Appreciative Disability Studies

Mary Ann McColl     

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-383-2 (2019)
388 pages, 510 g, 6 X 9, $70.75 (US$56.60)

Appreciative Disability Studies offers a new way of viewing disability studies in terms of the resilience and resourcefulness of people with disabilities as they interact with their environment and with society. While providing a broad understanding of disability, the author, Dr. Mary Ann McColl, also attempts to go deep in certain areas by looking into attitudes towards people with disabilities.

This book is organized into five main sections. Section 1 discusses what is meant by disability, by providing definitions, models and guidance for language referring to disability. This section examines demographics of disability in Canada and around the world, attitudes toward disability and how they can be improved.

The next two sections look at how disability affects people in the major domains of life namely self-care, productivity and leisure. Section 2 explores definitions of self-care, types and prevalence of self-care disabilities, the idea of independence as well as subsets of self-care including spirituality, sexuality and healthcare. Section 3 describes productivity and leisure and the importance of each in having a meaningful life.

Section 4 covers the origins of human rights, policy relating to human rights, current knowledge about the condition of living with a disability, how that knowledge was obtained and how it relates to the real issues experienced by those with a disability. Finally Section 5 brings together the key messages and themes from the preceding chapters such as how to think and talk about disability, how many people are affected by disability and who they are, barriers that currently exist and how we can work toward a future where everyone can enjoy a prosperous life.

Self-care, productivity and leisure are three concepts studied based on the author’s background as an occupational therapist, which helps effectively categorize the challenges faced and strategies used by those living with disability in one form or another. The author aims to share not only the practical perspective of living with a disability but also the broader concerns of disability in society.

Throughout the book, a simple yet effective framework – discover, dream, design, and deploy – is used to help summarize and apply the main takeaways from each chapter. This framework allows the readers to apply Appreciative Inquiry to imagine the world as it might be, one in which disabled people feel included in the mainstream. The author concludes the book on a personal note and encourages readers to reflexively consider how every aspect of our social world impacts people with all sorts of disabilities.



Table of Contents   top

Section 1    What Do We Mean by Disability?

Chapter 1      Introducing Appreciative Disability Studies

Chapter 2      Thinking about disability: Models and definitions

Chapter 3      Talking about disability

Chapter 4      Demographics of disability

Chapter 5      Attitudes toward disability

Section 2    Disability and Self-Care

Chapter 6       The depth and breadth of self-care

Chapter 7       Demographics of self-care disability

Chapter 8       Independence, autonomy, and capacity

Chapter 9       Health care and health maintenance

Chapter 10     Spirituality and disability

Chapter 11     Sexuality and disability

Section 3    Disability, Productivity, and Leisure

Chapter 12     Disability and work

Chapter 13     Disability and education

Chapter 14     Disability and income

Chapter 15     Disability and leisure

Section 4    Disability in Society

Chapter 16     Human rights and disability

Chapter 17     Disability policy

Chapter 18     Disability and research

Section 5    Themes in Appreciative Disability Studies

Glossary, References, and Index

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Instructor Resources   top

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About the Author   top

Mary Ann McColl, PhD, MTS is Academic Lead at the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance, an association of academic, community and policy partners committed to understanding and enhancing disability policy in Canada. Dr. McColl is also Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy in the Department of Public Health Sciences as well as Associate Director at the Centre for Health Services & Policy Research at Queen’s University. She received a Ph.D. in Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics from the University of Toronto in 1991, and a M.H.Sc. in Community Health and Epidemiology in 1983. She came to Queen’s in 1992, as Head of Occupational Therapy (1992 to 1998). Prior to that (1987 to 1992), she was Director of Research at Lyndhurst Spinal Cord Centre. From 1983 to 1992 she taught at the University of Toronto, Occupational Therapy Department. Her primary research interest is health services and policy for people with disabilities, community integration and social support for people with disabilities, and measurement issues in disability and rehabilitation.

Dr. McColl is the author of several books on disability: Disability & social policy in Canada (2nd ed., 2006), Introduction to disability (1998), and her latest book, Appreciative Disability Studies (currently in press, 2019). She has also authored several books in occupational therapy: the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (5th ed., 2014), Spirituality and occupational therapy (2nd ed., 2011), Theoretical basis of occupational therapy (3rd ed., 2015), Interventions, effects and outcomes in occupational therapy (2010), Emerging models of chronic disease management (2006), and Inter-professional primary health care (2009).