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Disability Policy and Practice: Applying the Social Model of Disability

Edited by Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer (2004)

This book contains thirteen chapters on the application of social model inspired thinking to social policy in Britain. The contributors include established figures and newcomers to the field. They raise a range of important issues and concerns central to theorising and researching disability policy and practice spanning employment, housing, higher education with examples from England, Scotland, and Wales, social ‘care’, independent living and leisure and social relations. Together they provide ample evidence of the continuing relevance of debates emanating from the social model of disability within disability studies and related disciplines. This book will be of particular interest to academics, researchers, professionals, disabled people and lay audiences with an interest in disability issues and the ongoing struggle for a more equitable and just society.

Disability Policy and Practice: Applying the Social Model of Disability is now out of print. However, the full text is available electronically on our web site in the Archive section. Please use the following links:


  1. Changing Disability Policies in Britain - Geof Mercer and Colin Barnes
  2. Disability, Employment and the Social Model – Alan Roulstone
  3. Developing a User-Led Project: Creating Employment Opportunities for Disabled People within the Housing Sector – Grant Carson and John Speirs
  4. From Gans to Coleman to the Social Model of Disability: physical environmental determinism revisited – Malcolm Harrison
  5. The Social Model of Disability in Higher Education: attention to tensions – Paul Brown and Anne Simpson
  6. Disabled Students in Higher Education: a reflection on research strategies and findings – Sheila Riddell, Teresa Ticklin and Alastair Wilson
  7. Power, Policy and Provision: disabling barriers in higher education in Wales – Karen Beauchamp-Pryor
  8. Incorporating the Social Model into Outcome-Focused Social Care Practice with Disabled People – Jennifer Harris
  9. The Implementation of Direct Payments: issues for user-led organisations in Scotland – Charlotte Pearson
  10. Social Model Services: an oxymoron? – Dave Gibbs
  11. The Dynamics of Partnerships and Professionals in the Lives of People with Learning Difficulties – Deborah Phillips
  12. De/Constructing ‘Learning Difficulties’ in Educational Contexts: the life story of Gerry O’Toole – Dan Goodley
  13. Independent Living and the Road to Inclusion – Gerry Zarb

The online text should be considered as a second edition. The page numbers in the electronic versions are different from those in the first print edition. If quoting from these documents, please reference the URL for each chapter.