The Routledge History of Disability explores the shifting attitudes towards and representations of disabled people from the age of antiquity to the twenty-first century. Taking an international view of the subject, this wide-ranging collection shows that the history of disability cuts across racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, gender and class divides, highlighting the commonalities and differences between the experiences of disabled persons in global historical context.

The book is arranged in four parts, covering histories of disabilities across various time periods and cultures, histories of national disability policies, programs and services, histories of education and training and the ways in which disabled people have been seen and treated in the last few decades. Within this, the twenty-eight chapters discuss topics such as developments in disability issues during the late Ottoman period, the history of disability in Belgian Congo in the early twentieth century, blind asylums in nineteenth-century Scotland and the systematic killing of disabled children in Nazi Germany.

Illustrated with images and tables and providing an overview of how various countries, cultures and societies have addressed disability over time, this comprehensive volume offers a global perspective on this rapidly growing field and is a valuable resource for scholars of disability studies and histories of disabilities.

chapter |6 pages


ByRoy Hanes

part I|107 pages

Histories of disabilities across time and cultures

chapter 3|8 pages

Jane Austen and me: Tales from the couch

ByDiane Driedger

chapter 5|24 pages

A short history of disability in Italy

ByLuigi Croce, Federica Di Cosimo, Marco Lombardi

chapter 6|20 pages

A short history of disability aspects from Israel

ByJoav Merrick, Ariel Tenenbaum, Mohammed Morad, Eli Carmeli

part II|127 pages

Histories of national disability policies, programs and services

chapter 9|12 pages

A short history of approaches to disability in the Netherlands

ByLuc Brants, Paul van Trigt, Alice Schippers

chapter 10|41 pages

A journey of change – history of disability in Hong Kong 1841–2014

ByKaren K.H. Ngai, Simon W.K. Wu, Joanna L.P. Chung

chapter 13|11 pages

One difference is enough: Towards a history of disability in the Belgian-Congo, 1908–1960

ByPieter Verstraete, Evelyne Verhaegen, Marc Depaepe

part III|134 pages

Histories of education and training

chapter 14|11 pages

From their own hands: Collecting oral testimony in signing communities

ByMartin Atherton

chapter 16|26 pages

Out of sight, out of mind: Blind asylums and missions in Scotland

ByHazel McFarlane

chapter 18|12 pages

Australian histories of intellectual disabilities 1

ByDave Earl

chapter 19|19 pages

History and national policy documents on special education in Sweden

ByKim Wickman, Margaretha Kristoffersson

chapter 20|17 pages

The Italian path to school and social inclusion: Problems, strengths and perspectives

ByTeresa Maria Sgaramella, Laura Nota, Lea Ferrari, Salvatore Soresi, Aamir Khan

chapter 21|12 pages

Education of people with intellectual disabilities and hearing impairments in Spain: A historical approach

ByCliment Giné, Carles Llombart, Anna Balcells, Joana Mas

part IV|123 pages

Spectacle, science, services and civil rights

chapter 23|13 pages

The freak-show act: Science and spectacle in the nineteenth century

ByAndrea Zittlau

chapter |2 pages

Concluding remarks

Edited ByIlija Tomanić Trivundža, Hannu Nieminen, Nico Carpentier, Josef Trappel