Playlist: An Introduction to the Disability Rights Movement by Kathleen Saylor, Alexander Street Press
Following on the heels of other Civil Rights movements, disability rights laws emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Often these laws were more symbolic than precise in terms of objectives and strategies for implementation of anti-discrimination policies. Policy refinement, the process of translating legislative mandates into strategies and procedures to govern administrative action, is both dynamic and controversial. This introductory playlist will explore the origins of the Disability Rights Movement, its intersectionality with other rights movements of the day, landmark legislation passed through its efforts, barriers and opposition it faced, and the continuing work done by activists and advocates.
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The disability rights movement asserts that people with disabilities are human beings with inalienable rights and that these rights can only be secured through collective political action. It arises out of the realization that, as historian Paul Longmore has written, "whatever the social setting and whatever the disability, people with disabilities share a common experience of social oppression."
12 Sep 2016
Disability Rights Movement: From Deinstitutionalization to Self-Determination
written by Duane F. Stroman, fl. 1989 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2003, originally published 2003), 273 page(s)
This book provides a sound overview of the field of disabilities studies by integrating a review of the three major variations of disabilities: physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities and mental retardation. Author Duane Stroman reveals the evolving goals, key organizational actors, and many accomplishments of the disability rights movement. Stroman brings together, under one cover, the changing definitions of disability, the origins of deinstitutionalization of those with mental and physical disabilities and the current direction of the ever changing disability rights movement.
12 Sep 2016
To Ride the Public's Buses: The Fight that Built a Movement
edited by Barrett Shaw, fl. 1993 and Mary Johnson, fl. 1980; photographed by Tom Olin, fl. 1983 (Louisville, KY: Advocado Press, 2001), 200 page(s)
TO RIDE THE PUBLIC'S BUSES: THE FIGHT THAT BUILT THE MOVEMENT is the first in the "Disability Rag Reader" series, anthologies of articles on particular topics that appeared in the Disability Rag 1980-1996. TO RIDE THE PUBLIC'S BUSES, begins in the 1980's and chronicles the fight for equal opportunity rights for people with disabilities. Protests occurring during this time were fought to publicize the segregation and prejudice evident in the American Public Transit Association. With a Forward by Stephanie Thomas, Adapt organizer and editor for Incitement, this anthology chronicles the nationwide legal, political and personal issues involved with gearing up the movement and keeping it moving perpetually forward. Edited by Mary Johnson and Barrett Shaw, TO RIDE THE PUBLIC'S BUSES details the success of a group of activists fighting for wheelchair accessibility and equality in the eyes of the public.
12 Sep 2016
written by Lennard J. Davis, fl. 1987 (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2015, originally published 2015), 312 page(s)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the widest-ranging and most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation ever passed in the United States, and it has become the model for disability-based laws around the world. Yet the surprising story behind how the bill came to be is little known. In this riveting account, acclaimed disability scholar Lennard J. Davis delivers the first behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground narrative of how a band of leftist Berkeley hippies managed to make an alliance with upper-crust, conservative Republicans to bring about a truly bipartisan bill. Based on extensive interviews with all the major players involved including legislators and activists, Davis recreates the dramatic tension of a story that is anything but a dry account of bills and speeches. Rather, it’s filled with one indefatigable character after another, culminating in explosive moments when the hidden army of the disability community stages scenes like the iconic “Capitol Crawl” or an event some describe as “deaf Selma,” when students stormed Gallaudet University demanding a “Deaf President Now!”
12 Sep 2016
Disability, Civil Rights, and Public Policy: The Politics of Implementation
written by Stephen L. Percy, fl. 1988 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1989, originally published 1989), 334 page(s)
Following on the heels of other Civil Rights movements, disability rights laws emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Often these laws were more symbolic than precise in terms of objectives and strategies for implementation of antidiscrimination policies. Policy refinement, the process of translating legislative mandates into strategies and procedures to govern administrative action, is both dynamic and controversial. The premise of the book is that implementation policies in these areas evolved through protracted political struggles among a variety of persons and groups affected by disability rights laws. Efforts to influence policies extended far beyond the process of legislative enactment and resulted in struggles that were played out in the courts and in the executive branch. Included within this examination of federal disability rights laws is the role of symbolic politics, the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary models used for the study of policy implementation, and the politics of administrative policymaking.
12 Sep 2016
Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve & the Case Against Disability Rights
written by Mary Johnson, fl. 1980 (Louisville, KY: Advocado Press, 2003), 318 page(s)
Imagine an African American's voting rights withheld until he or she proved 100 percent African American descent, or a woman having to sue her employer to get a women's restroom in the workplace. Outrageous as those scenarios seem, their like is commonplace in the lives of the disabled, Johnson says, because of widespread misinterpretation and misapplication of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She points out numerous flaws in the law, beginning with its title (she prefers that of the British analog, the Disability Discrimination Act) and including the fact that it is enforceable only via lawsuit, putting rights seekers in an adversarial position, and that it contains an escape clause permitting noncompliance if accessibility causes a business "undue hardship." The disabled person's difficulties aren't, however, confined to the law, and the roots of conflict over disability rights reach deep into personal prejudices and national values. Bit-by-bit Johnson deconstructs arguments against disability rights from the likes of Clint Eastwood as well as more ordinary folk, and she constructs powerful reasons why we all benefit from inclusion.
12 Sep 2016
EIGHT: I GUESS I'M AN ACTIVIST. I THINK IT'S JUST CARING
written by Kim Nielsen, fl. 2005; in A Disability History of the United States (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2012, originally published 2012), 182-208
The disability rights movement was energized by, overlapping with, and similar to other civil rights movements across the nation, as people with disabilities experienced the 1960s and 1970s as a time of excitement, organizational strength, and identity exploration. Like feminists, African Americans, and gay and lesbian activists, people with disabilities insisted that their bodies did not render them defective. Indeed, their bodies could even be sources of political, sexual, and artistic strength.
12 Sep 2016
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