A Reference Handbook

by Michael Rembis


People with disabilities comprise the largest minority group in the United States and potentially in the world.

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Cover image for Disability

July 2019


Pages 332
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Society
  Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties

This volume offers a rare mix of interpretive chapters and primary sources that will be of value to anyone interested in learning about important disability-related issues from the perspective of disabled people themselves.

In the 21st century, disability rights have become a social justice issue that concerns all American citizens—access to safe, affordable, and effective health care, access to safe and affordable housing, access to reliable and efficient public transportation, and the ability to work and participate freely in the community and in society without fear of violence. Unlike encyclopedias or biographical dictionaries that only offer brief accounts of key topics, people, events, and organizations, Disability: A Reference Handbook provides important interpretive and analytical frameworks and meaningful primary evidence.

The book opens with a chapter dedicated to the history of disability in the United States, placing 21st-century issues and concerns within their contexts. The next chapter explores important controversies and questions related directly to disability. The third chapter brings diverse voices to the topic, and the fourth chapter offers valuable profiles of key people and organizations. The remaining chapters provide valuable reference tools that will help readers to explore topics in more depth and to engage in independent research.


  • Collects key primary documents and important analyses, provided by one of the leading scholars in the field of disability studies
  • Weaves together decades of disability studies and disability history research in a well-rounded manner
  • Reflects the author's expertise and gives readers access to important voices in perspectives chapters
  • Arms readers with knowledge about what issues concern people with disabilities in the 21st century
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Michael Rembis is an associate professor in the Department of History and director of the Center for Disability Studies at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He has written or edited many books and articles, including Defining Deviance: Sex, Science, and Delinquent Girls, 1890–1960; Disability Histories, coedited with Susan Burch; The Oxford Handbook of Disability History, coedited with Catherine Kudlick and Kim Nielsen; and Disabling Domesticity. He is currently working on a book titled "A Secret Worth Knowing": Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum.

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