The phenomenon of disability is no longer perceived in terms of personal state of affairs, as the traditional approach (individual- centered) does in confining the study strictly to the individuals so affected, and thereby undermining the physical and cultural environments within which disabled individuals live. As a reaction against this lopsided view about disability and rehabilitation related issues in India, the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS) was established on 1st December, 1998 as a social service organization under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 (the Registration No. S33969).

The credit for mooting the idea of establishing this organization goes substantially to its Honorary President and noted expert on Disability Studies at JNU, New Delhi (India) LateDr G. N. Karna (himself a wheelchair user). His idea received wider appeal and was supported in his mission by a galaxy of Indian and foreign scholars, experts and social activists with abiding interest in disability, rehabilitation and human rights issues. Thus, the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies During this period, the organization has curved out a niche for itself in the realms of participatory action research, social development, grassroots level social services, advocacy and policy- making processes.

The activities of the organization have so far been pursued with financial support/ donations received from Public Sector Undertakings, Enterprises, Companies, apart from a galaxy of ministries/ departments of Government of India and State Governments, various donor organizations and agencies. The donation to the SDRS is exempt from income-tax under Section 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961 (vide No. DIT(E) 2011-12/S-3258/02/5377, dated 30/01/2012 as issued by the Office of the Director of Income Tax (E) , New Delhi) and the Permanent Account Number (PAN) allotted to the SDRS is AACTS 6095H, dated 21/08/ 2002. It has also been granted Registration under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act), 1976 by the Ministry of Home Affairs / Government of India (Registration No. being 231660458).