Tom Shakespeare has a BA, MPhil and PhD in social sciences from the University of Cambridge. His PhD research explored conceptualizations of disability. His subsequent research projects at the Universities of Sunderland, Leeds and Newcastle explored the sexual rights of disabled people, childhood disability, and quality of life in restricted growth.
He has published extensively in disability studies, for example, The Sexual Politics of Disability (1996) and Disability Rights and Wrongs (2006) and bioethics, for example, Arguing About Disability (2008). After spending five years at WHO, where he co-authored the World Report on Disability (2011) and International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (2014), until August 2018 he worked for the Norwich Medical School and currently works at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. Prof. Shakespeare has been active in the disability community for twenty years.