
  • Washington Taling Book & Braille Library - Seattle Public Library, USA
  • Wikipedia
  • World Blind Union (WBU) 
    The global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. WBU members are organizations of and for the blind in 190 countries and international organizations working in the field of vision impairment.
  • YouTube
    • Best Things About Being Blind [1:44]
      Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, tells us what he likes most about being blind.
    • Blindness is just another way of seeing [15:15]
      Lotfi Merabet at TEDxCambridge
      Blindness has nothing to do with living in the dark. Behind eyes that don’t see is a brain that does see. In fact, blind people use the same visual centers of the brain that sighted people do, and can teach us more about the brain than we think. Lotfi Merabet is a neuroscientist investigating how the brain adapts to blindness.
    • The Gift of Blindness [18:56]
      Cobhams Asuquo at TEDxEuston
    • Seeing with the Ears. Hands and Bionic Eyes [17:16]
      Amir Amedi at TEDxJerusalem [17:16]
      Prof. Dr. Amir Amedi uses music and sounds to make blind people ‘see’ their environment. He uses non-invasive sensory substitution devices and invasive bionic eye procedures to teach blind people to see. His work with blind and normal sighted individuals suggests that the brain is actually a flexible sensory independent task machine, rather than a pure sensory machine, the current dogma in brain research.
    • Teaching the blind to navigate the world using tongue clicks [22:56]
      Daniel Kish at TEDxGateway 2012
      Daniel Kish is an American expert in human echolocation and President of World Access for the Blind, a non-profit founded in 2000 to facilitate the self-directed achievement of people with all forms of blindness and increase public awareness about their strengths and capabilities. Kish and his organization have taught echolocation to at least 500 blind children around the world.

Mental Disabilities - Learning Disabilities

  • Arc of Dallas, The
    An interactive resource on mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.
  • Atttention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
    Provides education, research, and public advocacy on AD/HD issues.
  • Autism Speaks: Resource Guide
  • British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD)
  • CHADD - The National Resource of ADHD
    An American non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. It does not endorse, recommend, or make representations with respect to the research, services, medication, treatments or products on the website. ADHD is medically and legally recognized as a treatable yet potentially serious disorder, affecting up to nine percent of all children, and approximately four percent of adults.
  • Children And Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADDD).
    A non-profit organization from Panama City, Florida works to improve the lives of people with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder through education, advocacy, and support.
  • Dr. Diane
    Information on brain injury, concussion, stroke, TBI, brain tumor, and MS symptom resources.
  • Healthline
    ADHD by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You 
    Facts about the number of children that have been diagnosed with ADHD, the age when symptoms of ADHD typically first appear, the increase in ADHD diagnoses over the past 8 years, and the number of children which have been treated for ADHD with medication. Written by Kimberly Holland and Elsbeth Riley.
  • Kitty Petty ADD/LD Institute (KPI)
    Provides resources and support to adults and children with ADD/LD to become self-advocates and reach their true potential. KPI publishes a bimonthly newsletter, The ADDventurer, and a semi-annual research R&D; Report for members.
  • LD Online
    The interactive guide to learning disabilities for parents, teachers, and children.
  • LD Pride Online
    An interactive community resource for youth and adults with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
  • Learning Disability Coalition (LDC) - UK
    A group of organisations which campaigns to secure better funding for social care for people with learning disabilities in England.
  • Mental Help Net (MHN)
    A comprehensive source of inline mental health information, news and resources.
  • Mental Health Resources (SocioSite)
  • National Autistic Society - UK
    Provides information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome).
  • Reading Succes Lab
    Software solutions for identifying reading problems and improving reading skills. The free Reading Assessment Test can be used to test one student or an entire school. If results indicate a possible reading disability, the full Diagnostic Assessment For Reading Difficulties Software can test the child for specific learning disabilities and provide a detailed diagnostic report. If needed, this report can be used with school districts to help secure additional special education resources for the child.
  • Wikipedia 

Articles on mental disability

  • Abrams, Thomas
    [2014] Re-Reading Erving Goffman as an Emancipatory Researcher
    In: Disability Studies Quarterly, 34(1)
    Erving Goffman’s work is often employed within Disability Studies. However, in Canada and the UK, most authors only discuss his Stigma (1963) or Asylums (1961), and his work is often dismissed as: (a) individualistic; (b) lacking a notion of social structure; and (c) politically benign. The author argues that a re-reading of Erving Goffman is in order. In particular he examines his Mental Symptoms and Public Order (1967) and The Insanity of Place (1971). He argues that Goffman’s dismissal is unfair: each of the three criticisms above are out of order. Abrams concludes with a discussion of what a fair-to-Goffman disability studies might look like.
  • Beckett, Angharad E. / Campbell, Tom 
    [2015] The social model of disability as an oppositional device
    In: Disability & Society, 30(2): 270-283
    The social model of disability is an oppositional device. The model’s primary operation is introducing contingency into the present, facilitating disabled people’s resistance-practices. The device might operate in a disciplinary manner when adopted by a machinery of government. The authors propose a concept potentially useful for the analysis of the resistance-practices of activists involved in a wide variety of struggles.
  • Block, Pamela / Balcazar, Fabricio / Keys, Christopher
    [2001] From Pathology to Power: Rethinking Race, Poverty, and Disability
    In: Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 12(1): 18-27
    This paper explores the evolution of ideologies of race, poverty, and disability. Three models are discussed: biological, cultural, and minority-group model. Throughout the twentieth century, biological and cultural models presented images of race, class, and disability in terms of deficiency and dependence. Biological models represented some minority groups as genetically inferior. Cultural models represented low-income minorities as trapped in an inescapable cycle of poverty. Both models represented minorities with disabilities as social victims or social threats or both. In contrast, the minority group model presents social and environmental explanations for continued economic disparity. However, this model does not adequately meet the needs of people of color with disabilities. Disability is not included in theoretical formulations of race and class, whereas disability studies does not sufficiently consider the significance of racial, ethnic, and class differences. The authors present an empowerment framework for considering the interrelation of race, class, and disability within the minority-group model of disability.
  • Dewsbury, Guy / Clarke, Karen / Randall, Dave / Rouncefield, Mark / Sommerville, Ian
    [2010] The anti-social model of disability
    In: Disability & Society, 19(2): 145-158
    Social theories are usually developed to enable a clearer understanding of a situation or problem. The Social Model in various forms is currently the dominant model for researching disability, addressing disability from within a socio-political framework that draws substantially on a ‘social constructionist’ perspective. This article critiques some of the core sociological assumptions of the Social Model, questioning what ‘work’ this kind of theory does in informing a set of practical concerns around the design of assistive technologies, suggesting an alternative framework of analysis, supported by extensive ethnomethodologically informed ethnographic research.
  • Dudley-Marling, Curt
    [2004] The Social Construction of Learning Disabilities
    In: Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(6): 482-489
    Learning disability theory is mainly founded in the medical model of disability: disability is perceived as an individual deficit that is biological in origins. The assumption is that learning disabilities are a pathology that resides in the heads of individual student. The author introduces an alternative perspective —social constructivism— that locates learning and learning problems in the context of human relations and activity. The primary argument is that one cannot be learning disabled on one’s own.
  • Hughes, Bill / Paterson, Kevin 
    [1997] The Social Model of Disability and the Disappearing Body: towards a sociology of impairment
    In: Disability & Society, 12(3): 325-340
    What is the case for and how would one begin to construct a sociology of impairment? This paper argues that the realignment of the disability/impairment distinction is vital for the identity politics of the disability movement. The body is at the heart of contemporary political and theoretical debate, yet the social model of disability makes it an exile. The transformation of the body from a reactionary to an emancipatory concept implies a sociology of impairment. This paper explores the contribution that post-structuralism and phenomenology might make to this end.
  • Klotz, Jani 
    [2004] Sociocultural study of intellectual disability: moving beyond labelling and social constructionist perspectives
    In: British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32(2): 93-104
    An outline of the development of the sociocultural study of people with an intellectual disability, focusing in particular on the pioneering work of Robert Edgerton, Robert Bogdan and Steven Taylor, David Goode and John Gleason. The contributions and limitations of these authors are critically assessed. Klotz argues that the sociocultural study of intellectual disability has mostly focused on the experiences of people with mild intellectual disabilities, extrapolating from these experiences conclusions about the nature of intellectual disability in general, while the experiences and life worlds of those whose impairments are severe, profound, and often multiple, are often ignored. The portrayal and analysis of such people’s lives are essential for our greater understanding and appreciation of intellectual disability, and of human difference in all its diverse manifestations.
  • Koca-Atabey, Müjde
    [2013] A personal validation of the social nature of disability: different environments, different experiences
    In: Disability & Society, 28(7): 1027-1031
    There is neither a unified definition of disability nor a unique experience of disability across the world. This paper explores the lived experiences of disability in three different countries (Turkey, England and the USA) to evaluate the continued value of the social model of disability in those contexts. A comparison between these countries is provided through the lens of personal experiences in each country as a disabled student and an academician. Whilst impairment does not change, the role of disabling barriers did change depending on the physical, social and psychological nature of the respective environments.
  • Oliver, Mike
    [2013] The social model of disability: thirty years on
    In: Disability & Society, 28(7): 1024-1026
    It was exactly 30 years since Mike Oliver published his book in which he introduced the social model of disability onto an unsuspecting world. Despite the impact this model has had, all we now seem to do is talk about it. While all this chatter did not matter too much when the economy was booming, now it no longer booms it is proving disastrous for many disabled people whose benefits and services are being severely cut back or removed altogether. In this article Oliver restates his view of what the social model was and what he sees as its potential for improving the lives of disabled people. Finally he focusses on the unfortunate criticisms of it and the disastrous implications these have had for disabled people.
  • Ormanski, Gordon, Beth / Rosenblim, Karen E. 
    [2001] Bringing Disability into the Sociological Frame: a comparison of disability with race, sex, and sexual orientation statuses
    In: Disability & Society, 16(1): 5-19
    Applying a social constructionist perspective, this paper explores the shared characteristics of American constructions of race, sex, sexual orientation, and disability. The discussion considers how each of these statuses is constructed through social processes in which categories of people are (1) named, (2) aggregated and disaggregated, (3) dichotomized and stigmatized, and (4) denied the attributes valued in the culture. The apparent utility of the social constructionist perspective is contrasted with its infrequent application to the study of disability.


  • Thomas, Carol 
    [2012] Theorising disability and chronic illness: Where next for perspectives in medical sociology?
    In: Social Theory & Health, 10(3): 209-228
    The time is ripe for a distinct sociology of disability to come into being as a new sub-discipline within mainstream sociology. This sociology of disability is a variant of equality and diversity studies in the discipline — located alongside engagements with gender, ‘race’, sexuality, age and social class. The sociology of disability encompasses the study of disablism and impairment effects. Disability would cease to be located almost exclusively in a specialized sub-field of interpretative medical sociology: the sociology of chronic illness and disability. Disability would become a key dimension of global social divisions and inequity that can be approached from a multiplicity of analytical directions, using a rich mix of theoretical perspectives, methodologies and research techniques.
  • Tregaskis, Claire
    [2002] Social Model Theory: The story so far
    In: Disability & Society, 17(4): 457-470
    Social model theory has been developing in Britain since the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) published their Fundamental Principles of Disability (1976), followed shortly afterwards by Finkelstein“s seminal exposition of the oppression that disabled people face (1980). Various competing positions have been elaborated from this original starting point. This paper outlines the course of those developments to date, in order to show the full range and potential of social model theory. It also highlights some areas in which further theorisation may be desirable in order to make more explicit the links between social model theory and disability movement practice.
  • Williams, Val / Heslop, Pauline
    [2005] Mental health support needs of people with a learning difficulty: a medical or a social model?
    In: Disability & Society, 20(3): 231-245
    This paper argues that the medical model has predominated in discussions of mental health support for people with learning difficulties, and that a social model approach could have much to offer. The paper draws on an ongoing action research study in which service providers, families and young people with learning difficulties are working together to articulate what is needed, in order to find routes to improve the support offered to young people with learning difficulties and mental health support needs.

Reference Sites

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