Exploring Disability Identity and Disability Rights through Narratives
Finding a Voice of Their Own
Routledge – 2014 – 248 pages
Building on David M. Engel and Frank W. Munger’s work analyzing the narratives of people with physical and learning disabilities, this book examines the life stories of twelve physically disabled Canadian adults through the prism of the social model of disablement. Using a grounded theory approach and with extensive reporting of the thoughts of the participants in their own words, the book uses narratives to explore whether an advocacy identity helps or hinders dealings with systemic barriers for disabled people in education, employment, and transportation.
The book underscores how both physical and attitudinal barriers by educators, employers and service providers complicate the lives of disabled people. The book places a particular focus on the importance of political economy and the changes to the labour market for understanding the marginalization and oppression of people with disabilities. By melding socio-legal approaches with insights from feminist, critical race, and queer legal theory, Ravi Malhotra and Morgan Rowe ask if we need to reconsider the social model of disablement, and proposes avenues for inclusive legal reform.
'What makes it unique is its focus on legal issues…A further strength of the book is the delicate balance between rich personal narratives and coverage of societal legal issues…But perhaps more importantly, there is an abundance of scholarship in this book that allows readers to choose what they want to focus on, and likely repeatedly return to this book.'- Maria I. Medved, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Manitoba, PsycCRITIQUES, April 2015
1. Disability Rights, Narratives and Identities: An Overview 2. Methodology 3. Educational Barriers 4. Employment Barriers 5. Transportation Barriers 6. Gendered Expectations, the Body and Identity 7. Toward an Inclusive Society
Ravi Malhotra is Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Morgan Rowe, J.D. is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, Canada.