The last century saw many great advances in the rights and opportunities of disabled people. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality in terms of treatment in the workplace, schools, prisons, hospitals, and by the media and society at large. More recently, some advances have been rolled back, as changes to benefits and services have hit disabled people hard – with little respite expected in the coming years.

This collection of essays is designed to demonstrate both how far we’ve travelled and how far we have to go before we can truly claim to value disabled people in our society. Contributors are drawn from across the sector and bring a range of different expertise but all make the point that everywhere we look, disabled people are missing from the public debate. Drawing on original polling, the collection includes analysis of disabled employment, the crisis in disabled people’s living standards, their over-representation in prison and care homes and their under-representation in the media.

The collection also presents a positive vision of how services can reform themselves to better include the views of disabled people. In this way, the essays provide a vital insight into what we need to do differently, and what changes can be made to bring us closer to equality.