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Disability Praxis

Disability Praxis

The Body as a Site of Struggle

by Bob Williams-Findlay

A radical exploration of disability praxis from an experienced disability activist

'A masterful intervention that is particularly pertinent for an age of austerity, pandemic, and rising living costs' Robert Chapman, author of Empire of Normality

The rise of the extreme right globally, the crisis of capitalism and the withdrawal of all but the most punitive arms of the state are having a disastrous impact on disabled people's lives.

Bob Williams-Findlay offers an account of the transformative potential of disability praxis and how it relates to disabled politics and activism. He addresses different sites of struggle, showing how disabled people have advanced radical theory into the implementation of policies.

Examining the growth of the global Disabled People's Movement during the 1960s, Williams-Findlay shows how a new social discourse emerged that shifted the focus away from seeing disability as restrictions on an individual's body, towards understanding the impact of restrictions created by capitalist relations. He shines light on the contested definitions of disability, asking us to reconsider how different socio-political contexts produce varied understandings of social oppression and how we can play a role in transforming definitions and societies.

Bob Williams-Findlay is the founder of Birmingham Disability Rights Group and the former Chair of the national organisation BCODP. He has written in various publications on the topic of disability politics.

'A masterful intervention in disability theory and praxis that is particularly pertinent for an age of austerity, pandemic, and rising living costs.'

- Robert Chapman, author of 'Empire of Normality: Neurodiversity and Capitalism'

'[A] brilliant and much needed contribution to current debates in Disability Politics - offering a timely corrective to the most recent approaches to disability that have taken a neoliberal turn'.

- Ioana Cerasella Chis, social researcher, University of Birmingham

'An essential read for the activist and the lay person who is interested in disability. Bob offers a Marxist materialist critique, identifying the limitations of the movement's emphasis on decontextualised legal rights rather than a deeper resistance to wider oppression of disabled people within capitalist society.The book clarified a lot of the main issues for me.'

- Marian Brooks-Sardinha, carer and retired lecturer

'Look no further for a comprehensive analysis of the disabled movement which also intelligently looks at how disability can fit into the modern world.'

- Josh Hepple, activist, writer, and Disability Equality Trainer

Part I: Are there four cornerstones of disability politics?
1. The first cornerstone: the fundamental principles of disability
2. The second cornerstone: the self-organisation of disabled people
3. The third cornerstone: self-determination, deinstitutionalisation and promotion of self-directed living
4. The fourth cornerstone: disability culture and identity
Part II: Towards a new disability praxis?
6. Impairment and oppression: the battleground reviewed
7. Location of impairment effects within disability politics: interrogating impairment effects and impairment reality
8. Disability praxis: some unanswered questions
9. Developing a radical eco-social approach towards producing and sustaining community-based services
10. From the ashes: a new disability praxis?

Published by Pluto Press in Nov 2023
Paperback ISBN: 9780745340982
eBook ISBN: 9781786808059

140mm x 216mm