The Journal of Literary Disability was founded by the editor Dr. David Bolt in 2006. It was launched at the Inaugural Conference of the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network, hosted by Liverpool John Moores University in 2007. Guest edited by Jim Ferris, Michael Davidson, and Lucy Burke, three special issues on poetry, dependency, and cognitive impairment were published online and remain freely available on the JLCDS website.
In 2009 the publication moved to Liverpool University Press under the new name Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies. It expanded to three issues per year and print as well as online formats. It was selected for the Project MUSE collection and found an institutional base in the Centre for Disability Research (CeDr), Lancaster University. It is now edited, on a permanent basis, in the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University.