Disability and Development: Critical Connections, Gaps and Contradictions

  • Shaun GrechEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


The World Report on Disability (WHO and World Bank, 2011) estimates that around 15 per cent of the world’s population are disabled people, that is, close to one billion people. It goes on to state that the majority of these, approximately 80 per cent, are located in the global South. Many of these people are said to live in rural areas in conditions of poverty and extreme poverty. It perhaps comes as no surprise that the bulk of disabled people may be located within the southern space, because poverty always has provided and continues to provide multiple conditions for the creation and maintenance of impairment. The numbers of disabled people continue to rise on account of hunger and malnutrition, inaccessible health care and rehabilitation, unsanitary living conditions, violence and conflict as well as ‘development’ in increasingly turbulent times. Disability has perhaps always been disproportionately present in these spaces if we are to historicise it within the violent colonial encounter, continuing in the geopolitical asymmetries of today’s coloniality (see Grech 2015).


Disability and development Disability mainstreaming Disability-inclusive development Disability and the SDGs Neo liberal globalisation Coloniality 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Global Disability ResearchThe Critical InstituteAttardMalta

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