Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Contact Details

Dr Alison Sheldon

Senior Teaching Fellow in Disability Studies

Having completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Leeds and worked in publishing for several years, I returned to the University to work on my PhD in the School of Sociology and Social Policy (Disabled People and Communication Systems in the Twenty First Century, completed 2001. I have been working in the School ever since. I am a former director of the Centre for Disability Studies (2012 – 2015), and was deputy director for the preceding three years (2009 – 2012). I am currently disability contact for SSP as well as representing the school on the faculty Equality and Inclusion committee.

I am an executive editor of the international journal Disability and Society http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cdso20/current# for which I co-edited a special issue in 2014 on disability and technology.

Research Interests

My research interests include disability and technology, disability and feminism, disability in higher education and global perspectives on disability.


I am director of the School’s taught postgraduate programmes in Disability Studies, and helped to pioneer distance learning in the university through the school’s ground-breaking Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Disability Studies (via distance learning). I run a number of MA modules including Debates on Disability Theory and Research and Disability and Development, and have led and contributed to the undergraduate module Disability Studies: An Introduction. I supervise dissertations at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Hui Yu Kuo

Rosa Morris

Stephen Graby

Maria Victoria Gauci

Lesley Ellis

I have successfully supervised three students to completion of their PhDs. All have now produced books based on their research, as follows:

Berghs, M. (2012) War and Embodied Memory: Becoming disabled in Sierra Leone, Farnham: Ashgate.

Callus, A. (2013) Becoming Self-Advocates: People with intellectual impairments seeking a voice, Oxford: Peter Lang.

Soorenian, A. (2013) Disabled International Students in British Higher Education: Experiences and expectations, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Key Publications

Key Publications


Goodley, D., Matsui, A, Osamu, N., Sawada, Y and Sheldon, A. (eds) (2012) Creating a Society for All: Disability and Economy, Leeds: The Disability Press.

Chapters in Books

Sheldon, A. (2014) Changing technology, in: Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (eds) Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments (third edition), London: Sage.

Sheldon, A. (2014) The future of disability studies, in: Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (eds) Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments (third edition), London: Sage.

Sheldon, A. (2014) Women and disability, in: Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (eds) Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments (third edition), London: Sage.

Barnes, C. and Sheldon, A. (2007) ‘Emancipatory’ disability research and special educational needs, in: Florian, L. (ed) Sage Handbook of Special Education, London: Sage.

Sheldon, A. (2006) Disability, in: Harrington, A., Marshall, B. & Müller, H. P. (eds) The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Social Theory, London: Routledge.

Sheldon, A, (2005) One world, one people, one struggle? - Toward the global implementation of the social model of disability, in: Barnes, C. & Mercer, G. (eds) The Social Model of Disability: Europe and the Majority World, Leeds: The Disability Press.

Journal Articles

Barnes, C. and Sheldon, A. (2010) Disability, politics and poverty in a majority world context, Disability and Society, 25 (7): 771-782.

Sheldon, A. (2009) Recession, radicalism and the road to recovery? Disability and Society, 24 (5): 209-234.

Sheldon, A. (1999) Personal and perplexing: feminist disability politics evaluated, Disability and Society, Vol. 14 (5).

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