No More “Stairs and Stares”: The Power of the Disability Rights Movement

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018

The Disability Rights Movement started in the 1960’s in the United States; encouraged by the civil rights movement. Through nonviolent protests, sit-in’s and other protests, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) other acts were passed. The struggle encouraged people with disabilities to see themselves as actors in their own liberation, and adopted a social disability model that sees nothing inevitable or "natural" about the exclusion or marginalization of people with impairments from the productive, social and civic processes of human society. Decades later, rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and life expectancy, to name just a few categories, have barely moved, and in some cases have actually worsened, for people with disabilities—underscoring the importance of linking the ongoing struggle for disability rights with a fight against a capitalist system that marginalizes and stigmatizes those with impairments.

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