This paper seeks to explore what it means to encounter \"disability\" within the context of South India, drawing upon both secondary published sources, as well as interviews conducted with disabled people and their families in receipt of CBR services from for disability-specific NGOs working in the Indian State of Karnataka. The paper compares and contrasts the experiences of disabled people in relation to the medical and social models of disability. Specifically, the paper will consider community attitudes encountered by disabled people and their families in both rural and urban areas; the relation between poverty, employment and disability; the issue of marriage and sexual relations of disabled people; and the apparent gender bias in the provision of community-based disability services in the South Indian context. The principal findings of this research showed that the notion of \"disablement\" is both socially and culturally defined.
DFID, London, UK, 34 pp.