xvii Disability is a crosscutting, yet fluid, social category that intersects many major aspects of policy, culture, and popular debates. While people with disabilities account for approximately 20 percent of the American population, disability is seldom thought of as an issue of pride, social movement, solidarity, and social justice. Disabil- ity in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Policies, and Controversies looks at disability from these innovative frameworks. This two-volume encyclopedia provides a foundational introduction to disability for a wide audience. At a critical juncture in American social policy, disability—like other marginalized groups—is at risk of being excluded from larger social debates. By providing a critical examination of the lived experience of disability and its shared intersections with other key fac- ets of identity, these volumes firmly situ- ate disability experiences within broader social movements, policy, and areas of marginalization. Key areas of disability are increasingly understood as more com- plex, more political, and more nuanced than was previously imagined. While disability was once primarily thought of as a medical issue, it is now more widely recognized as a critical issue of identity, personhood, and social justice. There is a mounting need to understand the lived experience of disabil- ity, and we begin to address this critical need in this encyclopedia. Containing almost 200 entries, the ency­ clopedia is organized into an A–Z listing of key areas of disability in American life, which allows readers to understand both the depth and the breadth of issues related to dis- ability. Each entry includes cross-references to additional related topics, but readers will find that different concepts and ideas inter- connect in a variety of ways. We encourage readers to explore the wide array of topics to understand the fully interdisciplinary and crosscutting nature of disability. Dis- ability in American Life provides students, teachers, family members, friends, and other communities with a comprehensive look into the challenges and opportunities of people and families with disabilities at all stages of life. There is a special emphasis on theory, community experiences, rights, and culture. We frame the coverage to explain how changes in American law, education, politics, business, and culture are advanc- ing people with disabilities as equal and full citizens. The entries in this encyclopedia are authored by different experts in the field, coming from a wide range of professional fields and experiences. The subject matter thus reflects a diverse range of viewpoints Preface
Previous Page Next Page