This path-breaking Handbook of Disability Studies signals the emergence of a vital new area of scholarship, social policy and activism. Drawing on the insights of disability scholars around the world and the creative advice of an international editorial board, the book engages the reader in the critical issues and debates framing disability studies and places them in an historical and cultural context. Five years in the making, this one volume summarizes the ongoing discourse ranging across continents and traditional academic disciplines. The Handbook answers the need expressed by the disability community for a thought provoking, interdisciplinary, international examination of the vibrant field of disability studies. The book will be of interest to disabled people, scholars, policy makers and activists alike. The book aims to define the existing field, stimulate future debate, encourage respectful discourse between different interest groups and move the field a step forward.