From Disability Theory to Practice pays tribute to Professor Jerome Bickenbach’s highly influential and immensely important work. Professor Bickenbach is a scholar, policy-maker, and activist, of international stature. This volume brings together ten friends, mentors, and mentees, who have penned eight chapters engaging in topics that range, as the title suggests and as Professor Bickenbach’s work has spanned, from theory to practice.
This volume begins, much as Professor Bickenbach’s career has, by grappling with philosophical and sociological issues related to the definition of disability, its relation to health, and conceptions of justice for people with disabilities. Subsequently, these conceptions are utilized to advance policy suggestions that range from assisted dying legislation, mental health policy, and the implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
1) “Universalism, Vulnerability, and Egalitarianism” – Christopher Lowry
2) “Capabilities and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health” – Patricia Welch Saleeby
3) “What We Owe: Disability & Non-Talent” – Christopher A. Riddle
4) “Disability: A Rethink” – Somnath Chatterji
5) “Can Disabled People Be Healthy?” – Tom Shakespeare
6 “Can a Social Model of Disability Encompass “Mental Illness”?” – David Wasserman
7) “Death, Disability, and Self-Determination” – L.W. Sumner
8) “Health And Functioning In Context” – Sara Rubinelli, Alarcos Cieza, and Gerold Stucki
About the Editor and Jerome E. Bickenbach
This wonderful Festschrift in honour of Jerome Bickenbach is not only a must-read for anyone who is interested in Bickenbach’s philosophy and his significant contributions in the field of disability studies, but also with respect to disability studies more generally. A fascinating journey awaits the reader through the lenses of Bickenbach’s former students and long-standing academic friends. Is there any better way to honour a true scholar?
— John-Stewart Gordon, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
This excellent and enjoyable book reflects the width and depth of Jerome Bickenbach’s work: scholarship that is committed to understand what justice and disability are all about, and how justice for people with disabilities could be accomplished in practice.
— Simo P. Vehmas, Stockholm University
Human Rights, Disability, & Capabilities argues that health has special moral importance because of the disadvantage one suffers when subjected to impairment or disabling barriers. It suggests that ill health and the presence of disabling barriers are human rights issues and that we require a foundational conception of justice in order to promote the rights of people with disabilities. The claim that disability is a human rights issue is defended on the grounds that people with disabilities experience violations to their dignity, equality, and autonomy. Because human rights exist as a subset of other justice-based rights, it contends that we must support a foundation of justice compatible with endorsing these three principles (equality, dignity, and autonomy). Human Rights, Disability, & Capabilities argues that the capabilities approach is the best currency of justice for removing the disabling barriers that consistently violate approximately one billion people’s human rights.
2) Declarations, Covenants, and Constitutions
3) Disability and Health
4) The Special Moral Importance of Health
5) Human Rights and Capabilities
Riddle, C. A. Disability & Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice. Lanham: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Disability & Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice examines the capabilities approach and how, as a matter of justice, the experience of disability is accounted for. It suggests that the capabilities approach is first, unable to properly assess both those who are in need as well as the extent to which assistance is required. Furthermore, it is suggested that counterfactually, if this approach to justice were capable of assessing need, that it would fail to be as stigma-sensitive as other approaches of justice. That is to say, the capabilities approach would have the possibility of further stigmatizing those requiring accommodation. Finally, Disability & Justice argues that health and the absence of disability belong in a category of functionings that are of special moral importance—a fact the Capabilities Approach fails to recognize.
1) Disability and Justice
2) Defining Disability
3) The Capabilities Approach
4) The Indexing Problem
6) The Special Moral Importance of Health
7) Capabilities and Disability
About the Author
Disability and Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice is a lucid, concise and compelling philosophical discussion of disability, and its significance in political theory. Christopher Riddle has produced useful and plausible arguments with an aim to promote justice for people with disabilities.
— Simo P. Vehmas, Stockholm University
Disability and Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice provides a compelling case that the capabilities approach is at once the best we have and not yet satisfactory as a theory that addresses the experiences of people with disabilities within its core conception of justice. Drawing on a nuanced understanding of the cutting edge of capability theory and models of disability, Christopher Riddle not only enriches the dialogue between these areas, but also makes distinctive theoretical advances in each. The book will be of particular interest to readers working on the measurement of capabilities, the risk of stigmatization in the implementation of egalitarian policies, and issues of justice and disability more generally.
— Christopher R. Lowry, University of Waterloo